Jersey Super Vets Tournament
St. Helier, Jersey, The Channel Isles
1st & 2nd October 2016
Penguins win the Wooden Shield!
Guy’s Hospital Penguins attended the Jersey Veterans tournament in St. Helier for the first time with an eclectic but small squad, with the usual plethora of back row players but a dearth of backs and props.
Our first match against Ossett was a wake-up call and we came second. We quickly picked ourselves up to give Guernsey, who would go to be tournament finalists, a good game with some champagne tries scored involving Richard Breeze and Ugo Ekeowa. However, again we came second. A final group game against St Agnes went to the wire after another slow start. Ever consistent, we came second again.
A night of social discourse culminated in a squad meeting in the curry house. Sage discussion took place over sag aloo. This appeared, incomprehensibly, to have exerted a powerful positive effect by Sunday morning. Despite the loss of several players due to injury, we were able to beat New Ask Green in sudden death extra time after the match finished with 4 tries each. It was left to our new flying winger Jamie Jackson to follow a kick and chase and seal victory and thus earn a place in the Wooden Shield competition final.
Moving to the larger first team pitch and being cheered on by a large crowd seemed to help the Penguins (bolstered by several New Ask Green players as some of our team had left for the airport!). The highlight of the final was the staggering pace of Chris Sherwood our flying prop who ran in a sensational try from half way. Shane Roiser also got on the score sheet showing why he is still known as the flying dentist before having to hobble off with a hamstring pulled in the process. Gordon Denslow continued to impress not only with his hooking skills but his footballing ability around the park. Our final try was scored by our guest player Harvey Biljon the Jersey Reds Director of Rugby.
The tour was a great success and all members of the squad are keen to return next year to defend our title or even to progress further in the main competition.
Big Ben Thorpe proudly clutching
the Jersey Veterans Rugby
Tournament 2016 Shield
Back L to R: Ben, Tim, Chris, Ugo, Greg, Big Ben, Kernow Pete, Wayne, Jamie
Front L to R: Charlie, Breezy, Flo, Gordon's Alive, Bundesfresher, Shane
The [oblong, wooden] Shield