We have a look at this weekend’s upcoming Schools Cup matches. There are seven fixtures this weekend with two played on Friday evening, the remaining five on the traditional Saturday morning timeslot.

We will have a look at each of the teams in terms of their current rank in The Front Row Union Ulster Schools Rugby Rankings and the last three games they have played.

Cambridge House (20) v Banbridge Academy (31)

Friday 5th January 19:00
(Ballymena RFC)

Last three fixtures
Cambridge House 11 Regent House 14 Banbridge Academy 14 Grosvenor Grammar 17
Dromore High 34 Cambridge House 5 RS Dungannon 43 Banbridge Academy 0
Lurgan College 14  Cambridge House 0 Banbridge Academy 7 Lurgan College 40

 

The Rankings would point to a comfortable win for Cambridge House who sit eleven places above their opponents, Banbridge Academy.

The Academy have had a disappointing season with only one win to their name compared to Cambridge House who have been more active and have three wins and a draw in their favour.

Despite both sides losing their last three fixtures, their recent games against Lurgan College would also point to Cambridge House having the decisive edge.

Foyle College (30)  v Dromore High (19)

Friday 5th January 19:00
(City of Derry RFC)

Last three fixtures
Enniskillen 53 Foyle College 0 Dromore High 34 Cambridge House 5
Limavady Grammar 19 Foyle College 12 Larne Grammar 22 Dromore High 26
Omagh Academy 29 Foyle College 12 Bangor Grammar 52 Dromore High 19

 

Again the Rankings would point to a comfortable win for Dromore High who sit eleven places above their opponents Foyle College.

Foyle have only won one game this season, compared to Dromore’s four wins and a draw, but the Londonderry outfit can take some hope from their recent spirited performance away to Limavady Grammar.

However it would be something of a shock if Foyle were able to turn the tables on a well drilled Dromore side.

Carrick Grammar (26) v Regent House (28)

Saturday 6th January 10:30

Last three fixtures
Carrick Grammar 26 Strabane Academy 5 BRA 31 Regent House 11
Carrick Grammar 25 Wellington College 7 Regent House 41 Belfast High 0
Carrick Grammar 14 Strabane Academy 12 (CUP) Lurgan College 21 Regent House 0

 

This game promises to be a closer affair with only two ranking points between the teams. Carrick have five wins to their name compared to Regent’s two though the Ards based school appear to have played a higher caliber of opponent.

Carrick go into this fixture in some form, on the back of three successive wins, including their 1st Round win against Strabane, whereas Regent have only recorded one win in the last three.

However, my gut feeling is that Regent will progress by virtue of having played more games against higher ranked opposition.

Grosvenor Grammar (21) v Antrim Grammar (27)

Saturday 6th January 10:30

Last three fixtures
Grosvenor Grammar 3 Ballyclare High 53 Antrim Grammar 26 Wellington College 0
Larne Grammar 5 Grosvenor Grammar 17 Antrim Grammar 0 Cambridge House 35
Banbridge Academy 14 Grosvenor Grammar 17 Portadown College 45 Antrim Grammar 0

 

On the face of it this would look like a comfortable win for Grosvenor who have hit a rich vein of form winning four of their last five fixtures out of a total of ten ranking matches played.

Antrim on the other hand have only played four ranking matches all season recording wins against Carrick and Wellington College in their first two matches. They have however been beavering away, hosting a couple of mini tournaments, and they did beat Larne Grammar in a non-ranking match just before Christmas.

Despite these “under the radar” matches by Antrim I would still expect Grosvenor to have too much experience if the Belfast side hadn’t of gone into hibernation in December, their last rankings match taking place on 24th November. This one could go either way.

Larne Grammar (25) v Lurgan College (17)

Saturday 6th January 10:30

Last three fixtures
Belfast High 5 Larne Grammar 26 Lurgan College 14 Cambridge House 0
Larne Grammar 5 Grosvenor Grammar 17 Lurgan College 21 Regent House 0
Larne Grammar 22 Dromore High 26 Banbridge Academy 7 Lurgan College 40

 

I’m looking hard here to justify a win for my old school Larne Grammar, but, outside of the potential they showed at the start of the season, it’s difficult to see beyond a win for Lurgan who are ranked eight places higher and have won five and drawn one of the eight ranking games they have played this season.

Lurgan have been admirably busy in December and they have won their last three fixtures and they certainly seem to be hitting form at the right time.

However, I was genuinely impressed by Larne at the start of the season and, though they have been indifferent of late, they could still spring a surprise if key players are available. Lurgan would remain strong favourites with the bookies, but I’ll stick my fiver on the Larne boys. Yeoh! #MHALL

Portadown College (22) v Limavady Grammar (23)

Saturday 6th January 11:00

Last three fixtures
Portadown College 45 Antrim Grammar 0 Limavady Grammar 28 Sullivan Upper 57
Enniskillen Grammar 17 Portadown College 10 Limavady Grammar 19 Foyle College 12
Friends School 16 Portadown College 14 Coleraine Grammar 30 Limavady Grammar 5

 

On paper, and by all the stats, this looks to be the closest game of the round with only 0.007 rating points separating this pair and both teams current form is showing one win out of the last three.

Limavady have won four out of their ten ranking games this season and Portadown have won three from ten but Portadown’s matches have been against higher ranking opposition.

Portadown’s extra experience and home advantage should be enough to see them home in a tight match.

Rainey Endowed (16) v Belfast High (29)

Saturday 6th January 10:30

Last three fixtures
Rainey Endowed 7 Omagh Academy 12 Banbridge Academy 35 Belfast High 10
RS Armagh 45 Rainey Endowed 0 Regent House 41 Belfast High 0
Sullivan Upper 10 Rainey Endowed 26 Wellington College 12 Belfast High 22

 

This game looks as though it should be the most one sided. Belfast High have only clocked up two wins this season the second of which was their first round win against Wellington College which stopped a run of eight defeats.

Rainey Endowed on the other hand have won seven from eleven and, despite a run of three defeats, they got back to winning ways with a convincing win against Sullivan Upper in December.

It should be a comfortable win for Rainey who are the highest ranked side in Round 2.

 

Do you agree or disagree? We'd love to read your comments.