In the aftermath of this weekend’s college rugby tournament, I was left wondering why the vast majority of the student population dislike the Derwent squad. It’s not even as though there’s a vague disdain for the team, there is definite hatred throughout the other colleges for the boys in blue.Other colleges have fairly amicable relationships – James get on fairly well with Alcuin due to the issues with facilities and training that they’ve both had in the past. Vanbrugh and Halifax, I’m told, are generally quite nice guys and Langwith don’t win anything so they stay quiet and approachable.

Watching the matches, it became fairly clear why Derwent have the anti-fan base that they do. From a spectator’s point of view, the other colleges play much more exciting, eye catching rugby. Halifax and James have players who can inject pace into the game at any moment and look to be always on their toes. Derwent on the other hand just seem to throw their weight around and get stroppy when things don’t go their way, which incidentally occurred often in the 10’s tournament this Saturday.

Midway through the tournament, Derwent had one of their games cancelled after a fight broke out with rival college Alcuin. The referee was quoted as saying “I’m not here to officiate a boxing match”. Also emerging from the fight was the recommendation from the official that Derwent captain Joe Rankin “never plays competitive rugby again” due to his unsportsmanlike conduct.In other news, comedy moment of the tournament came during Derwent’s confrontation with Halifax, when the Halifax try scorer took the option of standing behind the posts waiting for Derwent to make a tackle attempt before putting the ball down in triumph. Of course, the try scorer got an unnecessarily swift slap on the back from Dan “menergy” Taylor for his efforts.

Due to Derwent, and more specifically Dan Taylor’s recent affiliation with the Powerthirst energy drink parodies coupled with lack of “winning at everything forever”, especially in rugby, I feel I should rename the blog as the reputation of Powerthirst has been tarnished. From here on in, Preposterone is no more. New name to follow next time.


In light of the recent controversy over whether women’s meetings should be open to male students, I believe this is a terrific opportunity to get a Men’s Committee going under the radar.Think of the possibilities – men could gather exclusively and do manly things, like reading FHM whilst doing push ups with one arm and drinking a pint with the other. Men would have a place where women would not be allowed. They’d be able to counter today’s metrosexual, gender-equality based society. They’d be able to reclaim some pride after losing out to women everywhere else.

The gymnasium, once a festival of testosterone – has lost it’s status as a manly place since the recent takeover by girls looking to shed that extra pound by dossing around on a cross trainer for twenty minutes. Even the mens’ toilets in Ziggy’s are overrun by the lady types on a typical Wednesday night.

Give the men a place on campus where they can have phone conversations that last less than three minutes. Give them a Men’s Committee.If on reading this you think that the whole idea is ridiculous – you’d be right. Any hint of a formation of a significant mens only committee on campus would be under fire immediately. It would be shunned for being sexist, misogynist and backward thinking.

In which case, why was there such a fracas over the Women’s Committee vote this year? Those campaigning for a women only committee had circulated frankly offensive notes around campus suggesting that all men are rapists – a claim that is both ridiculous and irrelevant to the motion in question. Much like the posters condemning the male populous of YUSU presidents in fact. I very much doubt that in her early years, Margaret Thatcher threw a tantrum and told her colleagues that she didn’t want any men in her meetings.

Women aren’t the introverted, weak characters that they once were perceived as being back in the 1800’s. For those against the motion to attempt to block men from entering Women’s Committee meetings is simply reactionary and unacceptable in today’s society, and this has been seconded by the student population on campus.


The world of sport took a pedantic and unnecessary turn recently when Oscar Pistorius was disallowed entry into the Beijing Olympic Games because, according to a scientific study – he had an advantage over able bodied competitors.

