each year the LBS Rugby Club hosts its tournament. Teams from all over Europe and the US come to London for a 2 day tournament. This is the major Rugby event for European MBA schools ahead of the tournament at Duke in North Carolina in April.
To give you an idea, please find below the match report by the team's captain Minicab (Minicab? ok, that is a nickname, but you will have to get here and join the club to find out more ;-)
Match Report 15 February 2009
Final Result - LBS 31 d Harvard 5
Minicab's Match Report
With the LBS Rugby Challenge being reduced to just 2 matches in the men's tournament (LBS Blue vs Harvard A and LBS Red vs Harvard B) the most important thing was that we were playing against the team which we were most eager to play. So the match that we had all been waiting for had finally come ... Harvard vs. LBS in the LBS Rugby Challenge. Harvard always bring across a strong and physical team and this year was no exception. But LBS knew they had a squad of players capable of gaining revenge on the big defeat inflicted in the same fixture last year and went into the match full of confidence.
The game started positively with the forwards working very effectively as a pack. They provided excellent ball for the backs, always going forward and the backs capitalised on this strong platform through strong runs by Sanchez at fly half and smart rugby from Alex at 12. It didn't take long for us to cross. After some excellent scrummaging by the piggies in the Harvard 22, and a couple of good phases we were able to open up the Harvard defense to create the extra man out wide to allow Haggis to cross for a try on the sideline. One thing our team has not had all year has been a good kicker but Alex changed that by slotting the conversion from the sideline. LBS 7 - Harvard 0. Determined to keep up the pressure on Harvard we immediately settled back into our rhythm. Harvard were struggling to get any real possession and when they did LBS were always outnumbering them at the breakdown consistently turning over the ball. And with the majority of possession and territory it was not long before we crossed for another try with Sanchez breaking through the Harvard line to cross under the posts. LBS 14 - Harvard 0.
The remainder of the half, Harvard really stepped it up and we were camped on our try line for an extended period, defending a Harvard team desperate to score some points. Our defense was extremely solid but the ref continued to penalise us at the breakdown. After a warning it was Compass who was shown the yellow card for slowing down the ball. Still camped on our try line with only 14 men Harvard just didn't have enough creativity to cross the solid LBS defense. We finally managed to get the ball and kick it back into Harvard's half. It was courageous defending for that period and heart breaking for Harvard who just couldn't find a way to cross the try line. We were able to go into the break leading 14-0.
In the second half, we were keen to play a very similar game plan which had proved very effective in the 1st half. The piggies continued to completely outmuscle the Harvard team who were relying solely on their captain for inspiration. But LBS knew he was the only danger and kept him at bay for the match. As we grew in confidence our offloading at contact proved very effective although we did throw the extra pass too often resulting in too many turnovers. But we had the upper hand and continued strong work by the piggies, with strong running from Chris and Hoover close to the line provided the perfect platform for Compass to cross for his first of two tries. This was after Babybel had also been sent to the sin bin for repeated infringements and our team down to 13 men at one stage. But despite the number advantage Harvard were unable to capitalise.
With 15 players back on the pitch and LBS in full control, victory was in sight. But we really wanted to rub it in Harvard. So we kept attacking the Harvard defense which to their credit did not stop tackling all match. But strong support play enabled us to either recycle the ball quickly or offload the ball in the contact. We were making easy yards. And the sustained pressure paid off when Alex charged down a Harvard kick for Sanchez to pounce on the bouncing ball to score under the posts. LBS 26 - Harvard 0. Whilst we were determined to keep the score to nil, it was a soft try that Harvard scored when they charged down a kick. But if that is the only way they can score a try against us then we can be hugely satisfied with the strength of our defense. LBS 26 - Harvard 5.
With only 5 or so minutes to play, we really wanted to finish the stronger team. Camped in the Harvard 22 Compass was able to cross for another deserved try to seal a comprehensive victory for LBS and our first LBS Rugby Challenge victory. The win showed how far we have come this season and if we continue to progress as we have to date we are going to be a very tough outfit at Duke.
Final Score: LBS 31 d. Harvard 5
Off the field report
Harvard d. LBS!! The first boat race was a draw despite copious amounts of spillage from the Harvard team. Unfortunately they got us in the replay!!
Yellow Jersey (man of the match)
Jay - the entire forward pack had a massive game and provided a great platform for the backs to attack. But Jay continued his strong form with another huge match making plenty of big hits and a couple of strong runs.
Ref's Player of the Match and Honourable Mentions
"Johnny Wilkinson" Sanchez - absolutely ripped up the Harvard backline scoring 2 deserved tries
Alex Loudon - special mention to Alex for his huge game despite having a tear in his ear for the majority of the match. His composure at inside centre provided great support for Sanchez and his contribution with the boot proved far too much for the Harvard team
Compass - I don't know how he does it but Compass keeps popping up at the right time to score vital tries. He crossed for another 2 and led the forward pack with plenty of big runs
Other Honourable Mentions
The entire team
First Try for the Club
Ferris Memorial Ladies Touch Jersey
Waldo - for his huge contribution to the LBS Women's tournament win!! I say no more ...
Congratulations on everyone's effort yesterday. It showed just how strong our squad is this year and if we continue to put in the big work at training we are going to have very competitive outfits at Duke!!
Compass, Minicab, Greenwich and Viagra