Imperial 2nd XV 12 - 5 RUMS 2nd XV
It was a cold, windy and wet November afternoon when the Imperial 2s rugby team turned up at Harlington for a match against RUMS. The Harlington wind, coupled with the driving rain made the players feel like Hurricane Sandy was paying thema little visit. After a warm-up that ensured every member of the team was thoroughly soaked and cold, the game began. The horribly windy conditions stifled the natural flair of the home team, who were still trying to play the feared Imperial pattern. RUMS, as their backline had no hope of penetrating the solid Imperial defence, led by numerous big hits from centre Oli Benton, only had one game plan, the endless pick and gos, with the occasional ineffectual crash ball from their Hansen-esque inside centre.
The home team conceded numerous penalties around the breakdown due to a referee who turned a blind eye towards RUMS many hands in many rucks. However, neither side could convert any of their chances and the match remained scoreless at half-time.
Half-time: Imperial 2nd XV 0 - 0 RUMS 2nd XV
After a half-time break spent warming up in the changing rooms Imperial 2s came out a much more dominate team. Smart kicking from fly-half Ali Jones kept the 2’s in the RUMS half. On the RUMS five metre line a lucky interception led to a RUMS try, which was the only time they ever looked likely to score, or even came in our half. Imperial looked likely to equalise from a forward drive after a lineout until the referee, stood on the wrong side of the tackle, judged the ball to be held up. However, a few phases later and justice was done as fullback Luke James’ short run on the blind side of a scrum led to a score. Running over the RUMS fullback in the process, the latest addition to the backline made an impact when he came on the pitch, and is said to be looking forward to ‘displacing’ Judd from the 1st XV due to his ‘superior pace’. Unfortunately, the wind blew Jones’ conversion attempt wide to leave the score 5 - 5 with 20 minutes left to play.
Some dominant midfield running from an Imperial team adapting to the conditions set up the opportunity for another forward drive to the RUMS try line. This time it was successful with one of the forwards going over. Jones’ conversion attempt was, amazingly, successful to leave Imperial leading 12 - 5 with 10 minutes remaining. Imperial managed to retain most of the possession in the remainder of the match, leaving the score at 12 - 5 to the home team at the final whistle. A bitterly cold wet and windy match, but a deserved win.