Somehow I don’t think that Pistorius sees having no limbs below the knee as an advantage. If instead of carbon prosthetics he was wearing rocket powered hover legs, or perhaps tied himself to a small hyena then I would freely admit that he had quite the leg up (excuse the pun), after all the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) have banned the use of any outside interference from wheels, springs and wild animals. That’s fair enough, but the South Africans’ “blades” are designed to replicate the power transfer of an actual leg without the use of springs or wheels. They are designed to level the playing field for athletes like Pistorius who are less able bodied.

The reasoning given in the scientific study into whether the “blade runner” gained an advantage was that when sprinting, he used up less energy and produced less lactic acid. I’m not sure about you, but surely common sense should kick in a little here. The man burns 25% less energy and produces 20% less lactic acid because he’s got no legs. He’s 25% less person than able bodied athletes. It’s not even as though he’s actually gaining wild advantages over the able bodied field – his 46.34s Paralympic World Record in the 400m is still slower than many of the able bodied athletes competing in Beijing.

It seems to me as though the IAAF are trying to save themselves the apparent embarrassment of having an amputee compete at the able bodied Olympic games, given that he has a realistic chance of beating some of the other athletes. A man with blades for feet should be the last thing on the minds of the IAAF in light of the recent Marion Jones scandal. Let the man compete.

On a side note, for anyone wondering about preposterone and what in the blue hell it actually means – check out Powerthirst on Youtube.


  1. wow, that piece about derwent wasn’t even a little bit biased, unfair or down right stupid.

    firstly, despite the in-match fight, we (derwent) invited any of the other college teams to come and have a few drinks with us in derwent bar and a number of the alcuin boys came down and did just that, getting just fine thanks.

    secondly, so what if we play a forwards based game? surely thats up to us? other colleges played to the strengths they had in their backs, with injuries to our first choice 9 and 10 in the week before the tournament it made sense for us to keep the ball in the pack. pretty silly reason to “hate” a team.

    third point, the alcuin fight was not started by us. unless i’m mistaken running 10 yards to vicously stamp on an opponent is not part of the game, and then to spit the dummy out at the next tackle and start on someone on the floor is pretty flamatory. but this was dealt with by both teams, just wanting you to get your facts right.

    yes, i agree, dan can be a bit of a cock, but i’m sure even olly would admit he was being a bit cheeky, and even so they shook hands literally seconds later.

    i think a better name for what you’ve written would be “Why Criss Noice hates Derwent Rugby Based on Criss’s biased and unobjective view of events”

    i hope this defence of our team can be viewed as what it is, a response to some accusations and claims that i thought to be unfair – and not just another reason to “hate” derwent rugby.

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  2. Ohh dear, you’ve got a lot very wrong here.

    Derwent may not play high-paced, flash back’s rugby – partly as we lost both our 10 and 9 just days before the tournament (in the case of our 9, the night before the tournament), these being two of our outstanding players.
    Our game is certainly suited to 15’s rugby. But we play a lot more than just ‘throwing our weight around’. Yes, we have big, strong forwards – but our forwards play technically good rugby. We retain ball in the contact area, have good set-piece play and work bloody hard as any team will testify.

    We probably aren’t best suited to 10 a-side rugby; but just because you are too inept to realise this Chris, shouldn’t excuse you from writing such a stupid and just plain wrong article for Nouse.

    To clear up many of your stupid assertions:
    The official – Harrington – from the Alcuin game did not recommend I never play rugby again. I don’t think anyone who has ever touched a rugby ball would be stupid enough to make such a demand.

    My ‘unsportsman-like’ conduct? Stepping in to defend a player who was on the floor in the middle of the angry aftermath which resulted from a high tackle he made. This was not uncalled for, not unprovoked; it was a captain stepping up to defend his players. I have apologised for apparently hitting two Alcuin players though. I had no intention however to hit anyone – I couldn’t even see what was going on; such was the mess of the situation…
    And I’m sure the same can be said for whoever it was that hit me during this altercation; something I’ve said nothing about and made no fuss over.

