23
Jul

IE Rugby Team at IESE

Written on July 23, 2018 by Campus Life in Sports

On a Thursday in April, an elite IERFC squad arrived in Barcelona by air, land and sea. Once established in our respective dwellings, the players warmed up for the athletic adventures to come. At Barcelona RFC’s famous Gatsby training ground, most of the team was able to enjoy some of the excellent facilities on offer. After some ball handling exercises with the junior team, we moved on to pastures new ‒ the university stomping ground, Sutton. Mr Hutton should be lauded for playing with great spirit of the game and bonding with players from other teams; furthermore, Mr Schmitt won the Boris Johnson award for diplomacy thanks to his bridge-building efforts. Training over, the team proceeded homewards happy – only Mr Hilliard exhibited any fatigue, opting for a quick siesta.

With a certain amount of free time, most of IERFC took the opportunity to move to the beach. Mr Straker seized his moment to go for a five-hour lunch; Mr Schmitty and Ms Morgan interestingly decided to investigate the various lighthouses in the area. In preparation for our matches, the squad gathered for team bonding and a reminder of the rules of play. Messrs Foxy and Tinder provided thrilling lessons in defensive manoeuvres, by which Mr Pineapple was visibly excited. Some of the team chose to rest before the game, lulled to sleep by Blue Swede’s ‘Hooked on a Feeling’, and Mr Q ably led the rest to the event laid on by IESE near the beach.

The first fixture was against INSEAD, generally considered our main rivals, who were reaping the benefits of a strict curfew so as not to vary from their routine in Fontainebleau. Herculean efforts on the part of our noble troops were sadly not enough to overcome the giants of the FT rankings. Mr Heggs captained the team with grit and nous, and ultimately IERFC gave everything inside themselves to the cause, especially Mr Schmitty. Not deterred by a slim first lost, IERFC gathered themselves together and took the sword to both IESE and ESADE. Two colossal wins ensued, vindicating us and securing a silver medal for the Dark Blues.

The touch team, ably led by Mr “John McEnroe” Owen and Ms “Fine” Gan, showed great panache in their stewardship of the team. Coming back from a three-try deficit in the first game to secure a draw in the last moments of the game was akin to victory, much to the delight of the crowd who were by now suffering the effects of weather usually seen at Murrayfield in the autumn tests. The second match was marred by some questionable refereeing and concluded with a devastatingly tight loss. The upside was that Ms Packing survived in spite of her sporting headgear clearly in violation of IRB regulations. By unanimous vote, the heroes of the touch matches were Mmes Finegan, Rees, Morgan and Packing who showed extraordinary fitness on and off the pitch.

After IERFC distinguished itself in rugby, we decided to show our mettle in supporting other IE sports clubs. A particular highlight was chanting, singing and cheering the IE mixed volleyball team to victory in the indoor competition (following their earlier gold in the beach version of the sport). Though IESE may have had a large crowd numerically, their chants seemed mere whimpers in the face of the mighty IERFC. Our performance continued late into the night, with particular credit going to Mr Weppler for proceeding directly to the airport from the reputable location in which the competitors from all schools ended up, and to Mr Pineapple for turning up alive the next day. There are high hopes for IERFC taking home gold in the 2019 version of the tournament, many alumni having the date firmly in the diary.

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