JAMES COLLEGE 27-12 COLLEGE BARBARIANS
Images: Philippa Grafton
College Rugby united today to pay tribute to Charles de Ladoucette, the James player who passed away two years ago. Fittingly, de Ladoucette’s college overcame a College Barbarians XV 27-12 in an entertaining game.
The game began after an impeccably observed minute of silence with James moving onto the front foot. The early exchanges were played mostly in the Ba-bas’ twenty two and it wasn’t long before James winger Phil Scott dived over in the corner. The first half progressed to be a fairly even affair, although the Barbarians rarely threatened their opposition’s try line. Veteran of College Rugby Alex Muntus consolidated James’ advantage by converting a penalty in front of the posts. The lead could have been more when James had a five metre scrum, but some good defence by the Ba-bas produced a turnover.
James did finally add to their total when Ed Pallister barrelled over to reward his side for a good period of dominance just before half time. Ben Brummitt converted in difficult windy conditions to stretch the score line to 15-0.
The Ba-bas made changes at half-time as so many players were eager to make their tribute to de Ladoucette, but this also seemed to have the side effect of making them a more competitive force. Their good start to the second half was characterised by some good hands through the backs which released Tim Ngwena on to a run down the left, calling for some good defending to push the YUSU President into touch. Meanwhile fellow BNOC Sam Asfahani continually made ground for the Ba-bas with some forceful running.
The Barbarians continued to enjoy the Lion’s share of the possession but James showed they were still dangerous when Aaron Rolph stormed through the centre of the pitch, dodging a couple of tackles, but his offload was agonisingly fumbled by Muntus who would have been clear to dive over.
It was very much game on though when Barbarian second row Seb Cowell de Gruchy forced his way over the line, Oscar Wimshurst producing a brilliant kick into the wind to reduce the deficit by a further two points. There were still twenty minutes to play and a comeback looked possible, but James did well to keep their heads and eventually prop Stuart Palmer forced his way over the line to give his team a commanding lead. Not long after Rolph pounced on a Ba-ba knocked on ball just inside his own half and stretched his legs to charge over an unguarded try line.
The Barbarians did manage to get over the try line again to gain some consolation but in truth the result will not have bothered them too much, there were more important things to play for today. Barbarians skipper Freddie Harris was pleased that “it was a great game of Rugby, played in a great spirit for a great guy” meanwhile Gideon Heugh, James captain, spoke of “an awesome occasion for such a great person”.