Charity Rugby – Right Up Sid’s Street

The third annual Jack Segust Memorial Cup match between the Solent Barbarians and the University of Portsmouth saw the students bring more than 500 vociferous supporters to Burnaby Road. The University side are also clearly a well-drilled team that should prove useful opposition to the RN U23 XV when they meet on the 6th October, also at US Portsmouth’s ground.

The charity match is in memory of Jack Segust who lost his life tragically in a freak golf buggy accident aged just 21. During his two years at the University, reading Civil Engineering Jack made a huge impact on all those who worked with him or played rugby with him. The stories told just after his death painted a vivid picture of someone who worked and played hard. He was the perfect rugby tourist. However the best testament to his life has been through the annual charity match where close on a 1000 spectators ensure that his nameand association with Portsmouth and University of Portsmouth rugby lives on.

The game started off in its traditional free flowing style and with the first half drawing to a close Solent Barbarians held a 7-5 lead through having converted their try. Whether it was a sign of tension or not the only blot on the evening’s rugby then happened. The University elected to take a penalty kick at goal. Clearly not in the spirit of the evening or charity rugby matches but enough to get them in front 8 -7. A lead they later extended through a well-taken try. It wasn’t long before retribution for this clear breach on the unwritten laws of rugby was delivered through Navy Referee Si Aldridge. With the University left wing guilty of a playing the man without the ball a swift Yellow Card was produced. May be a little harsh but nonetheless a form of justice for his teams previous misdemeanour.

It was during this middle part of the match that the game became a little fractious with one or two feisty moments at the break down. That this coincided with the cameo appearance of former Navy Mariner, Sid Street, was no doubt pure chance. By all accounts Sid had taken himself to an offshore secret Solent location to ensure his personal preparations for this important match were spot on. He also managed to arrange that his appearance of twenty minutes was ten minutes either side of half time. Shrewd as ever! It is always good to see one of the great characters of local rugby still enjoying the sport as much as Sid clearly does. Although as Head Coach at Portsmouth his play has probably reached more of the stage where it is do as I say not as I do!  With Sid departing the Service representation was left to former Havant player and Army doctor, Matt Morgan, playing at Eight for the Barbarians and of course Si in the middle, supported by Navy Referees Stu Collins and Steve Overrode on the touchlines. As the match progressed the University side began to turn the screw and though Solent Barbarians did manage one well worked try scoring raid on the students goal line they spent much of the time defending. The end result was a comfortable 41 – 19 match and the cup retained. Congratulations to US Portsmouth RFC for hosting this most worthwhile match where the real winner was that once again the game played in Jack Segust's memory had raised thousands of pounds for charity.