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OR Rugby

OR Rugby XV beat Medway RFC
21 Sep 2022
26 August 2022
26 August 2022

Old Roffensian Rugby XV v Medway RFC Crusaders XV

They say that patience is a virtue, but, even for St Monica, 91 years is a long time to demonstrate forbearance.  A School 1st XV, captained by Ron Buxton, first locked front-rows with Rochester RFC (as Medway RFC was then known)  in 1931.  Last August, in the 90th anniversary year of the club's foundation, the two sides met again, with the same result, albeit the 8-7 tantalising reverse signalled the determined intentions of the Old Boys' outfit to overturn the historic pre-war defeat.  Playing under floodlights in front of a sizeable crowd, a scratch Old Roffensian team took on a Crusaders XV, the pride of both sides tempered by the opportunity to claim the newly donated Buxton Memorial Trophy.  

The home-side questioned the referee's decision to have uncontested scrums for the first quarter as a cunning ruse to guarantee possession for the young OR three-quarter line and this suspicion was given credence when Archie Keep, outpaced the cover defence, while the Bank Holiday crowd's voice was still untested in the throttle.  However, a converted try by way of a quick riposte confirmed that this was evenly balanced contest with youth and energy versus bulk and guile. With quick ball off of the top of the lineout, the ORs looked to keep the tempo fast, but isolated runners meant that precious possession was pilfered and Miles Johnson had a torrid time tidying. Owen Hewett, provided the games' most memorable moment with an 80-yard dash for the line - his Dad added on ten yards on each post-match re-telling! Thereafter, stout defence was needed with Fred Hawes, Todd Revell and Xavier Smitherman-Cairns.  

Newly capped Roffensians Marcus Sinden and Luke Stringer worked hard at the breakdown, while Barnaby Thomas, belied his years, as he repeatedly tested the Crusaders.  In the front-row Sam Nash rose to the challenge of contested scrums against bearded warriors, while Tiarnan O'Shea reprised his "no quarter given" displays of the past.  A fellow veteran of 2014,  Charlie Medhurst, relieved the pressure with a booming touch-finder to end the half, showing that there is more to his kicking game!

Early second-half pressure from the ORs maintained the lead. Medway threatened as the home side was forced to chase the game and the OR team cleverly tightened up play and demonstrated a well-organized defence.  Alex Yianni kept the Crusaders out, driving his opposite winger into touch to cheers which could probably be heard on the Paddock, and, while Medway's pressure gained a try at the death, the 14-19 Old Roffensian victory was well-deserved and applauded by an appreciative gallery of supporters.  

Post-match, both sides enjoyed Medway RFC's famed hospitality and generous praise from the club's President. A vote of thanks was offered to our hosts, our opponents, the referee, as well as the Old Roffensian Society, which generously funded the players' meal.  It was with great pride that Zabrina Wilton, the OR Chairwoman, presented the trophy to the winning captain, Todd Revell.  

A return match is scheduled for August bank holiday weekend 2023!

Paul Medhurst  (Coach)

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