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Varsity: A GKTWRFC x KCL special vs UCL

Written by Beth Elder

The enemy of my enemy is …..also my enemy. It took a pandemic to unite once bitter rivals GKT and KCL against a common foe: UCL, in the first varsity match the GKT girls have played in living memory (or in the memory of this author who didn’t do very thorough research). Teeth gritted, thirteen brave Guy’s Girls (some fighting through tears and gag reflexes) pulled off their beloved navy and gold and pulled on red shirts, laced up their boots and trudged down to Richmond to help bolster the ranks of the KCL team. For many of the girls it had been over a year without touching a ball (a rugby ball anyway), and it was time to shake off the rust and unleash three lockdowns’ worth of pent-up energy on some unsuspecting UCL victims. One Guy’s Girl was heard proclaiming that she had not washed her boots since her last match in March 2020, so if any new COVID variants spring up in the South West London area this author has some ideas of where to point the finger.

It was a sweltering day at the Richmond Athletic Grounds, a site which for some of our squad brought back happy memories of past Summer Sevens Festivals - simpler, more unsanitary times. It was on a similarly hot afternoon on that very ground two years ago that a former GKTWRFC President infamously attempted to push over a portaloo… and with this great feat of strength in mind the Guy’s Girls joined their new KCL comrades on the pitch, ready to show that the slight insanity caused by a year of quarantine had only made us more dangerous.

The game got off to a roaring start with a quick try from the girls in Red in the first few minutes. After a few forwards phases the ball travelled swiftly down the backs and KCL player Katarina Martinovic made a stunning break through the UCL defences to pop it over the line. A neat conversion followed from GKT Captain Hebe Talas (Feel the Malice of the Talas copyright Bethany Elder 2020+1).

And soon after, with comfy possession of the ball near UCL’s try line, a gap in defence formed so wide that it would have been embarrassing for KCL to not score. So score they did, with GKT Vice-Captain (aka This Little Nine of Mine) Aryn Azlan running it swiftly over the line.  

It was not long before another break came, with our fullback Georgia Briggs outpacing all of the opposition team and her own support to run most of the pitch to secure the try. Despite leaving the UCL defence far behind her in the dust she did forget that the most opportune place to put the ball down is between the posts….but this was soon forgotten when a goose on the pitch caused a temporary diversion from the sport, with a number of players required to herd the beast (a lesser author would insert a wild-goose chase joke here) a safe distance from some lost rugby boys, whose past record with birds puts us all at risk of avian flu (a better author would not have included this joke at all).

A brief period in the sin bin for GKT’s Ashlyn McCabe caused by some overenthusiastic tackling (just a crime of passion) meant the girls in red were one short for a while, but a strong defensive line prevented any gaps forming for the UCL ladies. Another lovely try from KCL girl Nour Gado brought the scoreboard up to a comfy 26-0 before half-time.  

Love knows no bounds, and few loyal supporters’ love for GKTWRFC compelled them to flaunt restrictions to break into the grounds but they were sadly expelled for their efforts. However, a growing crowd of men in shirts and ties somehow escaped the COVID police under the pretence of “playing rugby” later on. The game now had an army of spectators and the girls obviously felt the need to give the boys something to aspire to in their upcoming match, with some impressive breaks leading to another try from Georgia Briggs on the left wing. 

Towards the end of the second half the subs bench got a much needed run around with all of the girls getting some game time. One more try came from GKT’s Ruby “Maddad” Haddad and yet another conversion from Hebe Talas.

The UCL team was made up of many fresher girls who were new to rugby, but the K in GKT and KCL does not stand for Kindness, and despite some valiant efforts and impressive play the girls in purple were not allowed to get one past KCL. The final score was 38-0 to King’s. A solid day’s work done, GKT girls headed off, making the respectable choice to skip the men’s varsity match in favour of the pub. It’s not over ‘til it’s Dover after all.

A massive thank you goes to KCL Captain Cecile Bigot for bringing the two teams together for some much needed rugby. We greatly enjoyed our joint venture and will have to thoroughly repress the happy memories in order to deck them at next year’s Macadam with our conscience untroubled.

Honourable mention goes to our own social sec Aminah Chowdhury who swapped the pitch for the press booth to provide some quality commentary for the game. The full match can be watched at the link below. Please view asap before Georgia’s first try gets flagged as explicit content for being too damn sexy: 

Forward of the match: Cecile Bigot
Back of the match: Georgia Briggs

Forward of the match (opposition’s choice): Sophie Rivett

Back of the match (opposition’s choice): Georgia Briggs





Written by Aminah Chowdhury

UCL’s Godless Girls of Gower Street were only able to bring out a team of 11 players so we matched down to 12 which meant an intense home game filled with fast plays and a challenge GKTWRFC were more than willing to rise to. Although we were able to bring out a full team filled with experienced old girls and keen freshers, we were determined not to let complacency get the better of us, a mindset that we carried with us through to the final minute.