    How about we look at what sparked the trouble in the match Chris? Something your so very accurate piece fails to do.
    I’m sure you were right not to even mention the unprovoked, appalling stamping incident – from an Alcuin player no less – that preceded this bust up and brought the game down a level?

    What I find most amusing, however, is your quality research and just outstanding knowledge of college rugby. Evidently, with your finger clearly on the pulse, you will know that – while tempers may have initially flared – both sides shook hands and tried to leave what happened on the pitch, actually on the pitch. For example, quite a few of Alcuin’s team shared a few drinks later that evening with us in Derwent Bar. How odd that such a thing could happen in the very bar of the most hated team!

    Moreover Chris, you will surely also know that I have since personally spoken to Alcuin’s captain and other committee members, offered both Derwent’s and my own apologise for all that happened in our game, and seemingly miraculously solved this hate between our college teams! Shockingly, their captain has even said “it was just one of them things” and offered his apologise as well! He’s even talking about working WITH Derwent and James on a college barbarian’s team… But having read your profound article, I very much doubt that could ever happen what with all this hate for Derwent!

    So, Chris – in all your rugby wisdom and fine journalistic talent – do you have any response to make? Perhaps an explanation to your editor, regarding just how you got it so wrong and wrote what could be described as the biggest load of b*ll*cks ever. No wonder Vision win the awards around here.

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  3. Criss this is a horrifically misinformed misrepresentation of what happened at the tournament. Having been an organiser who wasn’t playing on the day I was naturally in the middle of the disagreement that happened during the Derwent – Alcuin match. Having spoken to both teams after the incident once both teams had calmed down, it was quite clear that, as is often the case in Rugby, the spirit was left amiable between the two sets of players and they agreed “to leave it on the pitch” – something which other sports could learn from. As reported already on here by the other comments (obviously not yours) some of the Alcuin team came to Derwent (having been invited after the game) and had a drink and a laugh with the Derwent squad. I now realise why Nouse cannot risk leaving the YUSU umbrella and follow in the footsteps of the Yorker, as with irresponsible, inaccurate, moronic contributors like you writing for them they would be bankrupt in an instant with the heavy flow of lawsuits rampaging in their direction. I wonder how Raf would feel if he knew just how poorly you did your job – but then again if this isn’t your first piece maybe he already does.

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  4. I fully expected this level of response from the Derwent players. The opinions put forward in this blog are just that – opinions. When I wrote previously about starting a men’s committee, that was a satirical opinion that was based around comment from the student population.

    When watching the college rugby on Saturday, I was made aware of a dislike of the Derwent squad from many of the teams on the sidelines for whatever reasons. Possibly one of the reasons for this was a member of the Derwent team advising another squad via facebook that they were going to “tear them a new arsehole”.

    Either way, the views expressed within are not meant to be taken seriously. Everything I write in this blog is a caricature of events based on opinion from those surrounding myself at the time. It is meant to be taken with a pinch of salt and I apologise sincerely if any member of Derwent has been offended.

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  5. You, sir, should never be allowed to write another article. Ever.

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  6. A feable excuse for a piece of journalistic crap.

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  7. I feel that I have no further need to comment on this issue. The intention of this blog has always been to create a level of controversy amongst the readers and that has been accomplished. I do however, see justification for changing the name of this blog entry. Hate is a strong word.

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  8. Just as a P.O.I- I ran threatngly towards the Halifax try-scorer when he was messing about, gave him a few words, then walked up to him, patted him on the back, shook his hand, said well done and we had a chat afterwards on the sideline.

    Literally, the biggest load of journalistic crap I have ever read from no-use. Maybe you should partake in the college tournament next time. Or even et a Nouse team together. I’m sure they’d be better like than Derwent…

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  9. I personally think that Criss Noice is pathetic. This article was basically written to gain him some publicity and get people talking about this ‘controversial’ blog. Yet, this has failed to really happen…5 people have spoken about it all saying how the facts weren’t right!

