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Cuppers Finals Day Round Up

5 Finals took place at Iffley Road on Saturday 4th May. OURFC would like to thank all players and organisers for supporting the college game this season. It was fantastic to see the standard of rugby on show in all of the finals, in front of a vocal crowd who enjoyed the May bank holiday sunshine. A huge thank you must also go to the OU Refereeing society for providing a team of three to officiate each match and final thanks to Simon Brown for organising such a wonderful showpiece event.

Men's Shield Final:

The match began with a not unwelcome, nor wholly unexpected, early try from Brasenose’s Tom Mewes who goose-stepped his way across the line in the opening minutes. The game then settled into a more regulated rhythm as strong resistance was put up by the Worcester/Lincoln pack. Nevertheless, shepherded on by the twin pillars of our scrum – Queen’s resident blue, Harry Pratt, and senior, senior member, Levi Fraser – the Queen’s/Brasenose forwards stood their own. Taking the stagnating game into his own hands, Mr. Fraser manufactured a particularly audacious try off of an early lineout at the opposition’s 22-yard line. Once the ball left the tender, loving embrace of his expert hands it proceeded to mellifluously glide down the Queen’s back line into the waiting arms of Otis Walker, who’s swift and speedy legs took it in for the try.

The second half took a less auspicious start as Worcester/Lincoln blatantly copied us and scored a try in the opening minutes. Such a gross act of provocation could not go unanswered, and answered it was, with a pair of tries shepherded in by our own Wilkinson-esc fly half, Tony Cowen. Kicking over a beautiful, majestic, and thoroughly un-Queen’s-like cross field kick to set up the first, and proceeding to also cross the white paint himself, Mr. Cowen clearly said to Worcester/Lincoln, as Aragon did at the gates of Mordor, “not this day”. By now, the winds were blowing in the Queen’s/Brasenose sails and tries continued to fall. We saw a cheeky snipe from Queen’s 9, Dan Kelly, off the back of a composed period of attack from the Queen’s Brasenose forwards. Breaking through the game line like a knight from Arthurian legend, he used the raw speed and power he is so feared for to leave his pursuers in the dusk, overcome from the sheer gravitas of his presence.

In the dying embers of the game, Worcester/Lincoln managed to capitalise on a sustained period of play in the Queen’s/Brasenose red zone. In a bout of head down rugby, they picked and went over the Queen’s/Brasenose line to round off the game. Though, of course, it was sadly too little, too late. In all, as is often the case, the score line did not accurately reflect the game itself and the quality of opposition Worcester/Lincoln put up. That being said, it was a titanic 45 – 12 victory for the newly formed Queen’s/Brasenose partnership to round off the club’s inaugural season on the hallowed turf of Iffley.

Match Report: Dan Kelly

Photo credit: Chris Bateman

Men's Bowl Final:

Trexersity 17 - 15 Five Nation Army

2 minutes to go. 58 minutes, 5 points, the captains right shoulder all down. The heads up. A scrum and a dream centre field, barracked by opposition fans and beset by fatigue. Not a player believing it couldn’t be done.

Trexersity had scored first, after a tight first ten in which the majority of movement was the referee marching the opposition back ten. The eventual 5 meter barrage of Sam Beverly proved too much for the opposition rush defence. A silky conversion from

Vasco Faria ensured that, come an opposition score right before half time, Trexersity remained 2 points clear.

Unhappy with simply winning the game from this position, Trexersity’s image consciousness compelled them to inject some drama. Amid a flurry of personnel changes, two tries, one on the wing and one dramatic self-gathered kick, set up Trexersity for a gruelling last 10. A penalty brought them within touching distance, to opposition cries of ‘too scared to win the game lads?’

2 minutes left turned into 6 minutes over as the final play from a Trexersity team, clinical throughout but now playing an absolutely flawless game, rumbled on. Then Murray Sanderson, the other half of the back row Super Smash Bros tm broke. He crashed into and around defenders like Satan’s very own pinball, before finally rolling left and delivering the final, crippling blow to the opposition. A thud heard in Banbury, a stand silent. All square. And then the calmest head, on the safest shoulders sighted out those 2 points which separate your bowl winners from those aspiring. Vasco Faria conversion. Realisation. Jubilation. Victory.

Match Report: Will Bidwell

Photo credit: Chris Bateman

Men's Plate Final:

On a perfect day for rugby football union, SEHRFC took on the Saints in a cuppers final rematch. Although the silverware on offer was one tier down, that did not impact the emotion and effort from both sides. With a slightly cagey opening, first points came through a gritty try to teddy hall skipper Alex Burson, who subsequently added the extras.

