The 2017/18 season has been a successful one for the School of Engineering RFC with the whole Club building on the hard work of last year. Recruitment went well at the beginning of the autumn term with over 30 new members joining and more than 45 returning for another year of rugby. Early games against Cardiff Medics and Droitwich 2nd XV allowed us to test out the new players while also giving the older boys a chance to blow off the cobwebs after the summer break. Training sessions got off to a brilliant start with upwards of 50 members turning out to at least 1 session a week and about 20 making both nights.
Victories against the University of Warwick Freshers’ Team and Birmingham’s own Medics 2nd XV gave the team a boost going into the latter half of the first semester where we had the chance to play some of the more competitive teams in Birmingham. It is a testimony to the drive of the team last year that we managed to get games against the University of Birmingham 2nd XV and the Medic 1st XV either side of the Christmas break. Unfortunately we didn’t quite meet the level required on the days, but we’ve learned a lot about where we want to go and what we need to do to get there.
The Club’s annual mystery tour in November took us to Munich, where we had the opportunity to sample the city’s beautiful architecture, delicious food and just a small amount of beer, for cultural reasons of course! A huge thanks goes to the Social Secretaries and the Captains for managing to get 50 boys out to Munich and back again, all on a student’s budget.
With the long-awaited arrival of the brand new University Bournbrook all-weather pitch, we managed to get a fixed training time for the rest of the year allowing more members to make it to the training sessions and organise their time better. The introduction of a weekly strength and conditioning session with Second City CrossFit in Selly Oak allowed us to improve both our strength and our fitness, which would be key to beating the better teams in future.
At the start of the year we set ourselves the goal to play more engineering teams around the country. We’re happy to report we achieved this with home and away fixtures against University of Exeter’s Engineers, University of Nottingham’s MechSoc Rugby and a long bus journey north to play the Newcastle University Engineers with an overnight stay so the older boys could relive the memories of our tour to the city 4 years ago.
Finally we continued the tradition of our annual Old Boys alumni match in March and were graced with the presence of some boys (well men really) who played in the team close to 15 years ago. A solid performance from the Old Boys saw them clinch the Haydn Sheppard Trophy this year; however rumour has it that the Current Boys have already started preparing for next year’s game.
A huge thanks to the current committee for all their hard work and to the lads who will be leaving us this year for their continued commitment and effort they’ve put into the Club.
If you’ve enjoyed being part of the team, or reading about what we’ve been up to please nominate us for an EPS Societies’ Award. We were the original winners of Sports Team of the Year in 2015/16 and want that trophy back!