On Saturday 9th October, a year’s hard work came to fruition. The Maul Over Podcast has been going for 5 years now, and the hosts, driven by Russ Milsom, felt it was time to give something back to the rugby community. They reached out to Rugby Against Cancer, a charity that embodies something that has affected all 4 closely, to look at co-hosting an event bringing together the community aspect of rugby, with fundraising to help support those from the sport who are affected by cancer, at a community level.
Supporters of the podcast from as far afield as Cumbria and the home counties assembled in Newquay for a charity rugby game, hosted at the Newquay Sports Centre. An invitational squad of 22 lined up consisting of listeners, hosts and contributors of the podcast, bulked up by Newquay 2nd team players. St Austell 2nds provided the opposition. There were a few nervous times before the game when St Austell turned up well before kick-off with a team of regulars against the Maul Over Invitational, with players who hadn’t touched a rugby ball for upwards of 15 years! 3 of the Maul Over hosts started the game with Dougie Andrews at 9, Russ Milsom in the pivotal fly half position and Ben Eustice at full back. The 4th member, Phil Elkins, had picked up an ankle injury in the warm up 2 weeks previously so took on the role of team manager, ably supported by long-time supporter of the pod, Matt Ball, who had driven 7 hours to support the game.
St Austell started strongly, but some determined defence from the MOI team meant the half time score was a mere 14-0. MOI rang the changes due to a complete lack of fitness but still managed to hold the score line tight, mainly due to a combination of brute force, some clever ‘old school’ rugby and some dogged defence. 5 minutes from time, the pressure finally told and Saint Austell added a 3rd but sustained pressure from the MOI team, and returning players after a 30 minute rest led to a try with the final play of the game from substitute scrum half ‘Monkey’ Dave Rich (he works at the zoo!) The final score was 19-7 to St Austell.
The whole game was live streamed on Twitter leading to such gems as ‘Doug thinks he’s Marcus Smith’ and ‘Why is Ben leaping like a salmon?’ and the festivities continued after at the Lanherne Inn. Generosity from both the supporters, players and podcast listeners have led to over £1600 being raised for Rugby Against Cancer which surpassed all expectations, and probably means we will need to do it again next year! Thanks to the Newquay Sports Centre, St Austell RFC, The Lanherne, Rugby Against Cancer, and most of all the players for a fantastic day.