Dominant Exiles are King of the Jungle


The London Exiles made the most of the controversial decision by the FRU to travel via public transport down to Camberley. The bus, 2 trains and walk at the other end gave the squad time to reflect on how the season has gone so far. Good but by no means great we decided we really needed to get our season going. After 5 minutes of serious rugby chat we then resorted the usual… Comparing Friday nights, discussing pre game nutrition and locking Barty in the loo.

Rich Oliver’ used all his experience by altering the pre match warm up and in a strange piece of reverse physiology Shep spoke in an endearing light about Camberley stating that they were all ‘really good lads’. He wasn’t wrong but possibly not the most rousing team talk…

With Oscar Matthews (Stephen Donald) at 10, Will Banbury (Socino) at 12 and Sandy on the bench the back line looked nicely balanced! A good pitch and a lovely autumnal day – What a day for running rugby!

Teamwork was the order of the day for the Exiles and it reminded me of the Law of the Jungle in Rudyard Kipling’s 1967 Jungle Book where the Wolves understand that teamwork is essential to success. The famous quote being ‘the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack’. Today the Exiles were a pack of Wolves intent on ruling the jungle.



Some rigid defence meant their fly half went off early (much to Shep’s disappointment) and Mark Mapletoffs stunt double came on to replace him. The Exiles were strong and it was the most complete and fluid 80 minutes put together this season. Barty was his usual distraction best and Oz has his kicking boots on but it was clear that the turning point was at the 45th minute when the bench came on… (Even though we were 25 points up by then)! Paranthan Rabridingdong was banished to the bin of sinners for cheating. Disgraceful behaviour which has now led to an internal disciplinary and a 2 match ban #bringbackben All in all the Es played an excellent brand of rugby and there are too many players and too many moments to highlight.

I thought Stuart the referee did marvellous job officiating, not always a luxury you have in London SW2! Many thanks to the 3 merry men who came down to support. Thank you for hosting us Camberley (Shep was right). It was a pleasure to visit – the cheese as a side addition to the post match korma curry was a very nice touch. You had a superb array of Blazers on the sidelines and some wonderful session ales in the clubhouse.

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