    Also, you say you were there Criss, but were you actually watching the match. I dont condone violence, espeically on a college sport pitch, but if Joe Rankin should be “banned from rugby for life” then so should the player who saw it necesary to stamp on the Derwent Prop lying on the floor, AWAY from the ruck (much worse than a little handbags!!). Additionally Joe got hit himself, but he realised it was in the heat of the moment and therefore did not feel the need to ‘persecute’ the person responsible.

    Criss you have a very mis-informed view. Just because you hate Derwent doesnt mean the rest of the teams did. James and Alcuin went to Derwent bar for drinks afterwards (like they did after the 15 a-side tournament). Derwent James and Alcuin have built up a relationship with each one respecting the other…ill feeling is left on the pitch and we all get on off it!

    Moreover, questioning the Derwent tactics makes you seem like someone that knows little about rugby. THe game is about playing to your strengths, look at England in the world cup, hardly an inspiring running game. If you have big forwards keep it in the forwards, if you have big backs, keep it in the backs…obvious isnt it?! The proof of this lies in the fact that Derwent are more of a 15s team rather than a 10s team, shown by their victory last term!

    I would have to agree with ‘JACK’ for your anti-Derwent bias, why is this?? you have failed to answer that question throughout your article and posts??

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  10. I think Criss had just picked up on a certain air of anti- Derwent support, which was clearly present at the tournament, on the side of the field opposite to the large contingent of Derwent support (complete with megaphone), which was good to see. People can’t have helped but notice that most supporters were cheering on which ever team was playing Derwent. The Derwent players should take this as a compliment, as everyone loves the underdog, which is why I supported the likes of Goodricke and Langwith over Derwent- they needed all the help they could get.

    Like it or not, Derwent were one of the three teams other colleges were keen to beat (the other two being VII’s James and surprise- package Halifax). It’s fair to say that after the successful XVs tournament last term, both Alcuin and James were out of revenge, not because of any individual involved, but to regain some pride and honour.

    People who have commented saying that it makes sense for Derwent to play a forward’s game are correct, playing to your strengths as a squad is crucial to winning in any sport, espeically rugby. This isn’t what Criss took exception to, however, merely that the slow, grinding build up play of forward’s rugby is less interesting to watch than the quick, cutting back’s rugby. Fair point, I’d say.

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  11. Will, I very much agree that every team should play to it’s strengths. I also agree that Derwent are a much better 15’s team than they are a 10’s team. However, in terms of a spectators point of view – I hope you will agree that breaking runs for tries are potentially more exciting than a dogged forwards game, however competent it may be.

    The “banned for life” comment is not something that I said personally, it was something being discussed by officials that was overheard so I can’t take any direct responsibility for that.

    I have said previously that I do not personally hate Derwent, it’s playing style or any of it’s players specifically. The idea for the blog came throughout the afternoon when several of the players and spectators on the touchline remarked on how they were not fans of Derwent, but everyone else was ok.

    I admit that if I were on the other side of the pitch where a different set of players and spectators were residing, the opinion put forward in the blog would probably have been different. The title of the blog itself came from a James College player asking another player “Why does everyone hate Derwent so much?”. Again, these are his views not mine.

    I will say once more that what I say in the blog is for entertainment purposes only and is not to be taken seriously.

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  12. Just out of interest, which college actually won the tournament?

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  13. James College won the tournament

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  14. We don’t mind if people dislike our rugby style; which we were somewhat forced to turn to after loosing our excellent 10 (who could easily play uni level)a few days before, and our 9 the night before the tournament.

    Criss’s criticisms of Derwent’s style of play is not what most people, including my self have complaint with.

    It’s his incorrect, biased and quite offensive personal attack on Derwent players and the way he he totally misrepresents events.

    If Nouse aims for the higher quality side of journalism, why does it put out things like this nonesense?

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  15. OMG Flame War!

    Seriously though it’s a blog not a sports report, and a very entertaining one.

