Imperial 3rd XV 59 - 27 UWL 1st XV
Wednesday was a big day for the 3s in several aspects. After a tough loss the previous week, some changes to the squad, and only a few substitutes, it was integral that everyone plays to their best form.
On arrival at Fortress Harlington, we eyed up the eager opposition already warming up. It was hard for some of their larger players to not catch our eyes, yet this sight feared no-one. We got into our pristine, matching IC shirts and proceeded to warm up and prepare ourselves for the fixture.
It was our kick-off, and as Marco Violet-Vianello lofted the ball into the air, the pressure from our boys was apparent. Within a couple of minutes, a big hit from James King had sent him into a concussed state. With one less substitute to support the team, the start didn’t seem to look too hopeful. Then, lo and behold, some simple hands led the ball to the right-hand side of the pitch giving William Ridge the golden opportunity of an overlap to secure his first try. This try set fear into our opponents, and surely the regret of the big warm up session loomed after they had discovered their cardio fitness was not up to scratch.
Shortly after, with some great pressure and defence, a double takedown tackle from skipper Michael Rudman, and Will Cox, had caused a head collision for Will. After feeling a bit dizzy and allowing the bump on his head to make its appearance, it was decided that a substitution was required. Some may argue that an alternative reason had caused this substitution, however I beg to differ. With now a less experienced pack, as a result of the previous head injuries, it was decided that uncontested scrums were in play.
Next up to put their name onto the scoreboard was none other than our tame racing minibus driver, Arnaud Tournier. His aggressive and determined driving technique had surely translated onto the rugby pitch to help him score an 80m try, after picking up the ball from an error of our opposition’s. With Arnaud’s energy high at this point, he managed to “smoke their winger and fullback” in the last 20m, to earn himself his first IC try.
We now had the confidence, and this allowed us to show our skills to the utmost. Tries from the mighty 3s were flooding in by now. Olivier Doustaly managed to use that chemistry with his fellow Frenchman Marco as they executed an S-pattern off of the back of a scrum to gain those last 10m past the try line.
Once again, William Ridge managed to get himself another try, after a dropped ball in our 22. This allowed for the fresher to show his worth by running through, stepping the 15 and getting that ball down under the sticks.
The opposition utilised our lack of energy after running circles round them to earn themselves a few tries; however, this would not destroy the momentum of the IC boys. More tries came in from Tom Watson, and Jack Martin-Halls with the excellent assistance of Ignacio Manzur.
Marco Violet-Vianello had decided that he wanted to get himself on the scoresheet. A lineout in our favour gave Marco the chance to show his flair by getting past the centres and follow it with a disgraceful dink of the ball towards the try line where we he would meet to secure that try.
William Ridge had decided that he wasn’t finished. The greedy fresher didn’t like the thought of having a smaller percentage of the total amount of tries. He used an overlap to earn himself the hat-trick. But that still wasn’t enough for him! Mr Ridge had certainly got himself an appetite for tries, so much so that he saw an opportunity to take a try from a cheeky grubber kick of Marco’s.
After Marco Violet-Vianello had lost that opportunity to earn that previous try, he decided to piss off the opponents some more. With a few steps, a twirl and some large angry UWL props, Marco was in the try zone.
With a few converted tries from UWL, the score at full time came to 59-21 to IC. A great overall performance from the boys, with our man of the match being Marco Violet-Vianello. A thoroughly deserved W, and I hope that the team can carry this momentum through the training sessions and into the games to make this a good season.