In June this year the annual rivalry of Melbourne University and Old Xavier was resumed. Playing as always for the E.M. Shaw Cup. In an attempt to wrest the trophy from Old Xavier, and make up numbers , Melbourne Uni had recruited from the ranks of the Booroondara gents and Melbourne Uni colts.
On the 12th of June 2004 the boys from Old Xavier resumed their annual rivalry against the veterans from Melbourne University. Although the scoreline was one sided the rugby was not.
The older Melbourne University dominated possession, with a much heavier and more experienced pack. But could not dominate the scoreline as the disorganised but scrambling defence of Old Xavier frustrated them at every turn.
In October 2003 a representative team assembled from Melbourne University residential colleges was assembled to take on Old Xavier for the 04th E.M. Shaw Cup. With two teams dedicated to playing attacking rugby, a sunny day, a beatiful field at Xavier College, and rugby World Cup fever in the air the stage was set for a rugby exhibition.
After recruiting N.Z. underage player Wayne Nicora and having a strong showing over summer at Royal Park a lot was expected of the 2003 winter team.And whilst the team looked a bit shaky at times it ultimately won the premiership in a thriller.
The team was sitting pretty half way through the season with 7 straight wins.However the second half was not so good a few losses including a spanking by Lone Rangers.But we won the semi final and went straight into the final, a rematch against Lone Rangers.
At half time we trailed 4-3 but were not panicking. The second half was a shootout as defense seemed to go out the window. But being down 8-7 with less than 2 minutes left it was looking like we would fall short. Thankfully we got it back to even terms as Pete Shaw dived across to even it up.
From the ensuing kick-off Lone rangers attacked our line.In desperation they threw a wild pass that Wayne intercepted running the length of the field leaving his cap behind and scoring on full time.Pity about the defense on the day but if you can score 9 tries you deserve to be champs.
A Gallery of team shots and the post match celebration can be found by clicking here:
The 2002 Masters games premier rugby grand final was a much anticipated game played in front of a large crowd in Parkville, Melbourne.
The Melbourne Vikings team were heavily favoured to dispatch Harlequin Academicals having some extremely talented and experienced players. And although it took a while for them to open the scoring against their plucky opponents they ultimately didn’t disappoint.
- The vikings bust out down the right wing to score the opening try:
- A beautiful move of the back of the scrum leads to a try under the posts:
- Standing up the winger to score in the left corner:
- More class backline moves from the back of the scrum:
- Bursting through from the back of a maul:
- A great example of keeping the ball alive:
- The Vikings drive and then scyth through a tiring defence:
- A right foot step sets up a great try:
- Another try for the fullback:
- The Vikings post match celebrations:
Words and video by Peter Shaw
“You’ll learn more atop an open stage(coach) ’tween Oxford and Cambridge than from the universities of those fair cities.” –William Hazlitt
People have aked me why I sign my emails with the above quote. For those of you who know little of Hazlitt he was an essayist of Irish extraction with some pretty radical ideas, for his time.
Yet the reason I append the above to my epistles is twofold, admiration for the man more than his beliefs, and a strong belief in the statement itself. You see Hazlitt was that rare thing in the modern age, he was self taught, and whilst I disagree with many of his political opinions, his clear reasoning and assessment of human nature are unparalleled.