April 6 2013
I should have written a report closer to the euphoric experience of getting a 2s team out on the same day as the 1s played and with not a single starter overlap – yes more than 30 players pulled
on kit and played for our club’s current mainstream teams on this Saturday of April 2013 and that is the first time since [a long time ago which can be debated among certain members of long standing
but it is without doubt more than 5 years since it happened]. I should have done so in order to attempt better to remember the match upon which I am now trying to report - who did score, when,
what was the final score etc. Not being bothered by letting the truth get in the way of a good story, though, I shall plough on regardless of accuracy of what follows:
To achieve this dream of starting 15 players did involve a slightly forwards heavy starting line up with 8 forwards in the pack, a forward in both half back positions a forward and inside centre and among the 4 other players 2 often play as – well – let’s be honest – forwards.
In view of how many people were out of position – and that a number of us had not trained together much or at all this season - it is remarkable that we did not ship points like a leaky sieve in the first few minutes but we didn’t. We gave the match our all and we muddled through with only occasional breaches of our line.
A few gentle substitutions over time to let some people rest and to shore up some key positions (one substitution being of a player who had ALSO not started nor even played at all for the 1s so I am able to boast that MORE THAN 30 people played for the club that day) helped and we established a slightly better rhythm to the point that we actually did pull back in the second half to win more points then than our oppo but we were too far behind to catch up and do the miracle end of season.
Still, tries from Jonathan, Big Jack and Rudi Stassen got us our points (Rhudi converted one of the three tries).
Hard work and determination throughout the season (played 7 won 4 lost 3) earned us “a few beers”.
It has been a joy and a privilege to captain RBSRFC 2s in the season 2012-13: I hope for many a long year to read of 2s (dare we hope for 3s too in due course) at this club enjoying their rugby to a man as well as our first team going from strength to strength. I would like to thank Les Giblin not only for playing in most of our 2s matches but also for arranging the fixtures with a suitable balance of winnable, probably unwinnable but lesson learning and not a single "walk in the park better ensure a victory this week" type of game. It was good to have suitable opposition for our 7 matches so we had to raise our game to meet the challenged.
16 March 2013 - RBSRFC 2nd XV
RBSRFC 2s 28 - 17 Bromley 4s
This was a match in which as home team we started and finished with 14 men on the pitch yet not a single card was shown!
Two illnesses, one no show and a pre-warned late arrival took our bench from 3 players to none, with a shortage too. Shame but we cracked on and to our pack's credit we shifted them back early doors when we had 7 pushing to their 8. Scrum dominance and good recycling of our ball out of rucks proved to be the things which ensured our victory. It was not a day for backs to show off - water skimming the surface of the pitch and a bar of soap having replaced the ball but still it was impressing that we dropped so little and played so hard.
The opposition was a force to be reckoned with - fast backs and a decent enough lineout but few throws were straight by either side given the conditions and our scrum which often emerged as a joy.
Tries went to Jon Owusu, Tyrone Johnson [was it Jack Marshall - you got a txt from Les I assume] and one for the whole pack which we generously let Chris Stassen
score. 5 metre scrum defensive put in for Bromley: we marched them back off their ball and to their line, Rufus from 8 got the ball near the line and let Chris pick
it up and dab it over for the points. TOTAL joy in the pack erupted at having made good for our spilled ball which had led to them getting a chance to clear their lines.
We had good communication about who could make it and who couldn't included the late illnesses which struck to otherwise keen players; we worked well together and cared and protected our ball. I learned a good deal and I hope others who played did too.
A good day out!
22 December 2012
RBS RFC 2s 25 - 17 Beccehamians RFC 4th XV
To call this a match of two halves is to underplay the remarkable nature of the fight back from 17-0 at half time. Most of those reading this report will have played or supported at Beccs' ground and will know the pitch with the Himalayan final 15 metres to the try line near the club house yet EVERY try was scored at that end!
