Medway 1st XV 12 - 17 Imperial College 2nd XV
After weeks of heavy rain, waterlogged pitched, cancelled training and postponed games, Imperial College 2nd XV felt more than a little rusty as they went into only their second fixture this side of Christmas. However Medway 1st XV presented the perfect opportunity to blow out the rather damp cobwebs as they had stolen a victory in their previous visit to Harlington, pipping the home side 21 - 20. Fired up by the desire for revenge after that close loss at the mostly impregnable Fortress, the 2nd XV were ready to run some classic IC lines.
An error strewn opening favoured Imperial as their dominant scrum won back the ball time and again, allowing the backline to play pattern deep in the opposition half. Unforced errors prevented the 2nd XV from converting possession into points and following a series of silly penalties, probably owed to lack of game time over the previous weeks, IC found themselves back in their own 22 defending. A succession of repelled phases and aggressive defence eventually forced a turnover. The game swayed back and forth around the centre of the field until the Medway players found themselves unexpectedly walking back to their line- a seemingly harmless lineout well outside the 22-metre area led to IC’s formidable maul peeling not once, but twice to make 30 metres ending in flanker Ruaridh McKay barrelling over for the first try.
Clearly not phased by conceding a score, Medway responded immediately with a score of their own, smashing through some weak Imperial tackling. A tight first 40 minutes ended with the scores level at 5 - 5 and both teams looking evenly matched.
Half-time: Medway 1st XV 5 - 5 Imperial College 2nd XV
At halftime head coach Brimah Kebbie saw fit to introduce Eifion Foster onto the blindside of the scrum in order to win some more turnover ball and give the opposition scrumhalf a nightmarish time. Disobeying orders Eifion instead saw an opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet, collecting a loose ball and carrying it over the line. As substitute kicker Charles Pryce-Smith was learning to kick conversions on the job, the game kicked off again with Imperial 10 - 5 in the lead.
Mirroring the first-half, the 2nd XV soon suffered yet another defensive lapse and let Medway’s strong-running backs crash over in the corner. Unlike Pryce-Smith, the Medway kicker converted the try to send them into the lead for the first time. Medway led 12 - 10.
Trailing in a game that was theirs for the taking, Imperial finally started playing the rugby they were capable of. Medway were marched back phase after phase. With 5 minutes to spare the pressure of an Imperial scrum on the Medway 5 metre line proved too much, and unable to withstand the strength of the Imperial pack, number 8 Tom Hedley conducted the IC drive across the try line before dropping on the ball to claim
Not wanting to finish the game on the low, Price-Smith finally found his form and popped the conversion between the posts. Another powerful performance from the 2nd XV forwards gave the backs a strong platform to play from and saw Medway Spartans put to the sword.