The big grudge match – Cheltenham Tigers away and our boys bounced back from last weeks cup disappointment with an all round display of Defence, Attack, and Discipline.
Defence – The boys showed some great resilience and guts when confronted with some big aggressive units running straight at them. The whole first half we seemed to be defending in and around our 22 and ten yard line. But still not much yardage was gained by their bullish pack who in fairness gave our makeshift and rearranged scrum a bit of resistance. Still we won a few against the ahead and lineouts went according to plan bar one going begging on their try line. In fairness, the strong wind had alot to do with this and it also explained why we were camped in our own half for prolonged periods in the first thirty minutes. Still playing this number of opposition (…) the boys carried on and didn’t drop their resolve for an instant. It was a breath of fresh air as the line held, and held, and held; until we regained the ball only to be pinged on countless occasions for what, I’m still not sure?
Attack – Although in the first half we barely got out of our half, we still looked dangerous on a few occasions and might a couple of dropped passes gone to hand we could have gone in at the half by a couple of tries up. As it was, we were only 5 points down and everyone would have settled for that at the beginning (and during..) as the turn saw the wind on our backs and the wind in our sails (soon, wait for it)..
We subsequently pushed them back in the scums and pummelled the rucks with some great hits leaving lots of space for the backs to use their dancing shoes and run in some points. The first try however was a good forward move that lead to Ryan crashing over (who still had a lot to do) but with a little help from some friends was awarded the score.
With a Keano conversion the lead was ours and never given back at 5-7.
Then the twinkle toes fly half himself went over for a 7 pointer with a lovely cut back inside on a recycled move. A much deserved score as he a had a man of the match performance with solid distribution, vision and guile.
Then as sure as the forwards got on the flood tide the backs benefitted with clean quick ball and and day-skipper Joel Birchy, sailed down the wing and got a nice score in the corner to make the score a little more ship shape and respectable.
See what I did there..
But the backs weren’t settling for that and although more tries could (& should … Mr Birchmore!) have been run in , Joe took umbrage at the refs poor eyesight and ran around a few flat footed Tiggers to score near the fifteen yard line, which Keane kicked to take the score to a decent and deserved number.
Discipline – Now a lot is spoke about this topic in and around rugby and to understand it you need to be on the pitch and not just watching from the side lines with your shed goggles on (current company guilty!) But the boys showed restraint beyond their years even though the coaches were spitting feathers at some of the decisions unfolding. To a lad there was no dissent or back chat and that there in the end is why we won the game and not only because we scored more points than them.
Big pat on the back fellas and I’m sorry if you heard me lose it.
Incidentals /parish notices- Injuries suffered to : Daubs (broke it again, that’s just careless!), Budge (you’re a trooper), Toby (cracking hits mate) Harvey (in the wars & dropped from a great height – well not that high.. but on your head ouch!) everyone with the usual bruises and gashes – you all played in a derby and you know it.
Fred, Harry, Aiden, Joel F, Birchy, Joe, Jaden, Jude, Keane, Harvey, Luca, Tobes, Daubs,Leo, Blessing, Ryan,Budge,Charlie,Growler, Adam, Sam, Tom
Thanks to Noah, Lanners, Will Green and the everyone who came to watch. The turn out in their club house was excellent and the smartest we’ve been- complemented on by them too.
And, by the way, we’ll have those bragging rights, thank you very much!
Tigers 5- 26 Sarries pups