Men's 1st XV
Sat 16 Sep 2023  ·  Counties 4 Surrey
Harlequin Amateurs
Streatham-Croydon RFC
Men's 1st XV
Tries: J Leadley (2), R DewarConversions: A Sheehy (2)Penalties: A Sheehy (3)
SCRFC mens 1st XV win at The Stoop!

SCRFC mens 1st XV win at The Stoop!

Freddy Green19 Sep 2023 - 06:50
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Streatham-Croydon mens 1st XV kicked off the season in style with a classy win against Harlequin Amateurs

After two intense months of pre-season training, the moment we had all been waiting for arrived: the first league game of the year. And what better way to kick things off than with an away encounter against rivals from the last two seasons: Harlequin Amateurs. After news trickled through the group that a fire at QA’s home ground would leave their pitch unusable, word spread that the professional side had offered up a replacement venue for this key encounter. And what a replacement that was: The Twickenham Stoop.

This announcement had a palpable impact on the squad: selection was going to be tough enough before, but this was only made tougher by the news that the game would be played at a Premiership ground. Weddings were suddenly cancelled, injuries miraculously healed and children were hastily chained to lampposts for the day, which increased our selection pool to almost 30 players.

On the day, the 18 that made selection ventured down to warm up in a children’s playground just across the road, with those leaving the Stoop early greeted with showcases of what one onlooker described as ‘real rugby’. As the clock struck 1730, both sides left the seesaw and swings for the dazzling lights of The Stoop. Seeing the SCRFC logo projected pitch-side was both exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measure, and exactly the motivation needed to get the squad up for the game.

Despite The Stoop’s 14k+ capacity, the recent bout of new covid strains making their way through London, coupled with SCRFC’s unwavering commitment to hygiene and health & safety, meant we had to put a request in to limit attendance to roughly 300, which the stadium officials kindly adhered to by ushering the thousands of fans out of the ground just before kickoff. Those lucky enough to be let into the ground formed the iconic Red Wall, and cheered on our first XV as we made our way onto the famous turf, led by Captain and former-prop Charlie Pattihis. Strets started strong and applied some early pressure, gaining 3 points courtesy of Adam Sheehy’s reliable boot. But, the day was as much a day for new blood as it was for trusted stalwarts, with our back line filled with league debutants Joe Ledley, Tom Judd, Neo Rouleau and Guillaume Sardois. The latter 2, along with Loan Orussett off the bench formed part of a formidable French collective who have made themselves right at home in our South London oasis.

Despite some heavy carries from some sizeable QAs front 5, Streatham pressure continued, eventually topped off by the first of two impressive solo efforts by Joe Ledley, who showed great agility to avoid numerous tackles and touch down for our first try of the game. The conversion followed, and SCRFC found themselves 10-0 up at the home of Quins rugby. Unfortunately, the next 20 minutes were less fruitful, with Quins Amateurs securing numerous turnovers at the breakdown, and SCRFC suffering an early injury blow, with French import Guillaume going down with a knee injury shortly into the first half.

Luckily, owing to expert translation from the author of this match report, we were swiftly able to determine that Guillaume was a.) injured and b.) needed to be taken off the pitch, and replaced with another player.

Inspired by home turf and encouraged by some poor discipline and ruck defence from the visitors, QAs made their way up the pitch, slotting two penalties and an unconverted try to take a narrow 11-10 lead before the half time whistle. What happened at half time was a team talk that was both reflective and forward looking in nature. But the message was clear: we must secure our own ball at the breakdown. Before we could put this into action however, another remarkable solo effort from Joe L straight off of kick of instantly picked things up. This was bolstered by a rejuvenated forwards pack, who secured ball and (mostly) dominated at the scrum. An honorable mention at this point to Chris Collcutt, who led with some impressive carries over the course of the game, and was visibly pumped up after consuming a mysterious purple concoction beforehand. Whatever was in there, it worked, and QAs struggled to keep a lid on some tenacious pick and go efforts from our No.8.

The two sides continued to trade penalties, with Streatham’s two to QAs’ one appended by another excellent SCRFC back line break, this time by Ross Dewar, who popped the ball outside to Sheehy only to receive it back and touch down under the posts. 28-14 up and with under 15 minutes to go, things were looking good for the travelling contingent. But the game was not over, and Harlequin Amateurs fought back with pressure at the scrum and several lineout steals. This was not helped by the fact that the hard work we had completed to get the ref back on side was swiftly undone, after he was savagely taken down by a nonplussed Streatham player. He almost decided to take action, but was distracted by the unadulterated charm and free flowing banter of the SCRFC front 5 at the scrum.

A final push from a determined QAs side saw them steal a late try, but it was not enough, with the score ending 21-28 and SCRFC earning an iconic win on the road. A huge thank you to the supporters who made the journey down, and special shout out to our league debutants.

POTM: Joe Ledley
DOTDs: Leadership trio

Match details

Match date

Sat 16 Sep 2023



Meet time



Counties 4 Surrey

League position

Harlequin Amateurs
Team overview
Further reading

Team Sponsors

Sponsor - Parkside Fabrications
Club Sponsor - Metro South Mechanical
Club Sponsor - Croydon Asphalt
Women's Shirt Sponsor - Anthony Gold