Saints then muscled up with Pat Meigh slotting a drop goal to keep the scoreboard ticking over after some well earned field position. This theme continued with saints drawing the game closer with another 3 points, this time from a penalty.

A tense arm wrestle ensued before teddy hall managed to work through the centres, putting teddy thomson on a bustling run to score under the posts to take the maroon and gold up to 14-6 going into half time.

After the half, the arm wrestle began and saints grew into the half and got another penalty from the boot of Meigh to stay within touching distance.

As the heat came down the game began to open up with a sweeping move from the teddy hall backs placing winger Connor Araujo in the corner to stretch out the lead. Doubling down, scrum half dan record sniped through tiring defence and with both tries converted a 28-9 scoreline looked imposing.

However, after a rush of untimely substitutions for the teddy side, saints took advantage with two very well executed tries to bring the game within one score. But too little too late with the game finishing at 28-21. Another excellent tussle between the two sides but SEHRFC emerged winners against a valiant saints side to claim the plate

Match Report: Alex Burson

Photo credit: Chris Bateman

Women's Cup Final

The sun was shining on Iffley Road for the day of the highly anticipated Cuppers final: Corpus/Exeter v Worcester/ Univ.

Corpus got off to a strong start. Within minutes of kick off, strong defensive pressure from Corpus led to Beth Thomas securing a turnover and, with quick hands out to the wing, Mollie Robins scoring a try. Michele Szegda soon powered over the line to add another. A well-drilled Worcester side posed a challenge for Corpus in the next quarter. Despite valiant defensive efforts, Worcester eventually broke through the line to score their first try.

The beginning of the second half was tense, with both teams struggling to break through the other’s defences. A cheeky snipe from scrum-half Izzy Lundberg - with Izzy also converting- added 7 points to Corpus’ tally. But soon a successful chip and chase into the corner from former blues player Iona Bennett, also converted by ‘big boot’ Bennett, saw Worcester narrow the gap. However, Corpus held onto their lead with every member of the team putting in a huge shift in both defence and attack. Eventually, this paid off when Alisa scored in the corner in a lovely team try in what was the final score of the game.

Captain Steph Dai was deservedly awarded POTM for her insane work rate, in particular making a huge amount of tackles and positive carries. Legend has it that both the Cuppers trophy and the POTM trophy were seen at Corpus Ball that evening.

Final Score: Corpus 22-14 Worcester

Photo credit: Chris Bateman

Men's Cup Final:

Following a warm-up and team run-through, the brown and white army were greeted by old boys and fans alike who had come from near and far to support their team. One rousing speech later, the 23-man squad was certainly riled up. Charging out of the sheds, NCRFC took their starting positions on the fabled turf of Iffley Road. Much like the Semi-Final, intensity was high from kick-off. After a series of well-executed phases, NCRFC punched a hole through the Hildalen’s defence, taking them just shy of the 5m line. Pick and go was the call, and within 5 minutes, Matt Wall bundled over the line to make the score 5-0. Whilst Patrick Mayhew plays standoff for NCRFC, he has been known to dabble at fullback. With quick feet and electric acceleration, Paddy slipped through the Hildalen defence, feeding veteran Alfie Massey whose support line brought him the second try of the game. 12-0. A lull in the NCRFC attack ate up the majority of the rest of the first half, until our captain for the day, Freddie Hawkins, powered over the line taking the ball and three Hildalen players with him. With the score now standing at 17-0, the nerves of the new college supporters began to fade away. NCRFC kept their foot on the pedal, and after some smooth footwork from Matt Wall, Jack Botham dotted down grinning from ear to ear. 


The second half kicked off in similar fashion to the first – enormous tackles from our centre partnership, Noah Miller and Jack Sander, put pressure back on Hildalen. NCRFC were once again on the front foot. Silky footwork from Adam O’ Neill saw him dance around the opposition’s number 8 for yet another try. Patrick Mayhew added the extras, increasing the score to 29-0. Alexander Sokolov – lock by name, fullback by nature – once again gathered a high ball, and Alex Albright added to his tally of clean exits, sending the ball whence it came. NCRFC looked to play their rugby in the opposition’s half. This soon paid dividends, when a delicious training ground move from the backs saw fresher, Max Woodford, cut through the opposition’s defence for our 6th try of the game. With the score-line now at a large differential, NCRFC’s fly half looked to get involved in the action. Patrick Mayhew took it upon himself to score our final try, in the process making up for his committed Gavin Hastings impression off the tee. Hildalen fought back, with Edward Blake, the former captain of St Hilda’s, showing strength and resilience as he powered over the line for their first score of the game. Final score 41-5 to New College. 

Match report: Alfred Hawkins

Photo credit: Chris Bateman

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