We have a look at the teams form as they go into Round 3 of the Danske Bank Schools Cup. Given the spate of weather warnings issued this week please check venues and kick off times with the schools before traveling.

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.

Lurgan College (17) v Down High School (11)

Saturday 20th January, 10:30
(Lurgan College)

Lurgan College 21 – 0 Regent House Sullivan Upper 22 – 5 Down High
Banbridge Academy 7 – 40 Lurgan College RS Dungannon 7 – 57 Down High
Larne Grammar 0 – 14 Lurgan College Bangor Grammar 27 – 37 Down High

 

Lurgan College go into this Round 3 match on the back of three wins, including their Round 2 win against Larne Grammar. Down High have won their last two games but suffered a substantial defeat to Sullivan Upper at the beginning of December.

However Down High’s matches have been against teams in the top half of the rankings and, as we found in Round 2, the tougher matches tend to prepare teams better for the Cup knockout games.

It’s been a good run of Lurgan but the opposition has moved up a level for this one and Down High should be progressing to Round 4.

 

Rainey Endowed (16) v Portadown College (22)

Saturday 20th January, 10:30
(Rainey Endowed School)

RS Armagh 45 – 0 Rainey ES Friends SL 16 – 14 Portadown C
Sullivan Upper 10 – 26 Rainey ES RS Dungannon 19 – 10 Portadown C
Rainey ES 40 – 15 Belfast HS Portadown C 36 – 5 Limavady GS

 

Both teams recorded substantial wins in Round 2. Rainey are six places above Portadown College in the rankings and that, coupled with home advantage, would generally point to a win.

However Portadown have some narrow defeats against substantial opposition in their closet and I feel this will give the visitors the edge in this one. could be the tie of the round, it’ll be a close one either way.

Grosvenor Grammar (20) v Royal School Dungannon (13)

Saturday 20th January, 10:45
(Grosvenor Grammar School)

Larne GS 5 – 17 Grosvenor GS RS Dungannon 43 – 0 Banbridge A
Banbridge A 14 – 17 Grosvenor GS RS Dungannon 7 – 57 Down HS
Grosvenor GS 37 –  7 Antrim GS RS Dungannon 19 – 10 Portadown C

 

Both teams have played similar opposition throughout the season and perhaps the most telling results are their recent games against Banbridge Academy.

It is true that Grosvenor are going into this on the back of three wins and Dungannon have that substantial blip against Down High in their debit column but I still think that the Royal School is going to be too strong for the Grammar.

Coleraine Grammar (21) v Friends School, Lisburn (15)

Saturday 20th January, 10:30
(Coleraine Grammar School)

Coleraine GS 7 – 27 Dalriada Ballyclare HS 29 – 17 Friends SL
Ballyclare HS 52 – 7 Coleraine GS Friends SL 16 – 14 Portadown C
Coleraine GS 15 – 45 Wallace HS Friends SL 3 – 34 Sullivan US

 

Both these sides have challenged themselves this season and while results haven’t always went their way the have tried to play rugby.

Our photographer was impressed with Coleraine during the recent defeat to Wallace and there is the possibility of a home win here but I think Friends are just a little further along and it should be an away win.

Omagh Academy (12) v Bangor Grammar (14)

Saturday 20th January, 10:30
(Omagh Academy)

Rainey ES 7 – 12 Omagh A Bangor GS 52 – 19 Dromore HS
Omagh A 29 – 12 Foyle C Bangor GS 0 – 19 RBAI
Omagh A 7 – 31 Enniskillen GS Bangor GS 27 – 37 Down HS

 

On paper this is the closest match of the round, both teams have a 50% win ratio and both have played similar opposition  though Omagh’s opponents have been slightly higher ranked over the season.

It’ll be another close game but home advantage should be enough to see Omagh through. Bring your wellies if you are for watching this one there’s a bit of a swamp at either ind of the pitch!

Cambridge House (19) v Regent House (27)

Saturday 20th January, 12:00
(Ballymena RFC)

Dromore 34 – 5 Cambridge H Regent H 41 – 0 Belfast HS
Lurgan C 21 – 0 Cambridge House Lurgan C 14 – 0 Regent H
Cambridge H 34 – 22 Banbridge A Carrick GS 17 – 40 Regent H

 

Don’t know if there will be a Game of Thrones theme about this one as the two great houses of Ulster Schools go head to head at Ballymena Rugby Club but both teams will fancy thier chances following their second round results.

Regent are the lowest ranked team still in the competition but they do have a win at Cambridge House in November to draw on as well as both sides recent results against Lurgan College.

Cambridge House should still be favourites but they will need to play better than they did against Banbridge in the last round.

Belfast Royal Academy (24) v Sullivan Upper (10)

Saturday 20th January, 10:30
(Belfast Royal Academy)

BRA 31 – 11 Regent H Sullivan US 22 – 5 Down HS
Coleraine GS 14 – 19 BRA Sullivan US 10 – 26 Rainey ES
RS Armagh 40 – 7 BRA Friends SL 3 – 34 Sullivan US

 

This match sees the second lowest ranked side host the second highest ranked side in this round of the draw and in all honesty BRA don’t have a lot going in thier favour in this one.

Home advantage might count for something but his should be a comfortable win for Sullivan Upper.

Dromore HS (18) v Dalriada (9)

Saturday 20th January, 11:00
(Dromore RFC)

Larne GS 22 – 26 Dromore HS Dalraida 18 – 12 Ballyclare HS
Bangor GS 52 – 19 Dromore HS Bangor GS 30 – 17 Dalriada
Foyle C 0 – 17 Dromore HS Coleraine GS 7 – 27 Dalriada

 

On paper you would expect this to be a comfortable win for Dalriada who are nine places higher than their opponents in the rankings. They have an impressive 80% win ratio against mid table opposition though Dromore aren’t that far behind with a 50% win ratio against slightly higher ranked opponents.

Both teams are capable of winning on their day but Dalriada would still be favourites though the home side are a good outside bet for an upset.

#SUFTUM