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Galaxy and Rebels take home Men’s and Women’s titles

Galaxy London and NQ Rebels were the big winners at Round 2 of the 2021 Elite Men’s and Women’s National Touch Series in Oxford, taking home the Cup titles.

Conditions for the final tournaments of the domestic club season could barely have been any better, with balmy, sunny and calm weather descending over Oxfordshire. And the teams made the most of it, too, serving up a cracking day of Touch from start to finish.

While the morning produced a few even matches – Cambridge’s win on the hooter over Thames Valley Vikings the standout – the afternoon saw this competitiveness step up several notches once the teams had been tiered into the Cup, Plate and Bowl groups.

Thames Valley’s men and Nottingham’s women secured the Bowl trophies by winning both their matches relatively comfortably, but the Plate and Cup both went down to the final contests of the day, with three of the four being decided by just the one try.

Wigan and Raptors went into their Men’s Plate showdown with one win apiece, with the Warriors knowing that only a win would do thanks to Raptors’ better try differential, something which they achieved with a 7-6 result.

Raptors’ women also had a better try differential compared to Galaxy London in their chase for the Plate, but neither team could shake each other loose, Raptors confirming their trophy with a 5-4 win.

The Women’s Cup went to NQ Rebels, who saw off both London Scorpions and CSSC London Eagles with respective 5-3 and 8-2 scorelines, with Eagles finishing second thanks to their own win over Scorpions.

But the best was saved for the Men’s Cup. Galaxy London set the tone for the afternoon with a 6-5 win over CSSC London Eagles which went down to the final few seconds and was built on some athletic and dedicated defence.

London Scorpions then turned on power, pace and relentlessness to see off the Eagles 9-4 to set up a winner-takes-all showdown against their capital rivals, and this lived up to the hype. Galaxy edged out a two-try lead by half-time, which proved to be a crucial margin as while Scorpions kept on reducing that to one regularly in the second half they were kept at arm’s length until the final hooter, Galaxy winning 9-8.

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