St. Edmund Hall 54 – 5 St. Peter’s Some things never change. Teddy Hall are the most successful side in the history of Cuppers, and this dominant display against a confident St. Peter’s team was a performance that any Hall XV of the last century would have been proud of. In confidently racking up fifty four points, they have also sent a warning to Keble, the young upstarts, that this year might be different. The final, to be played in two weeks time, should be a fantastic game. Hall were in no rush to assert their dominance in this match. In fact, for most of the first fifteen minutes it was St. Peter’s who had the upper hand. They dominated territory and possession, keeping the ball close but unable to find a way through. When Teddy Hall scored the first try of the game, it was a breakout that came against the run of play. However, this unconverted score plus a further penalty settled Hall into the game. Even when they began to put pressure on St. Peter’s, it was not as though Hall completely kept them out of the game. Rather, it was the fact that they were able to soak up any pressure that Peter’s could put on them, easily turn over possession and then break down the scrambling defence in a few simple moves. Hall’s second try was a great example of this, with a period of Peter’s possession breaking down, before being penalised for holding on. The kick to the corner, the simple rolling maul followed by a basic switch between scrum half and number eight saw the big back-rower Chris Davies going over to make the score 13-0. With Will Stevens converting and then adding a further penalty, the lead was stretched to eighteen points and St. Peter’s were beginning to seek a score with some desperation. It was Hall that presented them with the opportunity, with the generally outstanding Sam Humphrey- Baker throwing a poor pass out of contact that was snapped up by Peter’s left wing Dawit Demetri, who ran the length of the field to score. The significant crowd, which included a giant orange cat sporting St. Peter’s green, felt that the away side may have had a chance of pulling themselves back into the game, even after the conversion was missed. Half time followed soon after, and with the score 18-5, Hall were certainly well on top. However, it was a strange and fragmented half of rugby, with no clear pattern to the play, and it was certainly possible that if St. Peter’s could find way to hold Hall off and retain the ball, they had the skills in the backs to make it a close finish. However, it was not to be. St. Peter’s crumbled under some sustained Hall pressure in the opening minutes. Some quick lineout ball sent their burley inside-centre Ben Cossey through the middle of the Peter’s defence. Brought down just short of the line, the second phase of possession saw his centre partner Humphrey-Baker running around the outside to touch down. It was the perfect demonstration of their excellent combination in the heart of the Hall midfield. It was this try that opened the floodgates for Hall, and they scored at will for the rest of the half. The St. Peter’s attack, and their defence, fell apart completely. Even their kicking game fell apart; their hurried and conservative kicks were consistently charged down and proved unable to relieve the pressure. A further try for Chris Davies came from a quickly taken Hall lineout catching the Peter’s defence unaware, and when Ryan Buckingham scampered over after some misplaced Hall passing worked to their advantage. It became a matter of damage control for Peter’s, with Hall running through their replacements bench and keeping up the pressure, and consistently running through tackles, with captain Philip Satterthwaite and outstanding number eight Chris Davies both making memorable runs. Further tries kept the scoreboard moving, and by the final whistle it had reached 54-5. This Hall side have shown in the last two weeks that they are far too good for all but one team in college rugby. This final test will come in two weeks time at Iffley Road.by Jack Marsh
Though Natalie Cressman just performed at Madison Square Garden, the beloved Trey Anastasio Band trombonist will hit the arena once more at the end of this month. Cressman will be bringing her band to MSG for a performance at halftime for a New York Knicks game coming up on January 27th, but that’s not the only exciting news coming from Cressman and her crew!The accomplished jazz musician will release a brand new EP, titled The Traces EP, due out on March 3rd. Not only that, but she’ll be releasing the first single “Radio Silence” on January 24th, so fans can get a taste of the new music to come. Cressman talks about the inspiration for her powerful upcoming single in a new press release:I wrote Radio Silence about the trials of being a female instrumentalist in the man’s world that is the music business. I often feel a lot of frustration about being being pre-judged because I am a woman playing trombone. The discrimination shows itself in many ways: either by people under-estimating my abilities, or hiring me just because of my gender and looks, as the “token” girl in the band or part of a miniskirt-clad chick horn section, not because of what I can do musically.I’ve been kicked out of backstage multiple times at a gig because the assumption has been made that there was no way that I was one of the performers, because the prevailing and sometimes subconscious assumption is that being a musician is a “man’s job” if you’re not a singer.This song was about not really feeling “seen” or “heard” for who I really am and for what’s really important, the music. And that one day people would come to regret their small-mindedness and prejudice. I think many women both in music and beyond encounter sexism at work in their day to day lives so I wanted to put these feelings into a song in the with the hope that it might contribute to better treatment of female musicians in the future.Cressman will also be on hand for the upcoming Trey Anastasio Band tour dates, which are coming up in just a few months. It’s already shaping up to be an incredible year for Natalie “Chainsaw” Cressman, and we can’t wait for more!