Blues 30 – 14 Warwick 10/10/2018

Tries: Maciek Peplinski x2, Seb Talbot, Conor Williets, Edward Harris, Felix Rathbone 
Cons: Conor Williets x3

The long summer months were over; the players’ rigs gone after a pre-season tour to Budapest, their hair just about recovered from Varsity, and we were raring to go. The Blues were hosting newly promoted side Warwick in Uni Parks, and looking for revenge after they had beaten the Maroons in the Midlands 1A Cup Final at the end of last season, on the very same ground no less.

The day started as it always does, with Conor Williets turning up late. It seems that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but at least he had taken off his infamous orange jumper for once, or at least hidden it under his other stash. After a short warmup we took to the field in the new kit from last season – shoutout to Dick Nodds for sorting this out for us.

We began with 5 or 6 successive defensive sets which ended with us conceding through the middle from a scrum, but from there we turned it around, keeping it simple and earning the right for the rest of the half. Despite having 10 minutes of play in their half we couldn’t score, but this was mostly down to captain Mark Roper backing his summer training programme too much and trying to go himself. Eventually the pressure paid off, and Maciek Peplinski went over in the left corner in his first minutes of rugby since nearly killing himself and Angus McCance in Varsity last year.

We went into half time 8-4 down, but then Quez time came into play. We played much more confidently in the second half, with our shape coming off much more and playing much more heads up rugby. Dickolas Nodds made some scintillating runs from pivot to set up tries for debutant Felix Rathbone and Maciek Peplinski again, making up for depending outside the wing for once.

We continued to outplay them, with Seb Talbot scoring in the corner with his first touch of a rugby league ball, and Ed Harris trundling in from 40 yards out to score a try other middles can only dream of.
Warwick fought back bravely at the end, highlighting the need for more Matt Queralt in all of our lives, but we held them off to win 30-14, with new wing-to-middle convert Louis Claxton putting in big shots, and Conor Williets going over in the corner at the final whistle.

This, along with a thrasing of Brunel 76-4 by the Maroons, heralds a great season, and with many more Monday and Friday morning socials to come it’s looking to be a big year for OURLFC.