Magdalene Made To Weep At Jesus’ Feet

In a Division One battle of biblical proportions, Jesus’s backs proved the difference.

college rugby jesus Magdalene Rugby

Jesus 16 – Magdalene 0

Jesus put down the dark horse of Division One on John’s pitches yesterday to continue their dominant season. In a game marred by inconsistent refereeing, the visitors’ backs proved the difference between the two sides.

Before the match, much had been made of Magdalene’s pack and their “supremacy in scrums”, with some suggesting that Jesus’ forwards would be blown away. This certainly did not happen. As it happened, Magdalene’s insatiable appetite for contact and forward play did not lead to a single point for the home side.

Jesus’ first points came from an indiscretion by the Magdalene pack. Having won a scrum in the opposition 22 Jesus were awarded a penalty after the Magdalene pack strayed offside. Chris Blucke slotted the penalty and the away side went 3-0 up.

Magdalene did fare better in the early line-outs. Arguably aided by the wind, they were the recipients of several put ins as the Jesus throws veered off course.

Jesus full back Russell Rammage in action.

Despite these set-piece set backs, Jesus continued to threaten. A break by 21s scrum-half Oli Jones saw the visitors advance into the Magdalene 22. The Jesus forwards moved the ball infield with a series of drives and, after Magdalene were penalized at the break down. Blucke added another 3 points.

Magdalene’s backs were often relegated to playing a bit part in the match. The frustration that must have resulted from the lack of service they received may go some way to explaining why the Magdalene 13 attempted to dance his way out of his own dead ball area.

While he did manage to evade a few tacklers with his William Ryder-esque feet, he was soon bundled back over his try line. The ref penalized the Jesuans for feeding at the ensuing scrum and the attacking opportunity went to waste.

The only try of the match came from another moment of madness from the Magdalene backs. Having almost thrown an interception less than 5 minutes earlier the Magdalene backs aired it out again. Jesus’ make-shift 13 Russell Rammage swooped and gassed it under the posts.

Down 13-0 at half-time Magdalene could still draw some positives from their first half performance. In particular, their seven was king of the breakdown on many occasions and turned over many an isolated Jesuan.

The second half was a dull affair. Magdalene had a man sent to the sin bin and the ref alternated, often inexplicably, between contested and uncontested scrums. The Magdalene forwards kept it tight and often made ground but it was little reward. Blucke added a final penalty conversion before the whistle blew.

Speaking after the match Jesus captain Jamie Miller tried to explain the referees bizarre deicisions: ‘The soothsaying referee seemed to be reading tea leaves, reading the chicken entrails, consulting the oracle, and observing the flight of the birds when deciding what his Delphic decisions would be. I think both myself and the Magdalene captain had equal trouble deciphering what on earth was going on.”

Magdalene captain, George Morrissey, pointed out that his side matched Jesus for most of the match and that the away side’s victory came through Magdalene mistakes.

In the division’s other games, John’s beat Queens’ 12-7 to move into second place with 15 points (5 behind Jesus, who have taken a full 20 points from their 5 games). Downing beat Trinity 86-0, with Tab founder George Marangos-Gilks notching up an impressive hat-trick of tries. The win represented their first victory of the campaign, after a run of three defeats against Jesus, Queens’ and Magdalene.

Next week sees all this week’s fixtures played again. Jesus host Magdalene, while Queens’ will hope to reverse their result against John’s in the reverse fixtures on the Red Boys’ pitches and Trinity will want to avoid another pasting when they entertain Downing.