Varsity College Succumb to the Fairy Tale
Varsity College showed fantastic mettle on Saturday before succumbing to the Toti fairy tale, losing 24-21 in a Castle Murray Cup Final that had to be determined by playing extra-time. This was the first time in 67 years that Toti, who were promoted to the Premier Division this year, have won the Murray Cup.
Although Varsity College started on the back foot, with Toti scoring the opening try of the match, they rebounded quickly and Darren Nyman scored a penalty a few minutes later. This was to be the see saw story of the first half, with penalties being traded and Toti eventually gaining the upper hand to hold a 14-6 lead at half time.
The half time talk from the coach fired the boys up and Varsity College stretched Toti in both directions, before scoring a great try to reduce the deficit to 3 points. At 14-11, it was anyone's game and Varsity College began to apply massive pressure. This told on the Toti team, as a defensive error handed Varsity college a penalty on the stroke of time. This was duly converted to tie the scores at 14-14 and force extra time.
Varsity College started again with renewed vigour and scored the first try from turnover ball 5m from their own try line. The kick was converted and VC went 7 points clear. Toti scored in the last play of the first extra time period, but could not convert and VC held a slender 2 point lead going into the 2nd period of extra time.
At 21-19, Varsity College appeared to hold the upper hand, but Toti scored a well-constructed try with 2 minutes left to take the win and the Murray Cup. There were scenes reminiscent of the 1995 World Cup victory for Toti and disappointment for Varsity College. It must be said though, that this was the best club rugby game of the year and a fitting advert for the game.
The juniors played on Sunday at Woodburn Stadium and continued to show their dominance. The U16’s completed the round robin stage having scored 126 points in 4 games, while conceding only 10 points.
The U18’s have done even better, scoring 138 points and conceding 14. Both are set to play in the finals and the future of Varsity college rugby is looking decidedly rosy.