Redboys secure double with Cuppers victory
The St John’s Rugby club have done the double for the second time in three years after winning the inter-college Cuppers competition.
The Redboys secured the title in unseasonably wintry conditions at Grange Road on Thursday night, with an emphatic 27-3 win over Gonville and Caius College.
Having won Cuppers in 2015, as well as three back-to-back League titles, the victory confirms St John’s position as the dominant force in Cambridge College rugby.
Despite the eventual scoreline, Thursday’s match was a close contest for the first 20 or 30 minutes, with neither side able to secure a significant advantage. Towards the end of the first half, however, relentless pressure from the Redboys meant that they started to pull away from the opposition, with a vital interception try by Dan Blick taking them to 17-3 at the break.
They went on to consolidate their position after the interval, first with a penalty and then a Joe Sharpe try, which was converted to put 27 points on the board. Despite the cold and wet weather, the team were cheered on by plenty of fellow students, many of whom wore red for the occasion.
It marks the end of a hugely successful season for the club, which was coached by Jacob Heath, a history student from Sutton Coldfield. Jacob took up the coaching job after having to step back from his regular playing role when he suffered a pre-season injury.
“It’s been a spectacular season, and couldn’t really have gone much better,” Jacob said. “Even though I haven’t been able to play myself, it’s been a pleasure to coach the squad and to see how much people care about the club and the effort that they are prepared to put in, week in, week out.”
“I think that people recognise that John’s is a strong rugby College when they apply – it’s certainly one of the reasons that I applied here. That means that success breeds success. There is a real spirit in the club which stretches all the way from the fourth year down to the first.”
Squad for the Cuppers Final:
Henry Somers, Darius Zarrabian, Demitri Moros (vc), Russell Hughes, Jack Morris, George Colgan (c), Tim Jones, Francis Lake; Duncan Ashworth, Dan Blick, Ryan McDonnell, George Griffiths, Joe Sharpe, Will Halfpenny, Ilia Cherezov
Michael Ita, Judah Aiyenuro, Brock Boyd-Taylor, Fionn Kelly, Simon Hugkulstone, Dom Hall, George Baxter, Mudara Senanayake