The dictum ‘Life is like a box of chocolate… you never know what you gonna get’ was as true for the Ms as it was for Forrest Gump.
The 2019-20 season started as unpredictably as ever, with the team suffering from the departure of the previous senior leadership and a once-in-a-lifetime social ban. Typical of its ‘never say die’ attitude, however, the MMR RFC’s herculean efforts prompted the valiant acquisition of brand-new kit and the recruitment of talented ‘fresh young blood’ to level the playing field.
Unfortunately, still, the MMR RFC witnessed a slow start to the league, recording two early losses against St Hilda’s and The Queen’s College. Wishing to give effect to its founding value of ‘champagne rugby’, the M&Ms decided to ‘turn up for once’, prompting an astounding 73-17 win over LMH/St Hugh’s.
Following a Christmas break solely dedicated to bulking, something about the M&Ms’ attitude had changed. Perhaps, it was the gentle encouragement of training with members of the opposite sex or, perhaps, it was the lack of distractions due to the sudden falling apart of numerous relationships among its ranks. Whatever the reason, the M&Ms’ determination was reflected in an unprecedented league victory against Christ Church and a much-anticipated revenge against Queen’s.
The boys in the maroon and white then set out on their annual Cuppers campaign. After performing a calculated loss to enter into the Bowl section of Cuppers, the M&Ms went on to defeat Exeter with a last-minute try from our very own club President Joshua Navarajasegaran (2016). After-match shandies and the desire to grace the hallowed turf of Iffley with maroon and white blood once again inspired the boys to face Queen’s in the quarter-final. As Warden Tracey’s undying support by the side-line spurred the boys on, the M&Ms looked calm and collected throughout. The attack by Queen’s was relentless but the MMR RFC showcased a defence comparable to that of the Romans against Hannibal. Conor ‘Pitch Painter’ Sheehan (2017), Tobi ‘Clinical’ Clarke (2017) and Callum ‘The Cannon’ Schafer (Mansfield, 2017) scored three decisive tries to secure a sterling 17-5 win, thus sending us onto the semi-final at Iffley against Lincoln.
The M&Ms’ momentum was such that only a global pandemic could stop its advance in Cuppers. And, as a matter of fact, it did. It is hoped, however, that the M&Ms may resume their Napoleonic plans of victory once the situation allows.
Reflecting on this past season, I could not be any prouder of the M&Ms. The boys in maroon and white showed to be true ambassadors of the three core values of ‘champagne rugby’, ‘sustainable banter’ and ‘big socials’. A special mention ought to go to trusted Vice-Captain Robert Power (Mansfield, 2018) for securing the most tries and currently being in negotiations to hire a professional rugby coach, in the hope to guide the M&Ms on to even greater heights.
Looking ahead, the foundations are already in place for a successful year. As the social ban has finally come to an end, I am glad to leave the team in the capable hands of the first-ever Regent’s Captain Max Wormsley (Regent’s, 2019), supported by Vice-Captain Alex Fisher (Mansfield, 2019) and Club President Wick Willett (2017). On behalf of all the departing M&Ms, we wish the club and players the very best of luck going into next season. Forever Standing.
Federico Amodeo (2018)
MMR RFC Captain 2019-20