After a successful Fresher’s Fair with 150 people signing up to receive emails, the 2014/15 season was off to a good start. We then had around 50 freshers turn up to the taster session, some who had never touched a rugby ball before and others who had never even watched a rugby game.
Due to the nature of York's term dates, we had just one week of training before our first game took us to Sheffield where unfortunately we were beaten 43-12. Despite the loss we kept our heads held high and we were pushed to train harder for our upcoming games. We played another six games before the end of term with a mixed range of scores and a couple of injuries along the way. We continued to progress with ambition and eagerness flowing amongst the team, bringing excitement for the forthcoming term.
Unfortunately our coach Steve left us over the Christmas holidays, leaving us without a coach for a couple of months causing our captain Tilly and vice-captain Ruth to take hold of the reins of training. With their extensive knowledge and keenness for rugby we knew our team would not suffer, however we continued to look for a replacement coach.
At the end of January we hired Ian Thomson, who brought with him a range of new, exciting training methods and a desire for us to grow both as a team and individually. Our final three league games of the season with Ian showed promising developments in not only us as a team but for players individually. We knew the end of the season would be a good one.
After our final league game against Leeds it was time to start training for Roses. Weeks of intense training began before the Easter break, with members of the team keeping up fitness and skills over the holiday to ensure we would be at our fittest for the event. Roses is the biggest varsity in Europe where York take on Lancaster and this year we were playing at home.
The Friday of Roses arrived and everyone was ready to strive, weeks of hard work were not going to be wasted here. The first game commenced, our 7s second team, and things were going well. A tough 14 minutes passed and we had won. One down, two to go. Next was our 7s first team; again it was a tough 14 minutes but we pulled through and won our second game out of the three. Ecstatic, we went home for a good nights sleep in preparation for the XVs game the next day.
Feeling the pressure of a whitewash being dependant on this game we took our places on the pitch. A difficult game full of blood, sweat and tears, playing like we had never played before, came to an end and as that final whistle blew cheers roared around 22 Acres. We had won the game meaning we had achieved the whitewash we had all been dreaming of. Elated is an understatement of just how amazing we were feeling. An incredible end to the year, and a wonderful way to finish our season.
After all the hard work we had put in we ended the season on a massive high, leaving us feeling elated and ready to take on the next season.
Unfortunately, as with any university team or club, the end of a year means inevitably have to say some goodbyes. All our third or fourth years that left this year had a significant impact on this club and on us individually and we want to thank them for everything they have done for us. Past Captain Mollie Staples, for leading us through an undefeated 2013/2014 season and showing us how important diversity is within a club. Connie Samson and Salma Suleman for being amazing social secretaries all year - even when they were ill or didn't want to go out! Juliette Carter for being an absolute monster on the pitch, even though it was only her second year of playing rugby in her life. Lottie Vong aka. Lottie Thong #Roses2014 for being a so strong and totally fearless, despite often being the smallest player on the pitch. Keah, Lara, Helen, Jess, Tilly (snapchat queen), Sam and our dearest Mum, Welby. We're gonna miss all of you, but we promise to do you proud this year and every year afterwards.