At the u/20 World Trophy, it is Samoa and Fiji that is setting the pace with both teams unbeaten after 3 pool games. Namibia and Portugal respectively in Pool A and B also played 3 games but each already lost one game each. However, it will be between Samoa and Fiji who will play in the final to decide who is getting promoted to the u/20 World Championship in 2019 being hosted by Argentina. The winner will replace Japan who ended last in the 2018 World Championship hosted in France this year.
It is time for the big 4 with the semifinals being played today and the finals on Sunday.
St Peter's will play against Hamilton Boys who must be the early favourites to be crowned the 2018 winners. In the other semi-final, it is Napier Boys High who had a slow start to 2018 who will play against Christchurch Boys High.
Mount Albert Grammar will play St Peter's Cambridge in the one semifinal with MAGS not having a particular season it will be considered an upset if they win this one. Feilding High will play against Rangiora in the other semifinal with Rangiora the favourite to win as they have beaten Barbarian Cup semi-finalist Christchurch on the 4th of August 35-33 just to lose in the semifinals against Christchurch 22-54 two weeks later. A final between Rangiora and Feilding with Rangiora to take the final honours.
It is, in many ways, the most exciting weekend of the rugby season at school level. For while on average the same main protagonists are the ones to look out for at the top end, you never quite know who sits where until the season is underway.
The questions are many, and at this point in the season utterly known. Can Sedbergh possibly have another season like last year? Will St Peter’s York’s steady climb up the schools' rugby ladder continue? Are Warwick and QEGS Wakefield likely to end up doing battle in the latter stages of the Cup once more? To name just a handful.
Anyone thinking that it is just about the very top end is mistaken though, there is so much more to schools rugby than that. Look at the remarkable rise of Hayes over the last two years, Langley’s outstanding season last year that saw them dominate the Vase, and so many more brilliant exploits.