Last Sunday Team Flair strode out into the Harlington hurricane to show UH how 7s should be really played. After a swift 15 minute warm to loosen up the round the back passes and we were up against Georges. The Flair philosophy dictates that attack is king over defence. We really took that to heart in the first two minutes of the competition putting together a decent set of attacking phases, six missed tackles and 14 points against us before Tom Sheerin put in our first crunching hit. Quickly following that, Matthew Taylor provides a huge hit sending opposition winger in touch however in doing so ends his day and his ankle on his first involvement. In the second half, Rakul Sri nudged one over the top of an unsuspecting George’s backline before popping it off to Oscar Benson-Gaunt who jogged over for our first try of the competition. Ultimately, our decision to play 15s style rugby during a 7s game turned out to be misguided and rugby notched up it’s first game as the real winner.
Some people say Team Flair is a joke, a waste of time and players. Those people are wrong. Team Flair is the incubator of ingenuity and invention within IMRFC. Over the next two games in was like the inside of Da Vinci’s mind had a lovechild with Liberace. Before we knew what was happening, outrageous offloads were being thrown, with Tom Sheerin moving his hands faster than a third year filling in his own DOPS to give Hareef Asunramu space on the wing to finish off two outstanding team tries. At one point against Barts, Ishan “Champion” Bahree called for a Bald Eagle Sperm 99 call off the back of our scrum. This was the time for Team Flair to shine, Will Jenkins snapped it back to Oscar Benson Gaunt who balanced in the ground at arms length, ready for Ishan to guide the egg between the sticks. Instead Ishan totally fluffs it and the ball bobbles over the dead ball line (We were later informed by the referee that NFL style kicks are against the laws of the game & would not have counted anyway). Swiftly after that Hareef Asunramu propelled himself to top of the dick of the day charts by managing to get sin binned in a 7s game for deliberately & repeatedly refusing to give 10m after penalties. The final play of the day was Team Flair’s crowning moment. Dr Daniel Campioni-Norman, found himself faced with an empty half of the try line in front of him, screams for the cross field kick. The ball rises and Dan surges forward like startled warthog. His outstretched hands rise above the hapless Barts defender, ready to grasp both a perfectly weighted kick and eternal glory as he crosses the line. As he falls to the ground, mere inches away from a spectacular score, in a moment summing up Team Flair’s 2018 UH 7s, Dr Campioni-Norman drops the ball. Tournament over and dreams dashed.
See you all next year,
Lucky “Champion” Charms
2018 Team Flair Director of Rugby
Sunday October 14th 2018
The weather was abysmal, torrential rain soaked the roads filling the air with petrichor. Having had 150 minutes sleep, 7s could have waited but as Connor ‘Champion’ Youmans roused me from my slumber, the sight of the UH 7s trophy upon the flat trophy shelf spurred me on. After myself and a few other members of the club miraculously sobered up below the legal limit to drive (minus Chris ‘Champion’ Paton who claimed he’d be with us in an hour, and then turned up 5 hours later), we met at Charing Cross to pick up the rest of the squad. We had an unprecedented number of players keen/forced to play in the tournament, and despite the usual drop outs on the day we had plenty of boys to represent IMRFC. The boys immediately surpassed all expectations as almost everyone was actually on time for the meet.
Upon picking up UH secretary and IMRFC Treasurer Chris ‘Champion’ Little, we were informed that RUMS had pulled out their second team, leaving IMRFC as the only med school who could put out a second team. Could we cancel the 7s? Clearly the other med schools didn’t want to play. Despite Johnny ‘Double Champion’ Smiths cries for us to organise UH ten pin bowling instead, we ploughed on through the rain, blasting Smooth Radio to further dampen our mood and journeyed to our new home at Harlington.
Our numbers were boosted on arrival by the welcome returns of Dr Alex ‘Champion’ Scarborough, Dr Vaki ‘Champion’ Antoniou, Dr Thomas ‘Double Champion’ Howe, Dr Jack ‘Finally a Champion’ Witby and Dr Daniel ‘JT’ Campioni-Norman.
The squads for the day were selected, and while Jamie ‘Champion’ Truell (Team Flair Director of Rugby) taught team flair his own unique brand of flair marfanoid rugby, I took the 1st VII training squad for an intense 30-minute training camp so that we could relearn how to play 7s. I had decided to not change what clearly works, so as we didn’t train at all before last year’s tournament, we didn’t do any 7s training this year either.
Thanks to Dr Witby for actually knowing what we were supposed to do. The need to succeed meant that I had to be ruthless with squad selection, and as the training squad was cut down to size (better players kept arriving e.g. Alex ‘Double Champion’ Mitchener and Alex Davidson. Sorry not sorry Matty, Toby, Will etc), we were ready for our first expedition onto the pitch Vs GKT.
The team didn’t click right away, the communication wasn’t there, the moves we’d just spent practicing weren’t utilised. Our gas Dr Vaki, got gassed on the wing, and they scored a horrendous crossfield kick. The first game was lost 17-12, not the start we wanted to defend our cup.
The team regrouped in the unrelenting downpour, listened to Dido-White Flag and watched team flair. As we waited for the results from the other teams in our group two miracles occurred. Firstly in the distance approached a figure. Long brown locks flowing majestically, impervious to the rain. Dr James ‘Champion’ Turner had walked all the way from middle earth to cheer on the teams, a true legend of IMRFC.
The second miracle came in the form of the other med schools inability to field two teams, which meant that despite playing and losing one game, we were through to the semi-finals.
