On Wednesday 6th March, the LSBU Men’s Rugby first team headed to Surrey Sports Park to compete in the BUCS Southeastern Conference Shield final against London City University with the hope of bringing home the ‘Conference Shield’. After a fantastic season of matches, the men’s rugby team were hoping to come away with an LSBU win. Getting as far as the finals only highlights the successful efforts that LSBU Men’s Rugby have put in to developing their squad over fixtures this season. It has been great to watch their efforts paying off! Captained by Daniel Goldhill, a core squad of 22 players, some diehard LSBU spectators plus some supporting staff members from LSBU all headed down to Guilford, to either watch or play the game.  

With pitch side warmups and pep talks complete, the starting whistle went off at 3pm sharp signalling the beginning what turned out to be a very tight but exciting match. The first half consisted of some early tries from London City (2 with conversions one without), quickly bringing their score up to 19-0. There were also a few injuries stop starting the match, but both sides played well testing each other’s limits.  

After a quick break and team regroup, the second half kicked off with two fantastic tries scored by LSBU, both successfully converted. With the score coming up to 19-14, the game was becoming a much closer match. With more back and forth, City were awarded a penalty earning them an extra 3 points bringing their score up 22-14. Not long later, LSBU came back with another successfully converted try bringing the score up to 22-21. The last moments of the match saw some impressive rugby from both sides. Having played together all season, the impactful social connections formed between the LSBU players were particularly clear in the last moments of the game when the team put in a last push for that all important finals win. 

Though the game did not end in victory, making it as far as the final is still a huge achievement for LSBU, as well as a memorable moment for students. Some post-match words from the captain were “Today we’re at Surrey sports centre and we’ve just played in the cup final.” “The boys put in a shift, unfortunately they (City) got a couple of early tries, but we brought it back and it became an intense game” “I’d like to thank all the team for showing up, our coach and LSBU Active for supporting us today”. As LSBU staff, we could not be prouder of our squad for how far they’ve come this academic year and can’t wait to watch the team grow from strength to strength in the years to come.