On the 5th of March, students from across campus braved torrential downpours and weather and descended to the 1st XV Rugby Pitch to witness 4 immense teams clash in the fight for a place in the coveted IMS Super Series Final. The stage was set, the players were ready. First up; a titanic battle between arguably two of the pre-draw favourites in Pride and Crash.
Pride arrived early, perhaps in hope to draw an extra advantage with some extended preparation, but when the game started, it was Crash who settled quickest; putting the first points on the board with an opportunistic try after some good defensive work frustrated Pride into a mistake. They went into half time 7-0 to the good, and the trend of Pride nerves and Crash ruthlessness continued after the break, with Crash scoring another try almost from the restart. Pride finally began to find some rhythm in what has been an error strewn performance so far, and were camped in the Crash 22 phase after phase until finally persistence paid off, with a searing run from a freshly introduced winger putting their first points on the board. Crash responded immediately, winning a penalty on the restart and choosing to kick from just inside the opposing 10 metre line; with the faultless Crash kicker converting the mammoth attempt. With 15 left on the clock, Pride went over in the corner prompting whispers of a famous comeback, the kick was wide, which was then further punished by another Try from Crash. The two teams then set up a tense final 10 minutes as they traded try’s, however it was Crash who came out deserved winners with a final score of 31-17.
Up next was the second semi-final, between Pack and Shiver. Supporters were still out in their droves to cheer on their fellow friends and family, and the game did not disappoint. With the rain now pouring and floodlights shining the excitement couldn’t be more palpable, compounded with some early action as Shiver adapted to the conditions quicker and scored the first try of the game. Both teams seemed intent on very open and fast rugby, and Pack seemed sure to level the game as they charged almost unchallenged towards the try line before misplacing the final pass, which prompted a flurry of scrambling hands before the ball was turned over and Shiver were back up the pitch as quickly as Pack before them. Certain to score the Try before cynically tripped by a Pack player, Shiver were awarded the penalty try. A try from a tireless Pack just before half time kept things in the balance, before adding another the other side of the break made the score a close 12-14. As time went on, the opportunities became fewer and further between, however after some great pressure from Shiver and some missed chances from Pack, Shiver wrapped up the game with a late Try. Shiver won 12-21, and will play Crash on the final on the 19th of March, whilst Pride will compete for third position against Pack.
Massive thanks to all those who attended, and further gratitude extended to Loughborough Students Rugby Club for their commitment to the event, Mister V for their outstanding service and quality of food and Alan March Sport Ltd for the faultless PA and entertainment service they provided. We hope to see you all back again on the day of the finals, it promises to be even bigger and even better!