1st XV: Clevedon 30-37 OBs
After a day to reflect on yesterday’s performance, I have come to the conclusion that it can only be described as the equivalent to an end of season tour game. However, it wasn’t a tour game, which means it did actually happen, and therefore I am allowed to write about it.
Similar to on tour, players who hadn’t been seen for months (Jack Price) and even years (Gouldy) arrived with nervous enthusiasm at a sunny Clevedon RFC. The 8-9-10-12 axis introduced themselves to each other for the first time, as we watched Clevedon go through an intense warm-up, whilst we made disparaging comments about their perceived age and fitness levels, despite us standing around doing absolutely nothing.
Jack had revealed to me in the car journey to the game that his preparation over the last few weeks had involved ‘averaging 4 pints and a bottle of wine per day’ whilst on a work trip to Australia. Surprisingly, he then later took offence when Pikey referred to him as ‘robust’ in comparison to regular fly-half Rory, who is currently out with a broken leg.
Other car journey chat included a discussion [Ed- about the game that no one wants to read in a match report].
Back to the tour/league fixture, it was an hour before kick-off and we had no coach, physio, balls or water bottles. Injured captain Joe had asked for someone to pick the water bottles up from the club, but apparently an immediate response of “I’ve got them” from Fison didn't actually mean he had got them. He claimed he was responding to a previous message on the WhatsApp group from Louis sent about 3 years earlier.
In the absence of Shane, we continued to stand around outside discussing the morning World Cup games. Andreas declaring he woke up just in time for the drop goal at the end of the France game, to which Morgs responded, “Greener had been up watching rugby for 5 hours by then!” A few people tried to suggest we go inside and get ready to warm-up, which was met with blank expressions and absolutely no movement.
The 1st XV have rather controversially started to play music in the changing rooms in an effort to improve focus and intensity after years of starting games slowly. In true OBs fashion, when song choices were requested ahead of the first game of the season, the first 3 responses were, ‘Holst – Jupiter’, ‘Beethoven Symphony No. 9’ and ‘I Want it That Way – Backstreet Boys’.
Only a few things of note from the game itself (apologies to Oliver Pool). For those who don’t know the IRB World Rugby Laws, Law 22.1 states that there shall be ‘No Shit Tries’. This is typically only seen during touch rugby training sessions where one team drops the ball and the other team gathers before running in unopposed. Luckily the referee on the day wasn’t enforcing Law 22.1, otherwise 4 of our 5 tries would have been disallowed.
Continuing the tour game theme, we always let the ball bounce (particularly on kick-offs) and even set-up for one lineout without realising we didn’t actually have anyone to actually throw the ball in, before being penalised by the referee for time wasting.
Fison received a yellow card for doing his best Paff impression and cynically pulling down a Clevedon maul on our try line. Shane tried to claim after that Fison’s actions had ‘won us the game’, despite Clevedon actually scoring a try anyway off the subsequent penalty.
Kyle was lucky not to receive a yellow card for a late dump tackle towards the end of the game as OBs held on for the win. The referee explained that he had seen the incident in his peripheral vision, but was unable to produce a yellow card as he hadn’t seen who the culprit was. This was despite Kyle standing next to him apologising to the injured Clevedon flanker.
Kyle decided after the game that we need to work on receiving kick-offs. I can only assume he refers to the royal ‘we’, as for someone who causes fear in opponents when he goes on one of his trademark rampaging runs, he looks incredibly scared when waiting to catch a high ball. In fact, you can almost hear him yelling ‘no, no, no, no’ as the ball drops down towards him.
Not much to report from Merkin corner, except a few noticeably singed pubic hair regions after last weekend’s pub golf bush fires.
In the post-match podcast, Shane commended that I was now ‘learning my trade’ at 6. Whilst this sadly probably means my days in the backs are now behind me, at least it means that I could become only the 2nd person (after Blackwell) in the Old Bristolians senior section to actually have a trade. And the 1st to have their own song. ‘Greener is a 6, is a 6…’
Final Score: Clevedon 30-37 OBs
Tries: Law; Hill; Green; S. Davis; Hunt
Cons: Price (3)
Pens: Price (2)
Yellow Cards: Fison
2nd XV: OBs 21-0 St Brendan's Old Boys
It was a glorious day to wander on the hallowed turf of Fortress Failand.
A blistering 24C greeted the team (OBs) who turned up ready and on time. Spirits were high and whispers of the impending encounter were being softly spoken.
