2006 – 2007
Captain: Duncan Knox
Vice Captain: Richard Lewin
Secretary: Vishal Mashru
RUGBY FOOTBALL REPORT
Queen’s could not have imagined a better start than the one experienced this season. A pre-season “friendly” was arranged against the Hall, reigning Cuppers champions. Expectations could not have been high, given Queen’s beginning the season in the third division. However, an inspired display of flair and passion led to a 22-17 victory. This was the first time Queen’s had beaten the Hall for 27 years and the feat was made all the more impressive by the fact that Queen’s managed to field 28 players during the game. The future looked bright with some gifted freshers having shown themselves in this game, including P. Wills who scored two tries in the dying minutes to clinch the match.
Unfortunately, Queen’s could not carry the same form into the league, winning just one of the first three games. All were close but something needed to be done. The Blues’ centre, J. O’Connor, was brought in to coach the team. His experience and the team’s hard work at the training ground led to successive victories over Jesus and Oriel. Three teams tied for the last promotion place, but Queen’s clinched it with a better head-to-head record with the other teams. This could not have been achieved without the impressive marshalling of the forwards by R. Lewin, the vice-captain, and T. Banyard’s superb displays in the second row.
Queen’s did not fare so well in the second division. Match days were changed due to the promotion and this resulted in the unavailability of several key players, most notably R. Hoose, whose dynamism proved so important to the Queen’s pack during his time at Queen’s. The team also suffered a host of injuries over a short period of time: J. Gladwyn, D. Jones, P. Harding, A. Ruia and R. Rymkiewicz were all lost for the remainder of the season. Despite these setbacks, Queen’s put on a magnificent performance against St Peter’s, last year’s double league winners. Queen’s started with fourteen men, surrendered a five point advantage for uncontested scrums, and then produced eighty minutes of outstanding back-play. The running of R. Zakaria and P. Wills impressed while J. Strachan dictated the play with aplomb as he did all season long. Many felt that the 27-34 defeat was unjust.
Queen’s Cuppers campaign was short-lived for the same reasons, but a strong team was raised for the Old Boys’ game that showed a strong desire to overturn last year’s defeat. R. Roberts’ Old Boys’ turned up with a “heghty” pack, but Queen’s quickly realised that the best tactic was to give the ball to wingers P. Wills and K. O’Donnell and let them outrun their opposite men. The result was a pleasing 50-17 victory.
Trinity Term brought with it the opportunity for Queen’s to fortify their position as the University’s best mixed touch sevens side. This was duly achieved in the most impressive fashion to date with Queen’s annihilating every team that they faced. This made Queen’s the winners of the first four tournaments of this category. J. Barrett and K. O’Donnell were the tournament’s top try scorers, an achievement which indicates just how great Queen’s dominance was. Hopefully, J. Strachan and L. Jones, next year’s captain and vice-captain respectively, will be able to carry this form into the “contact” version of the game.