The U18 Schools Cup returns this week as the second round of fixtures takes place across the country.
A few have already been completed early, with Uppingham, King’s Macclesfield, and Lancaster RGS all playing themselves through to the third round after results last week, joining KCS Wimbledon, Campion, Richard Huish, Bishop Wordsworth’s, Sir Thomas Rich’s, and Marlborough College, who all progressed thanks to byes in round 2.
Lancaster RGS’ win over Stonyhurst College at the weekend means that they will host the winner of Wednesday’s game between Wilmslow High School and St Ambrose College, a game that seems likely to be a with of a classic.
The bottom half of the draw sees a Wirral derby between Wirral Grammar and Calday Grange Grammar, with the winner playing either Lymm High School or Altrincham Grammar in Round 3. Both games are on Wednesday.
King’s Macclesfield marched into the 3rd round last week thanks to a 38-3 win over Bradford Grammar. Their third round game will be tough though as it will be against the winner of one of the toughest second round ties of all – QEGS Wakefield v Woodhouse Grove, which takes place on Wednesday. QEGS, finalists last year, have already lost to Woodhouse Grove, winners of last year’s Plate, this season but will be fired up for this one and could leave us with one of the best games of the early rounds.
It is competitive up at the top end too as former finalists RGS Newcastle host one of the legends of the competitions, Barnard Castle, while Durham, another former finalist, host St Peter’s York, who only went out last year as the home side in a draw v QEGS. Both games are on Wednesday. North B is one of the most competitive sections in the competition.
Midlands A starts on Tuesday when Gresham’s, who knocked out last year’s Vase winners Langley in Round 1, host the unbeaten and very much in form Norwich School. The winner of that faces either Felsted or New Hall, who meet on Wednesday and neither will much fancy a trip to Norwich should they progress and Norwich beat Gresham’s.
Also on Tuesday is a cracking derby in Cambridge as The Perse host The Leys, The Perse had a tough game at the weekend, while The Leys are enjoying a fine season, but you sense form goes out of the window on Tuesday. The winner has a real challenge on their hands as they will then face the winners of Wednesday’s Northampton School for Boys v Rugby clash. NSB have great pedigree in this competition, while Rugby are in sensational form in all competitions this year.
Uppingham were the first side through from this section after their 26-14 victory over Stamford on Saturday afternoon. Their reward will be a game against either Mount St Mary’s College or Nottingham High School, who meet on Wednesday.
The top half of this section is potentially mouth-watering as we could see the two most recent winners of the tournament, Bromsgrove (2015 & 2016) and Warwick (2017 and 2018), go head to head in Round 3. There is work to be done for both though on Wednesday, Bromsgrove must travel to KES Birmingham, while Warwick have a very tricky fixture away at Solihull at the same time.
London & South East A
A first round win over Seevic was enough to see Campion through to the third round thanks to a second round bye. There they await the winners of Wednesday’s clash between UCS and Dr Challoner’s, UCS came through a tough first round game, while Dr Challoner’s enjoyed a bye.
The bottom half of this section could see fireworks. On Wednesday the impressive Eltham College, who could go a distance here, take on Trinity, who beat Brighton College on Saturday. The winner will have to wait a week to find out their opponent, but what an opponent it will be, either Judd, who have performed well in recent years, or the 2010 and 2011 champions, Whitgift. They meet on the 17th October.
London & South East B
KCS Wimbledon are enjoying London & South East B so far, reaching the 3rd round without having to fire a shot. Life will get tougher there though, the will face either Wimbledon College or John Fisher, who meet for one of the biggest ties of the round on Wednesday.
The top half sees Seaford College, who will fancy their chances of a quarter final spot, travelling to Richard Collyer, while Churcher’s College host Caterham, who must also fancy a shot at a quarter final spot in this section. Both games are on Wednesday.
South West A
A thrilling 41-40 opening round win over Taunton saw Richard Huish straight into the third round thanks to a second round bye. They will now face either Ivybridge Community College or King’s College Taunton, who meet for a massive second round game on Wednesday.
In the bottom half of the section 2017 finalists Bishop Wordsworth’s earned a 25-7 first round win over Sherborne, which saw them to the third round thanks to a bye. They face the winners of Tuesday’s second round clash between Canford and Portsmouth Grammar School, which ought to be another cracking game of schools rugby.
South West B
Sir Thomas Rich’s are already into the 3rd round after their second bye followed their opening round win over St Peter’s. They await either Dean Close or RGS High Wycombe, who meet in a massive second round clash on Wednesday.
Marlborough College, meanwhile, are also into the third round thanks to a pair of byes. They face either Downside or Colston’s, with in form Downside hosting the most successful side ever in the competition, Colston’s, on Wednesday.