The opposition didn’t quite have the same appreciation for the kick off time… however OBs used our time well by logging into our internet banking to check our subs direct debits.
Other activities included a spot of sun bathing with Chunk provocatively stroking his thigh at anyone who would watch, and general discussions of how ‘lovely & civilised’ the sport of rugby is.
As you can probably tell by now, OB 2s were confident. A well prepared and drilled squad was ready and warmed up whilst St Brendan’s had a casual showing if a mere 12… In an act of good will, OBs offered to drop to 14 (by this point they had 13).
I, like most, would rather forget most of the 1st half (so I won’t even talk about it) bar one act of almost brilliance by HRD.
OBs had camped in the opposition’s 22 when a turnover scuppered our advances. A quick fling to their kicker and the ball was well on its way back into our half. However, one man’s innate footballing talent shone through. A swift mid-air volley by HRD and a chase like a gazelle across the planes of Africa, was a sight to see. After a few bounces unfortunately the ball made it into touch with just a meter to the line.
As you can imagine, the tone of the management at half time was firm. It was 0-0 and they had turned up just moments before the game, two men down and without a front row.
HRD having a brief Bruce Banner moment turned into ARD. A volume 11 rousing had all looking at themselves and knowing what needed to be done!
The second half was far brighter with a renewed intensity and three stunning line breaks which were all converted into trys by Marcus, Tom and HRD.
The post-game tunnel came under stern scrutiny after recent events. After having to reset the gate a number of times and a few explanations of what ‘go through the gate’ means, the end result was as tight a tunnel as I have seen. Something that truly makes me feel proud to be an OB.
With a solid win under our caps we had time appreciate some sterling efforts from a number of players including a debutant, Jack.
A return to the changing room saw Cam preform a bible-esque miracle in front our eyes… two firmly closed beers were suddenly open! This, to a room full of chaps with no bottle opener was a sight to see.
We also learned about the showing habits of the OB Colts from our try scorer Marcus... they don’t which, as you can imagine was greeted with a series of compliments.
Post-match refreshments were, in this humble OB’s opinion, absolutely first class with a jug from the ever so generous Adley and a Chilli to die for.
All in all, a cracking day of rugby with some absolute gentleman has left me with some learning points;
1s is the name of the OBs tie… and I need to get one from behind the bar!
General stash is great value and looks awesome (can be purchased here)
I don’t know the difference between ‘Marinate and Marinade’, any help with this will be greatly appreciated [Ed - 'marinate' is the verb, whereas 'marinade' is the noun].
Final Score: OBs 21-0 St Brendan's
Tries: Tom; HRD; Marcus
Cons: Marcus (3)
3rd XV: Bishopston 53-33 OBs
This week’s Saturday fixture for the 3’s against Bishopston RFC and was a game of 2 halves and 2 well needed water breaks.
The sun was shining and the thought of playing on 4G excited all 13 of our backs but our 2 forwards were not as enthusiastic...Yet, the match kicked off and within 5 minutes Dave T was over the line! Unfortunately he forgot he isn’t a Fijian and dropped the ball...no try.
After this DOD moment each team scored a couple of tries each and the forwards collected to convince the ref to call a water break.
Everyone was truly grateful and hydrated, and we kicked off where we left off. Injuries plagued the team and we found ourselves 3 (4?) teammates down but stuck in there until half time.
It surprised us all, but the score was 19-19 at this point. The opposition swapped out their loaned player for a suspiciously larger and apparently, less enthusiastic player. The sun was hot, our legs were tired and the 2nd half was underway. I think we pretty much always had at least 1 less [Ed - fewer] player from this point and ended up conceding a couple of try’s. We fought back with one of our own but the sun and injuries took its toll after the 2nd half water break. We conceded a few more and practiced our 7’s style offloads resulting in another try! Despite the tickling thought of a late comeback the final whistle blew and the game was over.
Overall OB’s played considerably well under the circumstances and our very recently formed friendships and partnerships were put to the test. Bishopston RFC are one to beat in our next meeting...
- Good showing from a very scratch team with lots of debuts
- Chop was challenged to fight by a spectator mid game for ‘kicking my mate’. Fight did not materialise post game…
- All the best to Josh with his new ‘Pikey arm’
- Well formed tunnel with limited belly rubbing from both teams
- 4G is horrible to play on
Final Score: Bishopston 53-33 OBs
Tries: Higgins (2); Nick; Tref; 'Paddy from Bishopston'
Cons: Tref (4)