The annual Wengen rugby match, in memory of Myles and for the Myles Robinson Trophy, between the English and the Irish, took place on 1 January on the bottom of the nursery slopes, close to the Figeller (or Ice) bar, where a large crowd had gathered. The Irish team were looking very smart in their matching green T shirts and put the England players to shame. It was a game of touch rugby, starting with the national anthems, and refereed this year by Ben Clarke, formerly of England. The Irish team was captained by Mark Dillon and the English by Will Bryant.
I had been briefed clearly…NO contact! By all accounts, last year’s match had been a bit on the physical side. Looking at the size and physique of the Irish team I knew that minimising the level of contact would at least give England a fighting chance this year. That’s not to say that Will Bryant’s team were not committed and passionate (especially the lad in the tiger suit!) but when Mark Dillon’s team stood and sang Ireland’s Call in their matching kit on the nursery slopes of Wengen, it brought back memories of Lansdowne Road on an extremely cold day.
I was determined to keep it clean and fair. Early in the first half, the England Captain suffered a knee blow to the eye and mild concussion. I reached for my red card only to realise that the injury had been inflicted by one of his own team mates…play on! With 15 minutes each way on unforgiving frozen ground the lads battled things out. It was a reasonably close competition but, unfortunately, a self-appointed (Irish) touch judge appeared towards the end of the second half so, despite my best efforts and occasional re-start pass direct to England, Ireland powered through to celebrate a third successive win.
With my achilles aching, my heart pounding and feeling more than a little out of breath, I realised that I needed to get back in training ready for next year so, I retired quickly to the Ice Bar to enjoy a nice cold pint! The match had been played in the very best of spirits and had attracted an impressive crowd of supporters for both sides. Watching the Myles Robinson Cup being presented by Sarah and Cara and hearing the tributes paid to Myles by both team captains and by Tim Bryant, the President of Wengen Rugby Club, it made me feel very proud to be part of the event. Cheers to all who took part, to the players and their over zealous Managers and to the Robinsons. Bring on 2013!
Pictures courtesy of Penny Gleeson