Regent’s Park, LONDON – Tragedy struck the HBS Rugby B-side over the Presidents Day weekend when, in the pre-game warm up, their local expert, Sam “McDreamy” Bakri (NH), popped his knee cap and was ruled out for the tournament. However, as a testament to the mental fortitude of the Barbarians, the team did not let this distract them as they headed into their pool games against Wharton A and LBS A.
First up was a hungry Wharton side, the same team who had narrowly beaten our own A-side in October 2006. Expecting an easy victory, Wharton were left breathless at half time with the score tied at zero a piece, and with the only clear scoring opportunity coming from an HBS penalty kick which sailed marginally wide of the post. The second half continued on much as the first, with the end result a 0-0 draw. Big performances by Dan “Global Search and Destroy” Richards (ND partner), Ian “Fast” Lane (NG) and Matt “Un” Commons (OD) in the forwards ensured that the Wharton attack was never a serious threat to our line. Likewise, @sushi “T” Oshiba (NF), Warren “Dundee” Hogarth (NG) and Glen “Michael” Parkinson (OH) kept the Wharton defense on their toes in the back line.
In the second pool game against the LBS A-side the team knew that they were to face a strong opponent who had early that morning beaten the Wharton side. At half time, the B-side had only conceded two tries, thanks to some solid work around the rucks by Mark “Betty” Cuthbert (NA), Jon “Sampler” Oka (NJ) and Rafael “Ninja turtle” Soto (NF). The second half saw a number of good plays by the B-side. Most notable was Dylan “Frenchman” Bourguignon (OH) charging down the sideline and intimidating his impending opponent with a barrage of French slang. Again the half was characterized by rock solid defense, with Dan “I love Meryl Streep” Ron (NE) and Khary “Classy” Barnes (NI) putting in some big hits. But the big mention has to go to the two lads who put themselves out of action for the following day due to some bone crunching tackles-Andrew “Sukiyaki” Saunders (NE) and Sam “Dance Machine” Gray (OI). Sadly, the injury to Sam Gray means that he won’t be competing in the European ultra mega long distance tour this year, where he had hoped to run the perimeter of Western Europe in five days.
The teams final game on Sunday was against a charged up London B-side, who after taking a hammering from our A-side the day before, wanted some revenge. Suspiciously a number of their A-side, now only playing off for 3rd place, were present in their B team. But even with that impediment in place, the team played a solid game with Quan “Chopsticks” Nguyen (OF) calling the shots at number ten. While in the end the team didn’t manage to prove victorious, they did walk away with a crafty try that was finished off by Hogarth in classic fashion.