It’s a shit job writing a match report for a game you’d rather not remember.
Also I’m dubiously aware that this is a public forum. Chop can you clarify this please? Blatantly he doesn’t read this, as do very few other people it would seem after the radio silence of my first report. Not bitter... Anyways, I shan’t digress too much, although clarifying who can see these will be useful as no one at the club needs a repeat of Whitehallgate circa 2010.
“A wounded animal is a dangerous one
but a dead animal isn’t.”
Were the profound words of wisdom conveyed to us from Shane that gloriously shitty Saturday afternoon just gone.
“It depends how wounded.” Bury helpfully chipped in.
It really is so useful having a resident vet in da club otherwise, who knows what ludicrous assumptions we’d strut on to the Failand pitch making.
Kill the animal; sadly we did not. More like we allowed the animal to rub our noses in their erect cocks, as one prophetic coach alluded to just the other week.
Joe likes a match report, he interrupted another spectacularly efficient warm up by reminding us all the unlucky recipient of BOG would be doing these honours.
So having reflected on the game I’ve worked out that we lost either because:
A) Only 18.3% of the players did the rolls (I watched whilst mid tumble and Greener grassed on all the skivers last report).
B) We didn’t warm our eyes up properly (Wayne always ensured we suitably warm our eyes up properly during sunny days by recommending 30 bouts of squinting directly into the sun).
3) Cam was raving too hard in London (it turns out Pitchero is still vulnerable to shoeman error).
I don’t have a lot to say on the rugby as it wasn’t very good on our part. I’m sure Barton Hill would have lots more to report. Georgie Hazel straightened the line nicely a few times in the centre. Kyle made his usual barn storming rampages, Biggo was his gentleman thuggish self and Jamie Duncan has finally finished some revising so arrived also to play some rugby. Rory did this immense reverse, spinning pirouette pass thing in the warm up which is absolutely incredible and is my one to watch out for in the future.
Our set piece was consistently questionable as I guess it’s fair to say it has been for a while. Berry and Joe were in stern talks on how to fix a scrum more wobbly then Cam after a Friday session in Fabric. That is until Joe decided he didn’t like anything Rich had to say and he’d rather see Berry do it his bloody self as he had all the bloody answers by ‘eck (say it in a northern accent in your heads to really encapsulate the made up quote I imagine Joe to have said).
The forwards are still grappling with the new line out, which we’re still trying to decipher. Anyone who expects 8 relatively intelligent people to remember a line out with 3 line out calls in only 5 years is just unreasonable. We’re not bloody Alan Turig. The game also encountered some individual lapses in concentration as Shane pointed out. This allowed Barts to lead throughout. I’m blaming Fat Hands for those lapses. He wasn’t actually playing but is a natural scapegoat. Again, this is fine cause he won’t read it! We certainly could have done with Jack’s defensive organisational skills and also when he says "buthineth" you know that he means business.
Back to business! The game had our first mass brawl of the season where half the team were under the posts giving a beat down or probably more likely taking one, whilst Whiteman strolled in for his 14th try of the season. Only just behind Hunty’s 25 so plenty to play for in the last couple of matches. Even Barts coach decided he wanted some of the mass brawl action and got earnestly involved. To be fair he was one big bastard as I’m sure Joe and Joe’s neck can surely confirm. I can only assume the Increased hatred for OBs since seeing them earlier in the season has been prompted by the transfer of several Saracens boys, who are still no doubt sore over two Gloucester cups so mercilessly torn from their grasps.
During the handbag session without a doubt the highlight was when Biggo angrily barked at the Barton/Saracen 13 - “I should put you back in f***king prison!” I’m not sure transferring from Sarries to Barton Hill justifies imprisonment but I guess Sheriff Biggo’s the law man so he’ll do what he does.
I should also mention and pass thanks to Jonny Parkes who after having subbed himself off for the Twos after an energetic 60 minutes and claiming exhaustion he popped up for the final 20 for the Ones and showed his natural first class caliber on the wing.
Merkin corner was a disappointedly one sided affair this week with Barts and Bs opting to shower in separate showers but on behalf of Bs there was a typical wide range of standards with Medgar sporting a fantastic Hollywood and Morgs experimenting with the Mohawk look. Clearly sampling some new styles in prep for Mystery Tour to Leicester.
We left the Barts lads at the club after a few beers. They all deservedly, seemed in good spirits. They may or may not have ransacked the place after we left and
If so, I’m just praying the anal beads were overlooked and left behind.
Cheltenham this week at home and some wrongs to write, some debts to pay.
I for one owe Badders a pint.
Author & BOP - Pikey
Final Score 10-32
Well at least we can say we played better than last time out against Barton Hill. The sun was shining on a glorious Fortress Failand and with a few late arrivals due to a supposed bridge closure, OBs warmed up with a good intensity. A number of colts were making their senior debut for OBs and looked to be coping much better with the warmer weather than a few of the seasoned pros.
