Saturday 19 January 2002

It might not have been pretty and it certainly wasn’t easy, but we scored two wins out of two against the Crusaders on Saturday to claim the Gareth MacFadyen cup and bragging rights in Roppongi for the next few months.
The Gents, who had gone down 3-0 to the Cru in November, won 18-3 with Thomo scoring 2 tries to highlight a man-of-the-match performance.
The first team cut things rather finer. We had tons of possession and control of almost every phase of the game, but turned the ball over far too often and at half time were down 5-3 – a breakaway try against a penalty from Andy Martyr. (We had had a perfectly good try disallowed and another player held up over the line, though). The second half was tougher yet. The Cru’s defence held up exceptionally against wave after wave and attacks from James Lovegrove, Tim White, Appsy and new players Terry Brink & James Rogers. Just as it seemed another heartbreaker was on the cards, we won a scrum 5m out . . . both Jameses had a go at the line in turn, and then Rich Freeman squeezed over in the corner. Andy converted with the last kick of the game to make it 10-5.
There were great performances all round, but both the new players deserve a particular mention for their contribution. (The Cru chose James Rogers as man-of-the-match). James Lovegrove was his usual immense self and Doogs injected some magic until he had to leave the field injured. It was great to see Andy Martyr back in the side and he kicked immaculately, and Rich Freeman & Tim White both had very good first halves and then did well in unfamiliar roles after Doogs went off. Sadly it was Dougal’s final game at YCAC before he starts a new rugby career in the US – we wish him a safe journey & good luck over there.

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