Hadrians Cup 2020 – A Players Perspective

The Hadrians Cup saw the lads in umber from the Humber head up to Newcastle. The Roundheads were excited to play against our many friends from across the country and the IGR.

The weekend was an amazing experience of socialising, bonding and playing. There were far too many moments across the tournament, outside being the only team to win each of their tier games, to relay and relive all of them here. Each Roundhead that played contributed to our success. To reach the semi-finals was beyond our imagining, only hoping to play and have fun: we were successful on all counts and I have tried to summarise a moment or an attitude of each player that makes us such a strong team.

Ben – Ben lead the team with a calm confidence that belied the fresh nature of his captaincy. His words at the beginning of the day, before each match, after each victory and after our loss were, like the tournament itself, encouraging, exhilarating, electrifying. He played his heart out, and brought heart to the team, gaining his first try and the respect of players on the Roundheads and other teams alike.

Louis – An anchor: holding his place and pack together in the scrums before leading the drive forward. His consistency saw him weather each match prepared for the next.

Nath – beloved of Roundheads and Referees: Nath’s talent shone on the pitch. He ran rings, danced circles and weaved around the opposition. Quick to congratulate good game play to players on either team, he defines good sportsmanship.

Mitchell – his first competition for the team saw Mitchell triumph. Skilled on the ball, strong in the ruck, tackles, kicks and tries; he proved his worth that weekend.

Joe – never afraid to tackle, in the penultimate game Joe put his body on the line once more to defend the teams victory. He stood strong, steady and stout against the forward bearing down on him at speed. Bones were not as strong as Joe’s will, and he broke his clavicle in the collision.

Jamie – Jamie’s strength was invaluable in the games. Imposing and intimidating in defence, reliable in a ruck he stood like a sentinel in our half of the pitch.

Harrison – another player making his debut, Harrison was a player to be reckoned with on the pitch, defending and attacking with strength, scoring his first try in his first match and cementing his place in the team.

Adam – Like pale lightning, striking again and again Adam ran in try after try. Avoiding Duracell comparisons it is enough to say he recharged flagging spirits each time.

Polly – dependable and dedicated, Polly commits to every tackle and strives to support his team mates, eager to make space and options, through rucks, runs and passes.

Ash – Almost unstoppable, Ash tore through opposition lines like a falcon through a flock of flamingoes. Scoring a try, popping passes, lifting in lineouts and smiling all the way until the whistle blew.

Toby – Toby’s talent for tackling stood out on the wing. Timing and technique triumphing over many a man on the opposition, his confidence is rightly growing.

David – a mad dash down the wing, David came so close to a hard earned try. Tackled almost on the touchline, he was robbed of a try but the team got one due to his efforts.

José – Fast, agile, with glue on his hands, repeatedly José caught the ball and gained ground with stretching strides across the pitch. Gaining Roundhead tries and confidence with each game.

Steven – making breaks on his own as well as assisting his team mates, Steven was a whirlwind: yards, injuries and points were picked up as often as the ball.

Liam Sutherland – Liam played for the first time as well. He held his own on the pitch with more experienced players. Intercepting, targeting and tackling attacking players as they tried for tries against us.

Rob – flying high in the lineouts, confidently and competently competing for the ball, Rob allowed us to dominate possession in the games.

Liam S – unable to play due to injury, the torment of watching each game from the sidelines is unimaginable. Yet, Liam is our greatest supporter. Never missing a training session or a game, he embodies the rugby spirit: rushing injured players from the Roundheads’ and other teams to hospital when necessary and back to cheer the team on after each journey.

Each write up ends in a similar fashion, but so does each game, tournament and competition. Win or lose: we have each other. One of the best moments of the weekend wasn’t on the pitch at all. It was the post match lull, when ecstacy and exhaustion are fighting within each player. The team were sprawled three to a bed in an Airbnb feasting on KFC. We sat in contemplative silence sometimes, sometimes recounting moments of the day through smiles, but mostly happy being in each others company.

Being a Roundhead is to know that there is a team that has your back: support, encouragement and friendship from every player.