City Touch 2016- Round Up

12th August 2016

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This year’s city touch continued the trend of the previous seven by being bigger and better than before. In 2016 we saw a record number of teams compete at eighteen, with nine of these being new entries who all certainly brought a lot to the competition both on and off the field.

Teams were drawn into three groups- A, B and C. Group A was widely regarded as the group of death with several new entrants to the competition (Thomas Miller, Pathway CTM, Norton Rose FullBright Ashurst, Bishopsgate Financial and Simmons & Simmons) who although brought the element of the unknown to proceedings, but had made insinuations that they would be of a high standard. This proved to be the case, as these five teams did battle in some great games of free flowing rugby, with never more than a couple of tries separating them. Two of Bishopsgate Financials fixtures exemplified this particularly, as they edged Norton Rose and Pathway CTM by just a try in each game to top the group. That loss would see Pathway CTM qualify via second place and the remaining teams dropped into the Bowl competition. A special mention must go out to the Wisdomtree side in this pool, one of the only teams ever to compete with a majority of women in the squad.

Group B saw another of the new entrants Thomas Miller take the competition by storm. They made a signal of intent arriving early to set up their own gazebo for the tournament, allowing their players maximal opportunity for shade in what proved to be a particularly hot day. This proved to be a master stroke, as they went the entire pool stage unbeaten, defeating many experienced campaigners along the way including the ever strong Credit Suisse lead by Charles Paxton, the brother of one of the London Skolars record appearance makers John. Credit Suisse would eventually qualify to the premier competition as one of the best placed third place finishers and the free scoring Henderson Global would take second.

The final group C featured the much fancied and two time champions Lend Lease, who again made their intentions clear sweeping aside everyone in the group by some decent scores, including the London Skolars representative side. United Trust bank won the award for the best dressed, sporting some classy singlets, giving the guns some much needed exposure in ample tanning weather. The team weren’t just there to look good either, competing hard in all of their fixtures. Lend Lease would end up winning their group, with Standard Chartered finishing second and London Skolars qualifying as the other best third place finishes. Ipreo were one of the most improved on the day and put on their best display in recent memory, it was obvious to see they had been in training.

The second tier competition entitled the Bowl started to expose certain team’s stamina- Hampshire Trust, Ashurst and Mayer Brown were comfortably disposed of in the quarter final stages. The semifinals pitted Ipreo against Norton Rose and United Trust vs Mako. The former of these two fixtures was a thriller with some great attacking play seeing each team score at will, in this shoot out of a contest Norton Rose eventually came out on top 4 tries to 3. The second semi was a far more defensive battle; United Trust’s uncompromising style saw them grind out a narrow victory by 2 tries to 1. This meant the final was played between two of our new entries, Norton Rose and United Trust. Again the story was similar to the semi finals as United Trust Bank’s defence came out on top which saw them collect the bowl.

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In the premier competition the City Touch Shield the quality was obvious for all to see, the quarter finals saw some great rugby played which resulted in some upsets, top seeded teams Thomas Miller, Henderson Global and defending champions Lend Lease were toppled by Skolars RLFC, Pathway CTM and Standard Chartered respectively. Standard Chartered continued this trend in the semifinals, where they comfortably defeated the number one ranked side from the group stages Bishopsgate Financial. The second semi final between London Skolars and Pathway CTM was a grueling battle, with neither team giving up an inch, the game saw the first sudden death match of the tournament- each team dropping a player every minute until a team scored. London Skolars held their nerve and scored the golden try to set up the final.

The final was a game of momentum, London Skolars looking to reclaim their tournament took a commanding two tries to one lead. However the under dogs Standard Chartered, completed the fairy tale story, finding great energy from deep within to score two unanswered tries and win the game in normal time.

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The teams were awarded with their medals at the official after party venue Amber Bar Moorgate, with the victorious two sides United Trust and Standard Chartered deservedly partying in to the early hours of the morning. We would like to thank all the teams who participated in the event and hope many will return for next years tournament (those who are interest should contact Louis Robinson at louisrobinson@skolarsrl.com). We must also give a special shout out to all the helpful staff at the HAC and of course A suit that fits and our title sponsors Mazda MyWay for making this day possible.


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