The annual Simpson cup challenge was played out in ideal conditions and a large crowd was rewarded with an end-to-end game of rugby in the bright winter sunshine. It was perhaps no surprise to see the Students/Exiles prevail as a squad largely made up of last year’s cup wining Colts squad was bolstered by several returning Army lads with Dan Taylor, Neil Copes and Connor O’Reilly adding some nous and graft to the Student pack – all too often their Achilles heel.
The Club XV, captained this year by Angus Clogg, took the opportunity to introduce eight colts to adult rugby, all of whom relished the challenge, and offered a marked increase in tempo. And it would not be a Boxing day match without a father/son combination, Stephen and Jordan Collins joining club captain Tom Stokes in an unlikely front row.
The Club dominated the opening exchanges – retaining possession well before Aldis Salavejs took advantage of some weak tackling to open the scoring. The Students hit back and two quick fire tries from Archie Read gave them a 14-7 lead at the break. Tries from Jack Johnson and an opportunist score from Adi Sanday – both converted – saw the students extend the score to 28 -7 before the club hit back with late tries from the hard running Salavejs and Ewan Maclean – debuting on the right wing.
A hugely enjoyable day – and our thanks to Eastern Counties for their continued support with the fixture.