Rugby: Penguins v Guy's Hospital Present XV (The Scanlan Cup)
Saturday 22nd April 2017
Paul Scanlan played for Guy's 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th XVs from 1984 to 1993 and was a founder member of the Penguins XV.
He was 1st XV Vice-Captain, Student XV Captain and a GHRFC Vice-President.
He qualified in 1989 and was the first of his year to achieve Consultant status, as an orthodontist working in SE London and Kent.
His irrepressible humour, energy and zest for living were tragically curtailed by an acute illness which rapidly took his life.
He remains sorely missed and is remembered by the annual Penguins v Guy's Present XV match played for the Scanlan Cup.
Portrait painting of Paul Scanlan, which hangs currently on the wall of the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent at the entrance
to the Paul Scanlan Orthodontic Suite.
A minute's silence is observed in memory of Paul Scanlan
The 2017 Cup Match Write-Up
It’s 12:30pm, the agreed meet time for anyone playing rugby for the GHRFC current players teams on a Saturday… And sat in the changing room were no more than 10 boys, who had probably had no more than 20 hours sleep between them the previous night. The post-AGM celebrations were still in full flow far less than 12 hours earlier, and this was quite obvious judging by the pallor of our incoming Honorary Secretary’s face. I’d love to tell you that when everyone did eventually turn up, we pulled ourselves together with a well-structured warm-up and an inspiring team talk, but that didn’t happen, but instead a game of what was essentially walking touch with some surprise jogging scattered in there was decided to be a more than adequate preparation to “run around some old farts” (reference removed at request
It turns out we were wrong. Last year the Penguins were better than us, and this year the Penguins were better than us. Top flight rugby has recently seen the “no ruck formed” tactic used by a number of teams to try to confuse and disrupt the opposition’s attack. Our forwards appeared to be adopting a slightly adjusted version of this tactic in the first half, which involved joining the ruck and then not actually pushing
at all. Whilst I’m sure this managed to confuse the Penguins, it, as you might expect, did not disrupt them one bit, and what followed was some annoyingly decent flair from the old boys, which led to them accumulating what I can only remember as “an awful lot of tries” quite early on.
Captain Fred Green and Vice-Captain James White quickly decided they had had enough of this, and agreed it was probably time to mount a comeback, with a good offload from White to put Fred in from 5 metres out. That was the end of our comeback.
As I’m writing this report, I’m trying to remember all of the noteworthy play that the 2nd team did throughout this game, but actually, there was very little to report indeed. I would argue that Al MacFarlane’s trademark “through the legs bounce pass switch” is actually one of the most flair bits of rugby you could possibly imagine at this standard, however this was met with the highest level of disapproval from the more senior supporters. So we decided to try and show it to them again, only to hear something to the tune of “what the hell was that rubbish” from Prof. Challacombe on the side-lines. It’s probably therefore a good job Al will be leaving us this summer. What followed was another stream of tries from the Penguins, the only one of which I can recall was actually quite a tasty cross-field kick, collected mid-air over the try line by the Penguin’s left winger.
In the final play, Green managed to accidentally execute the most underwhelming snipe from 5 metres out to claim his second try, much to the delight of his family on the side-line. To all the current players who met my parents that afternoon, I hope you told my dad that I normally score all our tries.
Captain of Guy's Present XV
For the record: The final score, according to the referee, John Mendonca, was 56-12 in favour of the Penguins, which means that the Penguins retain the Scanlan Cup for another year.
GHRFC Summer Ball
22nd April 2017 Central London
The Scanlan Cup match was followed by the Guys Hospital RFC Summer Ball in Central London.