In what was likely the first phase of the match, our not-so-secret weapon Sasha Cutten came through on the wing to score our first try, with no meaningful defence from UCL allowing her to stroll leisurely to the tryline. Whether this reluctance to oppose our bullet was a mistake or a conscious decision not to get a soulcrushing handoff, we will never really know. One thing we can be certain of is that this came to our advantage, and that once we broke through their defensive line, it was almost certain that a try would come out the other end.


Fullback Georgia Briggs showed us that her lack of fresher talent on tour was all down to it being concentrated on the pitch. The second try of the match was scored by this beast. Georgia went on to make 4 more tries during the match, so I won’t waste too much energy trying to describe this one.


Once again our nuclear weapon + winger Sasha Cutten left us with our jaws on the floor as she showed us what those legs were made for. Legend has it that she’s half gazelle. It’s either that or she REALLY loves skipping around her opponents leaving them dumbfounded staring at the ground wondering where she went. The skipping and confident hand off combination worked, earning our 3rd try of the game.


They say flankers were born to be full kit wankers but this couldn’t be more wrong for our dearest Madam Bethany ‘I’ll survive without a social top’ Elder. One of the longest standing members of the club, Seshany has been pining for nearly as long as the club has been running. And today, all her brilliant work as an aggressive (dramatic) forward paid off as she managed to brutalise the opposition and made what can only be described as a majestic run towards the tryline. Proud mama moment.


Coming to the end of the first half, the UCL opposition realised they ought to brush up on their defence and gave us a challenging line. After a couple of phases, GKT crept slowly but surely towards the tryline once again where resident scrum half and lil freak Aryn Azlan nudged the ball over making our 5th try. Captain and fly-half Imogen Andrews worked her magic and converted the try, bringing us to a score of 27-0.


The first half of the game was brought to a close by Sasha Cutten’s 3rd and final try of the match. This half also saw her sustain an injury to the knee which was bad enough to sub her off but not quite bad enough to stop her wanting to come back on purely to top Georgia’s number of tries.


Commendable mention to second row Esha Mohan for making her debut to Rugby after a 3 month long hiatus having been run over by a car and bruising her ankle. The glory was as shortlived as the Guy’s Bar high you get after a good game, good bev and a boogie. The post GB hangover hit her in the form of a UCL player tackling her far higher than anyone would care for. I am a woman of many words, but I’ll keep this one short; DOINK.


The second half saw winger Sasha Cutten being replaced by a slightly shorter, slightly less clued up Aminah Chowdhury. What she lacks in skill she makes up for in enthusiasm and aggression (although this is mostly self inflicted). In a novel moment, Bethany Elder was subbed off and we were quick to learn that her value is best realised on the pitch and if we were ever to entrust her with the responsibilities of waterboy again we might die of dehydration.


If you watched the England v France game shortly after ours, you’d have noticed that England’s winger was inspired by our own full-back Georgia’s a-may-zing pitch length tries. These feats of wonder gave the team another 4 tries in this half. At some points it looked as though UCL saw the ball change hands to Georgia and took a step back to let her do her stuff. If ever there was a path of least resistance in this game, they provided it.


Along with Madam Elder’s first try, hooker Ellie Porteous also graduated into the first try club. In an unexpected show of sheer strength combined with a great knack for seeing the space, Ellie lept into action while we weren’t looking and danced her way to the finish.


Shivani Ayyar, our fresher prop, and favourite snakebite chugging monster also made her first try. Both were converted by the golden touch (it comes from her hair) of captain Imogen Andrews, bringing our score


Georgia sadly did not beat her record of 6 tries in a match but as our statistic loving treasurer pointed out, we had 6 different try makers; half the players on the pitch. The final score against our longstanding rivals was 68-5 but the fun and celebrations didn’t end there. In the spirit of courtesy, we went for a pleasant post-match bev and watched England play France in a local pub. It seems the good fortune was raining down on our team, as we bumped into an old King’s rugby boy who was so pleased to see a group of young girls playing the sport that he offered to buy us all drinks.

Thanks Andy.


Overall, Guy’s Girls came away with a sense of achievement and the motivational win we all needed after a challenging season so far. Let’s hope we can ride this high out until the end and smash our upcoming fixtures!

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