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Whippets Varsity vs Cambridge Centurions.

Final score: Whippets 8 - 13 Centurions.

This Saturday held the battle both everyone had been waiting for; the Whippets vs Centurions Varsity Match. The boys began the day in high spirits with some inspiring words from Blues Players Wolfe Morn and Tom Robertson as well as a wholesome shirt presentation and team photo.

Our arrival at Cambridge began with ‘the speech of a lifetime’ by Captain Kimathi Muiruri, leaving the team in an ecstasy of aggression and camaraderie. As Cambridge kicked off to the Whippets, they were met with some ferocious intensity. The Whips held Cambridge on their 5 meter line and succeeded in receiving an eventual penalty, converted successfully by captain Kimathi. While the Centurions began to claw their way back through some silly mistakes by the Whips, the devastating organisation and skill of Jack Musselwhite’s back line was more than enough to secure a try for Alex Burson on the wing. The ball remained with the Whips for the majority of the first half, with the heavy ball carriers of Nicholas Allen and George Cooper being decisive impediments upon the Centurions morale and fitness. As the first half drew to a close, the momentum began to gradually move towards the Centurions after a few unlucky penalties surrounding high tackles and an inconvenient yellow card, both teams seemed to go into half time on a level playing field.

The second half of the ‘dog-fight’ began with some powerful scrummaging by Cambridge forcing the Whips very much onto the defensive. Though the hard lines of the Centurion backs were cut short by Will Powell’s formidable tackles, they stretched the Whips on the wings and eventually wriggled past to secure a try. The powerful line-outs led by Sam Monro-Davies mauled the whippets successfully to the Centurion 5 meter-line but after some failed pick-and-goes a try was unfortunately called as held-up. The pressure of the Whips from their clever box-kicks led them to hold the Centurions in their half for the majority of the second half but the ill-discipline of the Whips and a few crucial knock ons and rucks led Cambridge to keep the ball for a lot longer than they deserved, and secure a converted Penalty. While, the Centurions managed to squeeze a second try through the middle of the Whips as they entered the last 10 minutes making the score 13-8, the scene can be described as nothing else but electric. Both teams went into The last 10 minutes of the match with unprecedented intensity. The pace of the ball from the Whippets was a wonder to watch with Tom Roxburgh’s rapid work around the rucks, the Centurions were driven back to their 10 metre line for the last 2 minutes of the game. As tension peaked at this crucial moment, an unlucky forward-pass from the Whips meant the Centurions squeezed a win. The Whips, however , as always, had the last laugh, leaving the silverware back at Iffley Road so that the Centurions left the field very much empty handed.

While the Whips were obviously grieving the loss, they nevertheless threw themselves into the rest of the afternoon with an abundance of support for their fellow members of OURFC in the Greyhounds match. After that, both teams returned to OURFC Headquarters for some hilarious antics in the Pavilion to end the Varsity day with some well-deserved banter.

By Jack Wiggin

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