The Baltic Exchange Rugby Football Club (BERFC) faced the Investment Bankers (IB) for their last game of the season, on a warm dry April evening at East London Rugby Club. The ground was like concrete with little grass cover giving it an almost southern hemisphere like feel – only to be reminded of sounds from the Hammersmith & City line.
The game started and within 5 minutes the IB’s managed to score two well executed tries – not the start BERFC had intended!
Needless to say the conditions offered both teams the opportunity to run with the ball and once the Baltic had woken up to this their game started to expand.
Martin Bazley (Frank-Symons) giving fine example by cutting through the opposition’s line and offloading the ball to other supporting runners such as Jack Lyons (ex. Howe-Rob).The Baltic got back in the game after Humphrey Hodgson (O’Keeffe & Partners) managed to score from an intercepted pass.
Tom Chapman (Clarksons) consistently outpaced the opposition on the wing and was unlucky not to pick up 5/6 tries, instead, support play from the likes of Colin Mortimore (ISCA Marine) meant the Baltic could keep the possession and quickly recycle the ball.
That being said the Baltic tackling left a lot to be desired with the IB’s getting through the defensive line without too much trouble meaning that the end of the first half it was 40-15 (L).
Confidence was high into the Second half even though a first half of endless running meant both teams seemed to be suffering from fatigue. The workhorse and talisman that is James Sedgwick (EDF Man) however ensured that the Baltic did not lose focus on the game in hand.
Fred Engelbach (Clarksons) winning many a turnover thanks to his quick decision making and experience of the ‘dark arts’ to rucking.
Thor Thomsen (Navig8) made some excellent runs from the back of the scrum gaining ground before offloading. On one occasion he was able to loop around supporting players to score a very well worked team try.
With a second wind the BERFC took the game to the opposition with debutant Alex Przyjemski (Borchard Lines) relishing the contact area – crashing the ball up and gaining ground. It was only a matter of simple maths that there was no one left to tackle him when he finally slipped through for a well-earned try. Another debutant Tom Wright (Shell) also added great ball carrying skills and tackling to ensure the Baltic took the lead.
Further tries were scored by Harry Rodney (Clarksons) who from his outside Centre position was able to break through the line at speed as the oppositions tackling continued to falter.
With the game heading towards the finish 5 minutes of madness, led to the Baltic letting slip 3 tries to give the IB’s the narrowest of leads.
Even with the audacity of an unbelievably well executed Cross field kick from Chris Symes (Clarksons) could not prevent a high scoring but narrow loss of 51-43.