As before, we look at the likely outcomes of the upcoming Danske Bank Schools Cup Round 4 matches based on the teams latest Rankings and their form over their last three ranking games.

While the Rankings and our gut feelings gave us an 100% record in Round 2 we did have three teams that bucked the trend in Round 3 with Coleraine Grammar, Bangor Grammar and Rainey Endowed all coming out on top in their respective fixtures.

We’re showing kick off times and venues where we have them but please check with the respective schools before travelling as all fixtures are subject to change.

 

Campbell College Belfast (8) v Dalriada School (9)

Saturday 3rd February, 11:00
(Campbell College)

Methodist College 14 – 10 Campbell College Coleraine Grammar 7 – 27 Dalriada
Campbell College 24 – 26 Ballymena Academy Dalriada 24 – 14 Friends School
Campbell College 7 – 28 RS Armagh Dromore High 11 Dalriada 27

 

This promises to be one of the tightest matches in the round and is certainly one of the most difficult to predict.

Campbell, ranked 8th, come into the game on the back of three losses while Dalriada, ranked 9th, are on a bit of a run, winning their last three. Infact Campbell have had a disappointing season by their standards losing five of their eleven ranking games to date whereas Dalriada have only lost two games all season.

However, Campbell have played against higher ranked opponents more than any other team in the competition and their losses to the top three ranked schools have been single score losses, their only substantial defeat being against 4th ranked Royal School Armagh.

To me Dalriada haven’t tested themselves against tough enough opposition. They do have a notable win against 6th ranked Ballyclare High but I think Campbell’s big match experience will see them through to the next round.

Coleraine Grammar School (22) v Methodist College Belfast (3)

Saturday 3rd February, TBC
(Coleraine Grammar)

Coleraine Grammar 15 – 45 Wallace High School Coleraine Grammar 0 – 45 Methody
Coleraine Grammar 17 – 41 RS Armagh Methody 32 – 10 Wallace High School
Coleraine Grammar 29 – 13 Friends School Methody 14 – 10 Campbell College

 

With 19 ranking places between these two teams this should be one of the easiest to predict. On the face of it and on their previous meeting this season it should be a comfortable win for Methoidy.

However we bet against Coleraine Grammar in the last round, they are at home and they have been playing some nice rugby this season, albeit in patches. They have challenged themselves, playing against top half opposition, but Methody have only been beaten by RBAI this season and they should progress.

Royal School Dungannon (13) v Wallace High School (3)

Saturday 3rd February, TBC
(RS Dungannon)

RS Dungannon 7 – 57 Down High RBAI 10 – 9 Wallace High School
RS Dungannon 19 – 10 Portadown College Coleraine Grammar 15 – 45 Wallace High School
Grosvenor Grammar 7 – 23 RS Dungannon Wallace High School 17 – 9  Ballymena Academy

 

This looks like another game that will go the way of the high flying visiting team. Wallace have challenged themselves reasonably well this season and have only two losses to their name, Methody and RBAI being their only defeats.

Dungannon, after a slow start to the season have only lost one game in the last seven and shouldn’t be underestimated but I can’t see beyond Wallace winning this one.

 

Sullivan Upper School (10) v Down High School (11)

Saturday 3rd February, TBC
(Sullivan Upper)

Sullivan Upper 10 – 26 Rainey Endowed RS Dungannon 7 – 57 Down High
Friends School 3 – 34 Sullivan Upper Bangor Grammar 27 – 37 Down High
BRA 14 – 25 Sullivan Upper Lurgan College 3 – 44 Down High

 

This promises to be a tight one as free scoring Down High visit Sullivan Upper in a match that pitches 11th against 10th in our rankings.

Sullivan comfortably won this fixture way back in September and repeated the win in December before Down went into the above run of three wins on the bounce.

Two evenly matched sides with similar records. Down have played slightly tougher opposition but Sullivan have won one more game. Do Sullivan have the hex over their Co, Down rivals? We’ll find out on Saturday, but I think that Down might just pinch this one.

 

Cambridge House Grammar (18) v Royal School Armagh (4)

Saturday 3rd February, 10:30
(Cambridge House)

Lurgan College 14 – 0 Cambridge House RS Armagh 38 – 5 Ballyclare High
Cambridge House 34 – 22 Banbridge Academy Coleraine Grammar 17 – 41 RS Armagh
Cambridge House 17 – 13 Regent House Campbell College 7 – 28 RS Armagh

 

Cambridge House have had a fortunate draw so far and after a bad run of defeats, prior to this competition, they have managed to pull out two wins in the first two rounds.

Unfortunately it looks as though their run is going to come to an end when they face high flying Armagh on Saturday. Armagh’s 45 – 0 win against Rainey in early December was the start of an impressive run which saw them also claim big wins against Ballyclare and Campbell. Armagh to progress with something to spare.

Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (7) v Ballymena Academy (5)

Saturday 3rd February, 10:30
(Enniskillen)

Coleraine Grammar 20 – 19 Enniskillen Royal Ballymena Academy 31 – 6 Down High
Enniskillen Royal 17 – 10 Portadown College Campbell College 24 – 26 Ballymena Academy
Omagh Academy 7 – 31 Enniskillen Royal Wallace High School 17 – 9 Ballymena Academy

 

Enniskillen Royal have the second highest win percentage in our rankings, with only one loss recorded against them. However, apart from one impressive win, against Armagh, they haven’t really been testing themselves against top opposition.

Ballymena on the other hand have been regularly playing against teams in the top half of the rankings and their preparation has involved the three tough games shown above.

The visitors look to be the better prepared side and this should be enough to see Ballymena through to the next round.

Royal Belfast Academical Institute (1) v Ballyclare High School (6)

Saturday 3rd February, 10:45
(RBAI)

RS Armagh 0 – 12 RBAI Ballyclare HS 29 – 17 Friends School
RBAI 10 – 9 Wallace High School Ballyclare HS 52 – 7 Coleraine Grammar
Bangor Grammar 0 – 19 RBAI RS Armagh 38 – 5 Ballyclare HS

 

No one wanted to draw RBAI in this competition, the defending champions being the only undefeated side in our rankings, and everything points towards them progressing to the final for the fourth season in a row.

Ballyclare suffered a big loss when the teams met early in the season and their recent loss to Armagh will be playing on their minds. Can only really see Inst progressing.

 

Bangor Grammar School (14) v Rainey Endowed School (12)

Saturday 3rd February, 11:00
(Cambridge House)

Bangor Grammar 27 – 37 Down High Sullivan Upper 10 – 26 Rainey Endowed
Omagh Academy 8 – 8 Bangor Grammar Rainey Endowed 40 – 15 Belfast High
Bangor Grammar 19 – 7 Omagh Academy Rainey Endowed 13 – 5 Portadown College

 

The stats point towards this being a close one. Both these sides have tried to play rugby this season, with some success, but I was a bit disappointed that Rainey shut up shop to grind out a win against Portadown in the last round, particularly as they looked capable of more.

Rainey come into the game on the back of a three game unbeaten run whereas Bangor have shown they can grind out a win following their two matches against Omagh. Conditions may stop Rainey opening up so we’re going to go with Bangor in this one but it’s really anyone’s game.

1 Comment

  1. Think your pretty much spot on. I can see the CCB and Ballymena games being close calls
    The 1/4 final draws may be missing some “big”schools

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