Our semi-final game was against a Barts team that purely contained forwards, with ex IMRFC player Sam Robinson playing as their 10. Keeping to our structures, using the moves we’d practised we easily brushed them aside. Score 19-0, it wasn’t much of a test, but did allow us to properly gel as a team on the pitch, we were into the final.
With just 10 minutes rest between the semi-final and final, we learnt GKT had beaten Georges 31-12. We were to face the team we initially lost to in the final.
Before kick off, a warning was given to me from the referees, telling me that Dr Witby was giving too much terrible chat back to the refs, and they would card him if he didn’t reign it in, the pressure mounted.
It was a cagey start from us, as the GKT gas kicked it over the top from their own half and hacked it all the way to our try line. Only a grumpy Dr Witby who never gave up the chase from his own wing, put the pressure on and forced a knock on 5m from our own try line. Down their end of the pitch, Mitch used his trademark step to break the GKT line and raced down the wing, with only a man to beat. Clearly disorientated from actually playing for IMRFC he did a disgusting step, leaving his man standing, straight off the pitch into touch. Then there was Youmans who not only at one point kicked the ball and chased it, also made the classic mistake made by people who don’t actually know how to side step and jumped into the air, with no sideways movement, nevertheless stirring huge applause from the crowd.
The IMRFC boys quickly moved through the gears and put three consecutive tries over the line. GKT did respond to the third try with an immediate try but it was futile. The IMRFC boys scored their fourth and final try of the match. I can’t not mention Man of the match Freddie Allum who had an outstanding tournament, and may or may not have scored in this game as well.
Tries from the memories of those who scored them.
Matthew Naeem – After Freddie made a break 10m out from their line, drawing in the defence to scramble after him, I saw a gap open up in front of me. Freddie was spun around by the GKT man, but heard my screams of “GAP GAP GAP”, and managed to free his hand to offload. All I had to do is use my pace as the fastest man over 10m in IMRFC, and I was over the line, GKT players falling at my feet attempting to stop me, but there was no hope for them.
Johnny Smith – It defies description, poetry in motion.
Dr Vaki– From the far wing, IMRFC spread the ball through the hands, desperate to use their star man, International rugby legend Dr Vaki ‘Not in the World Rugby Rankings’ Antoniou. Once the ball was in his hands he used his blistering pace, to beat not one, not two, but three defenders and finished with aplomb.
Dr Scarbs– 20m out from the GKT line, I approached the ruck and saw the ball neatly presented in front of me. I instantly recognised the lack of a guard from GKT, and as if drawing Excalibur from the stone, I plucked the ball from the ruck and darted through the gap racing the 20 meters to the line.
The game ended with GKT hammering on our 5m line, repelled by five or six consecutive penalties, which somehow didn’t end in a card. Most notably was Dr Witby, lying at the bottom of a ruck which was no longer being contested, GKT player ready to pass the ball. A leg appears and kicks the ball out of play, ‘Sorry that was me sir’, Dr Witby remembering his warning before the game, and used his legendary bedside manner to defuse the situation.
Final Score IMRFC 26 – 12 GKT
- Dr Thomas ‘Double Champion’ Howe
- Connor ‘Champion’ Youmans
- Johnny ‘Double Champion’ Smith
- Freddie ‘Champion’ Allum (Man of the Match)
- Alex ‘Double Champion’ Mitchener
- Dr Alex ‘Champion’ Scarborough
- Dr Jack ‘Champion’ Witby
- Matthew ‘Double Champion’ Naeem (Captain)
- Alex ‘Champion’ Davidson
- Dr Vaki ‘Champion’ Antoniou
- Dr Daniel ‘Did not play’ Campioni-Norman
Thanks to all the boys and Docs who turned out to play on such a miserable day, thanks to Chris ‘Champion’ Little for organising day, and everyone who came and supported. It was made clear on the day that IMRFC are here to fight for the UH Cup this year. With 4/5 London Medical schools in the same/parallel leagues, the UH Cup will be an even more hotly contested affair this year. I would encourage any Alumni to get in touch if they’re ever around on a Monday or Wednesday, as you are always welcome to watch and train with us. Once UH Cup games are announced save the date, all support is always appreciated whether it be on the side-line, or on the pitch
IMRFC have retained the UH 7s for another year.
Lucky Charms Awards
Cirque du so-Flair Award (Most entertaining rugby): Oscar Benson Gaunt
Sasha Grey Award (Overall Filthiest Man): Daniel Campioni Norman
Nick Anson Memorial Award (Largest Tackle): Daniel Pethers
Tom Tom Pira Hot Tub Award (Filthiest Hands): Thomas Sheerin
Bel Air Award (Freshest Man): Rakul Sri
Bald Eagle Sperm 99 Award (Worst kick ever seen): Ishan Bahree
Round the Outside Award (Fastest Legs): Hareef Asunramu
Yeti Award (Looking Fucking cold): Tobias Smitherman-Cairns
Exxon Slobil Award (For running out of gas): Dr Alex Scarbrough
Strictly Come Touchline Award (Best and worst quick step): Alex Mitchener
Pulling out early Award (Giving a useless offload 50m out): Jonny Smith
Around the World Award (Being everywhere): Freddie Allum
Jeremy Kyle Award (Constant Back chat): Dr Jack Whitby
Slip n slide Award (Most unnecessary slides): Dr Vaki Antoniou
Lego Award (Putting in large blocks): Connor Youmans
Matthew ‘Double Champion’ Naeem
7s Captain 17-19
UH 7s Champion 2017-2018
UH 7s Champion 2018-2019