The Royal School of Mines made the long seven-hour journey down to Newquay for the 116th Bottle Match against Camborne School of Mines. Although the journey was long, it was made somewhat more enjoyable by the numerous games of chase the ace played. The memory of the loss two years ago and lodge 15 antics was a huge motivation for the boys and we felt confident going into the game following last year’s comfortable win over CSM.

“Unlike the mud bath two years ago, the pitch was dry and well suited to the free-flowing game of the RSM”

Unlike the mud bath two years ago, the pitch was dry and well suited to the free-flowing game of the RSM; following a near perfect warm up the boys were ready for what was undoubtedly one of the most important games of the year. The start of the match saw RSM receive the kick-off and, following a poor exit, CSM went over the line within the first few minutes. The worst possible start. This was compounded by the loss of RSM stalwart Ruairi Dunne to a broken hand. The RSM did however fight back with strong phase play leading to a number of penalties. This drove RSM deep into CSM territory, where we got our just reward with Harry Allingham being bundled over for a try from a driving maul to take the score to 5-5. RSM continued mounting pressure and Allingham should have had a second from a driving maul, had it not been held up. Eventually CSM turned over the ball and momentum shifted to them. Numerous line breaks, in particular from the CSM number 8, took them into the RSM twenty-two; although the defence was strong, particularly from the likes of Will Aynsley, Martin Head, and Nathan Tomlinson, CSM managed to score again to take the score to 12-5 following a couple of disallowed tries, much to the credit of the RSM defence. A late penalty from CSM meant the half-time score was 15-5. A particular highlight from the first half was Alex Amato ‘gerrarding’ the ball into the CSM crowd – shame it missed them all.

“Strong carrying from the RSM forwards sucked in CSM defence, and created space out wide”

RSM came out in the second half still confident of turning around the deficit. However another poor start led to an early second half try from CSM taking their lead out to 22-5. RSM knew they had to score next to get back in the game. The next part of the match saw RSM play some quality rugby. Strong carrying from the RSM forwards sucked in CSM defence and created space out wide. Soft hands from the likes of James Field, Colonel Nick UA and Allingham began to create overlaps and, had it not been for a forward pass from fly-half come prop Amin Omarouayache, RSM could well have scored and found themselves back in the game. This didn’t, however, damp the RSM spirits and more quality hands led to more chances, but as has been seen throughout the season, the chances couldn’t be converted into points. As time began to run out, CSM regained the ball and took their chances. Two tries and a penalty in the last twenty minutes put the game to bed with a final score of 35-5, making it two unsuccessful away trips to Cornwall in a row.

Although the bottle had been lost, it was not going to stop the RSM boys from having a quality afternoon and evening. The festivities went on well into the early hours of the morning and were finished off with numerous grecs.