We took to the pitch with a good 2s team as in balanced with a mix of returning students, flown in from working in Germany currently and mates we hope to integrate to the club as well as a posse of regular 2s players and in the run through it felt pretty balanced. Despite choosing to play downhill first half to try to get ahead and defend it, we shipped a try due to a silly defensive error ceding lots of ground off a kick and then poor last ditch tackling from their 5 metre scrum. Then we lost a prop to a yellow card incident and as so often happens went down one more try as we worked hard to cope with only 14 of us against 15 of them - they stretched us wide and our cover just didn't stop the try which was frankly more poor tackling by me than anything else (and I'd made all that effort to get over there only to bounce off the winger rather than haul him down - DARN IT).
Discipline was proving an issue for both teams and we felt we were getting the raw end of the whistle, rather, but after the ref asked for both captains to have a word the next thing was a line out at which there was much holding back and then a full round of fisticuffs and, guess what, another dose of ref asking both captains to calm things down or a card (most probably red) was on its way. From that point, however, RBSRFC2s' play finally started to come together and we were unlucky not to score and still more unlucky to go down to a third try which came from a maul we felt had stopped numerous times, we know for sure touched the post protector (which should trigger a 5 metre attacking scrum) and we know we had hands under when it was "scored". Still the club is awarded tries on occasion which we know were not deserved and when the ref says try it is a try AND the adrenalin rush from that led to a phenomenal try saving effort by Albie when he denied a winger the chance to get the ball down and did not merely hold him up but carried him out into touch to get us a 22 drop out. (Albie did say a few times that his shoulder hurt and he hoped to go off for a rest but if he was going to stop tries in that way, we needed him on the pitch!)
At half time, we told ourselves we were the best team, we asked ourselves if we wanted to win or lose, we did all the things one expects but I suspect a few talking or listening had a deep suspicion that the match was beyond us. We made a couple of changes to get a flanker where he wanted to be (but, Perry, thanks for hooking first half) and a few minutes later to let one of our older players catch his breath. From the restart kick, we seemed more on the ball, we caught more cleanly, we rucked as the club knows it can, we carried better - it started to click. Frostie grabbed us a well deserved try after much pressure and we had got some self respect. Ryan picked one up having to burst through a tackle or two and we were within a converted try of pulling even. Our defence was working well too - and it had to work hard as they pressed our line on a few occasions giving us plenty of reason to worry about where the match was heading. We had a couple of sweet interchanges and runs and suddenly Si Moore was going to be in in the corner and we were calm and determined when given a 5 metre penalty when we knew the penalty try was more logical in the circumstances. From that penalty, BigJack carried it up strongly to within 2 metres, was driven another one and Tom helped open the gap at the side of the ruck for Deano to dive majestically over for a try - we were a mere two points down with time for the match to go either way.
Plenty of defending later we were up against it, 5 metre scrum, Beccs ball attacking our try line, mid field so options both sides. Our pack chose this one to shift forward at the critical time, Frostie hooked against the head cleanly, Wegs picked up from No8 and ran to a bit of space then put in a huge kick - pretty much to the half way line... but it missed touch by inches and bounced infield; the groans from much of the pack at the need to chase it were soon converted to "back yourself" and "go for it" as our winger Aaron was first there kicked on, dribbled again, kicked once more and flanked by two other RBSRFC2s in support and protection landed neatly on the ball for a score their end which found us 3 points up which several minutes on the clock to worry about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
However, to round the game off, Phil Black got a well worked try after we used the width of the field against a tired home team and the missed conversion was irrelevant given final whistle went at that point and we looked at each other in disbelief. MATCH WON!
If you didn't score, you probably got close to doing so as the support throughout the second half on muddy, thick, energy-sapping ground was amazing. Our tackle rate increased exponentially too. It was a match to be proud to say you played in but let's forget the nickname I was given in the bar by Beccs afterwards: Captain Punchy is not how I'd like to be remembered (and my head still hurts 3 days later, given the retaliation an unknown opposition player dished me back in the heat of that battle)!