Imperial College 1st XV 32 - 10 Imperial Medics 1st XV
After a 39 - 5 drubbing just two weeks before the Medics would have been hoping for a fast start, but they had anything but. They were initially ill disciplined in their own half, and on the third time they were punished with College skipper James Cox slotting over with a fairly straight kick 25 yards out from the try line.
The Medics did threaten after that, but often their moves were scuppered by either ill-advised or misguided offloads, likely in an attempt to replicate the IC 3s earlier flair. In the end, they were punished by College, who were rewarded after an excellent set play. It started with the future captain, Dave Nielsen-Scott, making a superb line break from the halfway line, unusual for a man with such large stature. The ball was recycled sharply and allowed Cox to take advantage of the broken Medicals defense, putting Sam Moorby in under the posts. Cox kicked the conversion, and the score was suddenly looking very favourable. 10 - 0
College advanced dangerously almost straight from the kick off, only to throw it away with a knock on, on the 5 metre line. If the Medics breathed a sigh of relief at that moment, it was short lived. College were in a destructive mood, and weren’t going to be stopped. The classic IC driving maul just two minutes later obliterated the Medics going over the white wash. Despite little Cox not quite having the legs of big Cox, score line was beginning to look very bleak for the Medics, someone call a doctor? 15 - 0
With the game already almost out of sight, the Medics launched a spirited comeback. Having been camped out within five metres of the College try line for almost three minutes, stand in captain Vernon “too much protein” McGeoch went over to get the medics on the board on the half-hour mark. Again, the conversion was missed, but at half-time, the medics were still in the game.
Half-time: Imperial College 1st XV 15 - 5 Imperial Medics 1st XV
What had been a fairly one sided game until half-time became a lot closer after the break. The Medics ended a driving move by breaching the College defense and making the score. The College players began to twitch as for a long period the Medics looked like they were going to edge their way back into the game and make it a tight finish.
However the Medics, for all their effort, just couldn’t keep the momentum up. After a prolonged period of play without much action beyond either side’s 22, the College managed to break through the defense with Ed “lame tattoo” Durkin sniping through the fringes of the ruck and a large break away resulted in their third try of the night, pushing the gap to 12 points with just twenty minutes to go. 22 - 10
The Medics did continue to push, but a series of penalties on the five metre line resulted to nothing, pretty much summing up their night. The game was in danger of petering out but fan favourite, Ed “seriously his gf has the same tattoo” Durkin, came to the rescue adding additional excitement at the end of the game. Another break resulted in his second try of the game. Cox took his last kick of the game and made way, along with Durkin, for two fresh half-backs to finish the game, some argue this move was a move of hat-trick avoidance by Durks. With his first touch of the game, Charles “lad on tour” Price-Smith put Moorby through the centres, more hat-trick avoiding offenses. A cynic might say that these tries added gloss to the score, but in reality it showed the true gulf in performance of the two teams on the night itself.
Man of the match was awarded to the College centre Sam Moorby, whose strong performance proved one of the major difference. He scored two tries, making him a worthy winner of the award, despite captain James Cox also having a storming game.
Speaking to Felix after the game, ACC Chair and Rugby Honorary Secretary Oli Benton said of the win:
While the lead up to this years Varsity has been less than ideal, the performance on the night put all those worries to bed. Building off the back of a comprehensive beating of the Medics a couple of weeks ago, IC brought their positive attacking rugby back to the Stoop. With the customary high levels of sand ensuring the pitch wasn’t boggy, the College backs played aggressively behind a solid platform provided by the forwards.
Particular mentions must go to the scrum half Durkin, who was always a threat, the fly half and captain Cox, who marshalled the game with customary aplomb and Moorby who brought his usual physicality with some excellent hard running and support lines.
The victory over the Medics was a great way to end a very disjointed season for the College – it’s been a privilege to play in a squad whose friendship and determination have helped them overcome many hurdles this year. Rugby is a team sport and that has absolutely been shown by ICURFC who have stuck together through every bit of bad press they have received this year, everyone involved should be very proud and ready to bounce back in the coming seasons.