Penguins v Freshers XV Rugby
Honor Oak Park Playing Fields
Saturday 21st November 2015
The skirl of bagpipes echoed mournfully across a mist shrouded Honor Oak Park, well not really. It was a clear, bright autumn day with a chill wind blowing strongly. Ben Thorpe, the new Penguins Captain had efficiently marshalled a formidable flock of mature Penguins, to take on the Freshers, imbued as ever with the seemingly unquenchable optimism of youth. It was fast and physical from the off. Benedict Murphy and Gary Chan continually posing problems for the Penguins, whilst the older team's forward strength gave them an early advantage. Rauri Hadlington and Bryan Joseph both crossed for early tries, but then the Freshers hit back through Henry Poon. Rather surprisingly Charlie Beardmore received the ball, clearly having indicated that it should be given to someone more nimble, and was able to generate sufficient momentum, almost solely through mass, to score.
The Penguins' tactic of commencing the game with no-one on the bench resulted in a degree of fatigue setting in late in the first half but luckily Ben Challacombe and Nick Gibbins appeared, in the nick of time, pardon the pun Ben scored another Penguine try, which seemd to stir the Freshers. In quick succession Alex Faizal Jewkes, Gary Chan and Ehigie Osebor hit back. The game remained finely balanced for most of the second half, until Chris Howell, the King Penguin, entered the fray. Having played for Guy's Hospital RFC since before any of the parents of the Freshers XV were born, his physical presence and moral authority ensured the Peguins would prevail.
Final score 36 - 22 to the Penguins. A deserved victory despite brave resistance from the Freshers. Thanks to Jon de Mendonca for intelligent refereeing.