Sports: Report - Men's Rugby 2018/19

MMRFC Old Boys game 2019 © Callum Schafer (Mansfield, 2017)

In a season of highs and lows the M&Ms rugby team struggled to reach their potential.

In a promising start to the season the M&Ms began with a tight 16-15 win against a strong Oriel side, which was quickly followed up with a resounding victory over Queen’s. Buoyed by early success and with the fabled Division 3 in our sights, the boys travelled to Pembroke knowing a win would put them on the brink of promotion. A valiant effort but to no avail as Pembroke ran out comfortable winners.

It was back to the drawing board and following countless hours of training in all weather, the M&Ms returned in Hilary determined to build on the successes of Michaelmas term. Sadly, it was not meant to be as – hit by injury and illness – the winless run extended through much of the term. Nevertheless, there were some gritty performances in the face of adversity. Most notably in an inaugural fixture against Oxford Brookes’ 3rd XV which saw an undermanned M&Ms side fight to make Brookes work hard in what they might have thought to be a straightforward fixture.

Following the end of the regular season, the boys in maroon and white looked ahead to the Old Boys’ game and Cuppers hopeful of returning to Iffley for a third time in as many years. In an unforeseen turn of events, our second-round Cuppers fixture was scheduled for the same day as the Old Boys’ game, seemingly dashing all hopes of progression. Days of negotiation ensued, eventually leading to the fixture being rescheduled for the day after the Old Boys’ game. Far from ideal, but a glimmer of hope for the M&Ms.

The weekend of reckoning arrived, and we began on the Saturday with a tight and entertaining affair against the Old Boys. It was a high-scoring game with much of the MMRFC’s characteristic champagne rugby on show, the current boys eventually running out winners. Tired and sore the M&Ms rose again on the Sunday to face Lincoln. In the end this would turn out to be a bridge too far, bringing to an end the 15-a-side season.

Elsewhere in M&Ms rugby, mixed touch rugby Cuppers saw the team narrowly miss out on a semi-final place, following a contentiously disallowed try in our final pool fixture. Furthermore, we are delighted to announce the unification of MMRFC with Regent’s Park College, a bond we hope will lead to future success for the M&Ms.

As we say farewell to many of the M&Ms stalwarts of recent years, we look forward to a season of rebuilding and growth. Recruitment will be key come Michaelmas and I have no doubt that in the capable hands of newly appointed Captain Federico Amodeo (2018), and with the support of Vice- Captain Robert Power (Mansfield, 2018) and club President Joshua Navarajasegaran (2016), the M&Ms can look forward to every success in the future.

Callum Schafer (Mansfield, 2017)
MMRFC President 2018/19