61 long years since their last title, Jesus can proudly call themselves this year’s Cuppers championsDIK NG WITH PERMISSION FOR VARSITY

After back-to-back Cuppers victories for John’s in 2022 and 2023, Grange Road welcomed some new faces to this year’s final. Having beaten the Redboys by a score of 32-7 in the semi finals, Jesus guaranteed that a new team would emerge victorious from this season’s competition. Up against them was a mighty Catz/Hom team, full of momentum after a 48-5 win against last year’s runner’s up, Fitz/Sidney. With an impressive turnout of supporters at Grange Road and weather conditions resembling the South of France, the scene was set for some fast flowing rugby and a thrilling final.

“Jesus guaranteed that a new team would emerge victorious from this season’s competition”

Jesus hit the ground running with an early try. Some tidy passing off the back of a maul followed by a dink of the boot behind the Catz/Hom defence allowed Jesus’s winger to finish in the left corner for the opening score of the game. However, Catz/Hom seemed to be unphased by this and proceeded to put Jesus under great pressure inside their own 22-metre line. Through some formidable defence, Jesus absorbed a barrage of strong carries from Catz/Hom and diffused the situation. Determined defence would be a recurring theme throughout the final and for the next short while, neither side’s defensive lines would budge in the face of powerful crash-ball carries.

Some twenty minutes into the match, Jesus broke the deadlock after their player intercepted a long pass off the left hand from Catz/Hom, leading to a determined charge down the left wing towards the try line. An inside pass to Jesus centre Max Loveridge, running a support line, left him free to score in the corner. Loveridge then converted his own try with a pinpoint kick from the touch line. With a healthy two try lead already, Jesus continued to turn the screw in the closing minutes of the first half. For what seemed like forever, Jesus’s forwards crashed into a resilient Catz/Hom defence, inching towards the try line. Finally, a battering carry enabled Jesus to get over the line in the left corner for their third try of the day. Another impressive conversion from the far left made the score 19-0, which would remain unchanged for the rest of the first half.

Both sides were locked in a fierce battle of attritionDIK NG WITH PERMISSION FOR VARSITY

Full of confidence from their stellar first half performance, Jesus picked up where they left off. After a series of relentless carries wore out the Catz/Hom defence in their 22, a short ball enabled a Jesus player to burst through a gap in the defensive line. A valiant last ditch tackle almost stopped him in his tracks, but with momentum on his side and an impressive display of awareness, the player from Jesus was able to reach for the try line and give Jesus another try. Despite the unfavourable scoreline, Catz/Hom were not rattled and appeared intent on making sure Jesus would have a difficult time all the way to the end. For the next 15 minutes, both sides were locked in a fierce battle of attrition, marked by robust defence and huge tackles, both on and off the ball. However, a period of continuous pressure from Jesus eventually managed to overwhelm the Catz/Hom defence. Armed with a powerful pack, Jesus set up a driving maul and stampeded over the try line, extending their lead to a convincing 31-0.


Mountain View

Why you should be supporting your local athletes

Even though Jesus had accumulated a substantial lead that did not look like it would be disrupted, Catz/Hom did not back down in the closing period of the match. After struggling to significantly dent Jesus for the majority of the second half, a loose Jesus pass on their ten metre line provided the perfect opportunity for Catz/Hom to capitalise. A Catz/Hom player intercepted the ball and sprinted all the way under the posts to end their points drought, before a drop-kick conversion added the extras for what was a well-deserved try after playing unrelentingly the entire match. The action did not end there, as a battering run by the Catz/Hom tighthead prop got them deep into Jesus’s territory and sparked hopes for another score in quick succession. After an eternity of action and advantages being played by the referee in the final play, the match finally came to an end when Jesus turned the ball over in their own 22 and kicked it out, marking the end of an intense final. The final score: 31-7 to Jesus.

Saturday’s final did not disappoint, proving to be a fierce contest from start to finish. While Catz/Hom put in a performance to be proud of, Jesus ultimately showed themselves to be both an immovable object and unstoppable force on the day. With a small army of Blues and a squad of phenomenal players at their side, they truly had a winning combination in this year’s competition. 61 long years since their last title, Jesus can proudly call themselves this year’s Cuppers champions.