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  16. 4 Mar ’08 at 6:44 pm

    Andrew Whittingham

    “Other colleges have fairly amicable relationships”

    Very true I’m sure but there was certainly no animosity between Alcuin, James and Derwent when the three teams were sat in the bar afterwards. Nor was there any animosity between the (stand-in) captain of Derwent and the Langwith captain during their game when it was suggested that the two teams meet up for a drink after the tournament. If ever there were grounds for animosity it would surely be after a physical 0-0 draw between possibly the two biggest rival colleges on campus.

    “Derwent had one of their games cancelled”

    Correct. Alcuin also had their game abandoned. The referee made the correct decision to abandon it as tempers frayed, which is regrettably sometimes part of rugby. Immediately after the abandonment the majority of both teams shook hands, and apologies from both sides were made.

    There appears to be a great deal of selective journalism. Yes, Dan Taylor showed commitment (to what proved to be a lost cause against Halifax) when chasing down their player. Again, you appear to have overlooked the fact that the two players shook hand immediately. I’m not sure what’s worse – a biased journalist or one that is ignorant of the topic on which they are reporting.

    Might I suggest that, any journalist worth their salt, wouldn’t go around collecting quotations for their scoop from peoples’ facebook profiles but research their topic (in this instance rugby) more thoroughly.

    Even more importantly:

    “I feel that I have no further need to comment on this issue.”

    Absolutely incorrect. As far as I can recall, the newspaper under whose guise you are reporting was supporting the idea that people be held account for their actions in the most recent events. Therefore, having written, not independently but as an associate of a student union newspaper you should absolutely be held to account for such libellous comments such as the “banned for life” comment.

    “The “banned for life” comment is not something that I said personally, it was something being discussed by officials that was overheard so I can’t take any direct responsibility for that.”

    If you can’t take any direct responsibility for that comment you unequivocally do not write it in the public domain under your name or any other name/society. In the real world this could end up in court.

    As for the wave of anti-Derwent support, so be it. I think you’ll find that other teams were cheering when Halifax were beaten. In previous tournaments James came to drink in Derwent after the XVs tournament with no animosity and both James and Alcuin came this time with the same effect. The crux of your argument that “the vast majority of the student population dislike the Derwent squad” is frankly nonsense. The vast majority of the student population couldn’t care less about a small one-day tournament, and arguably, out of those that attended the event many were ambivalent towards Derwent.

    Oh, and ‘Miles’ I agree with you wholeheartedly – it’s not the most exciting style of rugby but it was our best chance of winning!

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  17. Firstly, the fact that derwent left the incident on the pitch or not is irrelevant. The fact is that it shouldnt have occured in the first place. It gives a bad impression on an otherwise great day. Derwent aswell as Alcuin should admit there mistakes and not try and shift the blame! Everytime that there are arguments against starting a college league next year, this is certainly going to add bulk to their argument.

    Secondly, yes there is anti derwent feeling whether you’ve noticed it or not. Teams love to beat Derwent not cos of their supposed brilliance but because of their arrogance towards any other team. Its good that the players can all go for a drink which i enjoy aswell. We all get on but there will always be that stigma around beating derwent at a rugby event because you bring it on yourself. I think that was what Criss was reporting on, everyone at the event loved it when another team scored against derwent!

    Thirdly, I dont think Criss once mentioned that derwent played crap rugby, he just commented that it wasnt as exciting as james or halifax. Which is obviously the case when you play a forwards game as opposed to a backs game. However there were elements of derwent getting stoppy however you try and pretend that there wasnt in your defence or not. Derwent should behave more on the pitch, fact!

    Fourthly, stop going on about losing your no. 9 or 10, not a single team had its first squad. James had lost one of there best tacklers in the forwards and also one of our best backs due to OTC! James played to their strengths. If derwent had played a better forwards game then perhaps they wouldnt have ended up fourth. Alcuin didn’t have a game plan or special talents in any department as far as i could see and they still came out above you.

