St George’s men’s rugby team recently won the University Hospital’s Cup
Published: 27 March 2020
St George’s men’s rugby team recently won the University Hospital’s Cup – the oldest rugby cup competition in the world. The tournament pits the University of London’s six constituent medical colleges against each other and was first instituted in 1875. St George’s success this year is the fifth time that the University has won the competition since its inception.
Captain of the team, third year Paramedic Science student Andrew Ciccarelli, explains, “Last year we were knocked out in the quarter finals but we believed this was our year to win it.
“We won this year’s quarter finals in a tight game against Imperial and then won the semi-final convincingly against Guy's, Kings and St Thomas' 41-0. The final was against Royal Free Medical School (RUMS). We had already played RUMS this year and beaten them by one point so we knew it would be a close game.“
On the day, nerves were exceptionally high. Everyone was very excited but also knew how tight the game would be. It was an evening kick off so we were left waiting all day allowing the nerves and excitement to build and build.
“During the 1st half, RUMS were dominant. For two separate ten minute periods they were a man up as we were given two yellow cards. Despite this, they only went in 5-0 up at the break.“
At half time we sat and contemplated how far we had come as a team - we had won all but one game all season. To lose to an aggressive RUMS team wasn’t an option after coming this far. If we had beaten them before (coming from 17 points behind that time), we knew we could recover five points.
“We started the second half strongly and scored three converted tries in succession. RUMS then scored towards the end of the game but it was too late. The score line finished 21-12 to St George’s.
“The moment the final whistle blew and the pitch was stormed by all our fans and old boys, the realisation hit me about how big a moment it was. The celebrations and cheering were incredible and everyone was beyond happy. Some old boys/doctors had tears in the eyes as did some of the players.
“It will always be the biggest and most important game of rugby we will play. The crowd were amazing and taking the trophy and lifting it with the team will forever be a memory.
“I genuinely felt we deserved the win, everyone had trained so hard throughout the year. Our coach had told us from the start this was our year and we believed him.”