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Alex Ruffman displaying passing flair. Credit: Benjamin Lester (http://throughbenslens.co.uk)
Alex Ruffman displaying passing flair. Credit: Benjamin Lester

Imperial College 3rd XV 29 - 10 Imperial Medics 3rd XV

The big day has arrived for Imperial College 3rd XV, varsity. Despite the defeat in the friendly against Surrey the previous week, training had allowed the team to gain confidence, and it was with high morale and motivation that the team entered the field. After a speech, made up of fine words with a rare elegance, reminding us of the long history of love we have with Medics, the team was ready for battle.

After a light observation round, IC started to gain possession, eventually leaving the referee with no choice but to blow his whistle for IC (yes, his whistle was still working at this time). After a first touch not found, the second penalty hit the mark. A good lineout maul advanced ten meters with the ball coming into the hands of Bruno “Jules Plisson” “flair god” “baguette man” Villatte. A signature dummy back pass with Tom Murray bamboozled the low IQ medics, with only the fullback was still able to defend. Very good support by Syarif “3s convert” Hertog made it a 2-on-1, and a try under the posts. 7 - 0

Despite the wind, IC had the only real attacking opportunities for the first 30 minutes, this was helped largely by the numerous knock-ons from Medics’ backline. More awesome work from IC’s forwards allowed the ball to be quickly ejected by Luke “El Presidenté” Armitage (surely helped by his new hair cut). Bruno took full advantage and, without his pair of centers, feinted the pass and broke the line on 30m finally using some flair footwork to score second try of the game. Unfortunately he had the same success as Haimona for the kick and failed in the conversion. 12 - 0

The last ten minutes of the first half were one-sided in favour of the Medics, who took advantage of hand mistakes from IC’s players. After 5min of intensive rush defence right in front of the goal line, Jono “Captain Transport” Stancombe took one for the team, getting himself binned. Ten scrums on the five meters line later, the Medics finally scored. 12 - 5

Half-time: Imperial College 3rd XV 12 - 5 Imperial Medics 3rd XV

The second half began in a similar way to the first, IC still strong in defence but now, with the wind in our favour, the pressure was easy to put on the Medics. Outrageous scrum domination by IC, sadly didn’t materialised in penalties. Nevertheless, IC quickly returned into the opposites 22. After another good lineout maul, next year’s 3s Captain Matt “port connoisseur” Kettle got the score. Another conversion missed by Bruno; he seemed more comfortable with his hands than with his feet today. 17 - 5

In spite of the desire to play a beautiful rugby, the first part of the second half was poor. Too many hand mistakes on both sides meant neither side could gain any momentum. Even the whistle of the referee decided to stop working. This gave the opportunity of a mini break, whilst the ref made the slow-but-steady jog to get another whistle.

Half-half-time: Imperial College 3rd XV 17 - 5 Imperial Medics 3rd XV

After this unexpected break, IC started to keep the ball and a penalty gave the opportunity to approach the line. A good lineout and a strong maul after, Matt fell just over the goal line for his second try! Thankfully no one notice the conversion was missed, not that it was needed. 22 - 5

The medics continued to try to break the defence but the pressure and some big tackles from IC players forced them to make mistakes. After knock-on from Medics, scrum down. The ball went straight through the channel, unusually the referee decided that the game should continue, resulting in the Medics recovering the ball in front of the incredulous eyes of IC’s players. After 3 or 4 quick passes to the wing where IC’s players were not in a defensive position, the Medics scored their second try of the game. 22 - 10.

Frustrated by this try, IC really wanted to finish this Varsity game on a high note. The pressure was very intense inside the medics 22 and after a good change of direction in the game called by Syarif, and great 2-on-1, Bruno dived over for the second time. Bruno finally decided to let Syarif take the kicking responsibility who added the extras. 29 - 10.

Not satisfied, IC continued to play, this time with one goal, flair. An unreal attempt of a “Sonny Bill”, off a great run from Tom “doesn’t have the English weakness” Murray, ended in a knock-on, 5 meters in front of the goal line. A quite unbelievable turn of events happened next, firstly out very own Jon Lineham made an incredible line break, then he ran 50m to score a wonderful “Teddy Thomas style” try, only for the the referee to go back to a scrum, in FAVOUR of IC. No one is quite sure what happened.

A very strong defence, massive performance from the forwards and some incredible French Flair, was just too much for the medics. Varsity 2015 was of to a great start! That is, if the 3s would remember the rest of the day…

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