    Derwent should stop moaning about this article just because the truth hurts. Derwent play agressive, (attempted) intimidating rugby, and it failed on the day. Everyone had injuries, and yes people dont like derwent.

    One last thing, all your entries and compliants about this article show your arrogance about your team. You were beaten by better players, get over it.

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  18. Firstly, I am sure that most people would agree that on the day, better teams beat Derwent. And congratulations to them, I am sure it will only mean that Derwent will come together and aim for greater success next time!

    Secondly, I’m beginning to get pissed off with this whole debate. Continuing this is only going to keep making people flame up about it from one direction or another. Yes, the whole ‘Alcuin thing’ probably shouldn’t have happened, but shit does sometimes happen…and to continue to talk about who did what, who’s fault etc after it’s all been settled and done with, really isn’t going to help college rugby any more than the incident itself. If anything, for me it is detracting even more from what was a nice day with some good fun had by all.

    Thirdly, I think what you percieve as arrogance is probably what would be more accurately described as confident good natured banter, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Banter like that is always going to happen before and during this sort of fixture, all part of the act. So I believe I will end by saying: Get over it, feel free to disagree with anything i’ve said, but lets look forward to the next tournament and future fun to be had shall we?!

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  19. A team’s reputation is being unfairly judged because of the actions of a few “high-profile” individuals within that team.

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  20. I can’t wait for next term!

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  21. This is what happens when you let footballers play rugby- complete lack of professionalism; exact same reason there were so many injuries.

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  22. Well thats clearly utter bollocks. Not one of our forwards was a footballer and from what I can recall, only 2 of our starting 10 are footballers. Neither were involved in the Alcuin altracation. I think you’ll find it was the Langwith team that was full of fotballers- not Derwent or indeed Alcuin.

    We played a hard but fair game of Rugby. If nobody does like us (which is frankly not true) then who gives? We are proud of the fact that everything that wen on on the pitch, stayed on the pitch. James and Alcuin came back to our bar for some beverages and all teams shook hands and gave three-cheers for the other team after the match.

    This is an article from an individual who clearly has no knowledge of Rugby and judging by his use of grammar/punctuation and wording of his excuse for an article, clearly not much better at writing for our uni rag.

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  23. As a “footballer” I disagree, what’s that based on exactly? The two derwent players mentioned in the article are definitely not footballers.

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  24. Even if it is left on the pitch the fracas in question still showed a complete lack of professionalism. Even if this is amateur rugby, you still expect players to maintain a degree of control and respect.

    The injuries throughout the tournament and the nature of the fight are something you rarely see from those who take their rugby a little more seriously. Seems like everyone got a little overexcited!

    To refine my last point then; the typical footballers’ attitude has no place in rugby. I’ll leave it up to you if you believe that it was present for the tournament, although I’m sure Dan Taylor will have plenty more to say on the subject…

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  25. I have no knowledge of the injuries sustained and therefore can’t comment on whether they were ‘footballers’ injuries or ‘professional Rugby players’ injuries. All I do know, is that in any aport where people care, tempers flare and that is part and parcel of that. An awful lot more fights that inflict physical damage occur on the Rugby pitch, more often than the football pitch- just look at the number of players who are cited for hitting/headbutting etc.

    This is not what this debate is about and I don’t believe the attitide of ‘footballers’ was present throughout the tournament having played against every college (miunus Alcuin) and drank with other colleges afterwards. My biggest concern is with the complete lack of truth in this article. I patted someone on the back and congratulated him scoring his try, all be it after ‘hurrying him up’ before hand. After this, I shook his hand and we spoke on the touchline!

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  26. Jesus Christ it’s only a game.

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  27. Wow, Dan Taylor loves moaning about everything…all the time. And I thought he was “taking a break from University politics” to watch videos on RedTube.

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