Imperial 2nd XV 7 – 5 Queen Mary 2nd XV
The first game of the 2XV’s season was a home match against Queen Marys, a side who last season were 2 leagues above us. Due to this theoretical gulf in quality, the Queen Marys side decided that they would turn up 45 minutes late, leaving little time for a warm up. Little did they know that this 2XV side were fired up and ready to go after their 2 hour warm up, and had a passionate fan base in the 1XV supporting them on the side-lines for added motivation.
The shining sun allowed for intense and quick rugby to be played and Imperial began at a ferocious pace, going through several phases in the opposition 22. Sorrell Cowen in particular was making breaks for fun, regularly chopping through the Queen Mary’s centres. Despite this early period of pressure, Imperial were unable to make it count and Queen Mary’s cleared their lines. As the game progressed and the effect of our extended warm up became apparent, the Queen Mary’s forwards employed a strong pick and go game that put our defensive discipline and fitness under pressure. Queen Mary’s used this tactic effectively and a few penalties meant that Imperial were now down in their own 22, defending their line. Some solid tackling from all repelled the Queen Mary’s attack, holding out until just before half time when the they bundled over after a mistake at the lineout from Imperial. The Queen Mary’s fly half subsequently missed the kick and we went into the sheds 5-0 down.
A half time chat focusing on being more accurate followed, and a fiery speech from new 2XV captain Gustave RDB meant that Imperial kicked off the second half re-energised. Strong carries from the forwards allowed for cleaner ball and the 2XV rumbled towards the line. Cynical play from one of the Queen Mary’s players resulted in him being sent off, and a number of dominant scrums built momentum for an eventual score by Rory Horder. Daniel Kirrane converted to put Imperial in the lead by 2 points with 10 minutes to play. The final quarter of the game was an example of the maturity this 2XV side has developed over the past few seasons, with the game closing out with little incident. Celebrations followed as the freshers were introduced to Sylvia and the 2XV extended their purple patch, losing only once in the past two seasons.
Daniel Kirrane, Imperial 2nd XV