With Barton Hill being out in the sun warming up a good 20 minutes earlier the assumption was that the would of used all their energy reserves already. However a strong start from Barts with some big ball carries up the middle meant they crashed over for a 5 nil lead. The last thing the front row wanted in the heat was to pack down for scrums every 2 minutes. However the backs felt this was a perfect use of forwards time and proceed to drop the ball whenever the opportunity presented itself allowing them to top their tans up out in the backfield. After both scrum halves where unjustly called spanners by the ref, the ball started coming into the scrums straight and Barts used their heavier pack (25% of the weight being made up by the No. 1 alone) to keep OBs on the back foot. However Morgan managed to read an offload from the Barts centre and go up the other end and score a try against the flow of the grain. With the majority of the Barts players falling to bother to get behind the posts for the conversion, the long warm up looked to be taking its tool. Using this momentum OBs quickly scored again after strong work at the scrum (heat was definitely getting to the front row at this point) and Johnny Parkes went in at the corner after Hamlett managed to successfully complete a 8-9-15 for the first time this season. With OBs on the ascendency and the luck seemingly going their way, Johnny Parkes went in for another opportunistic try when the Barts 15 kept the ball in play of a penalty kick which duly bounced into Johnnys hands (to be fair, he was ginger and at this point in the game sunstroke would have been his main concern). Barts scored again to make it 21 – 12 at half time.
The talk at half time was clear, keep hold of the ball, tire Barts pack out and use the backs out wide when it was on. However in true OBs fashion we proceed to ignore this and wonky lineouts and unsettled scrums lead to a number of penalties resulting in Barts being camped on OBs try line. Despite resolute defending, in particular from the back row of Potter, Coates and Dom, Barts again used their heavier pack to crash over. Underneath the posts the communication was focused for a second time on keeping holding of the ball and using the energy of the colts to starve Barts of the ball. For some unknown reason, this time the plan worked and after a number of phases OBs won a penalty on the 22. With the spot kicking of Cullen being of the highest order all day, OBs elected to go for a penalty which was duly slotted to make it 24 – 17 with 20 to go. As the match progressed Barts, and in particular their front row, found a second wind and they rumbled over the try line again. Fortunately the conversion was missed meaning OBs kept a 2 point lead going into the last 5. With a scrum on halfway to OBs, the ball was fed in as straight as Elton John in 1960s but not straight enough for ref. Barts then proceed to make their way down to the 22 where they themselves were awarded a scrum. The ball was put in somewhere between the second rows legs (ref just happened to miss this one..) and after a few phases Barts crashed over to take the lead. OBs raced up the other end but unfortunately could not gather the ball at the restart and Barts kicked it out to record 2 wins over OBs in a month. Final Score OBs 24 – Barts 29.
A disappointing after leading for much of the game, however Barts deservedly took the win. Some good debuts for the colts. Honourable mention to Lucas coming on in the front row and looking so young in the face that the ref questioned his age. As always Coates was a demon over the ball and Potter put in a shift at the back of scrum going backwards for most of the game. Magnus and Oli played well in their last games of the season, although with Magnus unable to cross the whitewash, he remains joint top try scorer with Hamblett (annoyingly). Johnny Parkes deserved a shoutout after scoring two tries and then play the last twenty for the ones AND promising to make it to training.
However BOG is reserved for colt Dom who tackled just about everything that came at him and made a nuisance of himself at ruck time, congrats.
Final Score - 24-29
Chipping Sodbury next time out, lets hope for some sunshine again.
So, Impact player Sesh continued to show his value to the team by asking (genuinely!) a few days prior "Trez, I've got a few lads who can play, interested?". Uh, yeah. I now have worked out a ratio of needing 25 on the teamsheet to ensure 15 on the park, so more is indeed merrier.
Vets rugby is proving to be interesting with not just having to worry about one's own squad, but having daily discussions with the oppo about the state and make-up of their lads. The great up-side of captaining the Vets is that no-one expects uplifting team-talks (I hope) as after playing a few hundred games a piece, we don't need to get the adrenaline flowing, but rather the glucosamine sulfate.
The downside is the need to spend much of the preceding two weeks trying to work out what type of team you're going to be playing.
To be fair Jim (N&B Vets Captain) was a) good at updating me b) totally honest c) aware we'd beaten them twice this season, so expecting a decent OBs side to turn up, which was the case. So not going to complain, as it was a good (if bruising) game.
When we turned up a lot of very fit keen and some rather massive youngsters were warming up OVER AN HOUR BEFORE KICKOFF! After we'd stopped our reunion hugging, a little bit of worry edged into the camp. Attempts to point out that well, of course the young keen ones WOULD be warming up, and all the oldies would still be smoking out back, were undermined by a headcount of the young and fit, which wasn't far off a full side. That said, we'd borrowed some 3s so our average age was a relatively youthful 36 (I actually worked this out).
Ah well, not a team to be easily daunted, we decided (OK, I inflicted it on us, predicting a slightly ouchy kind of game) to warm up properly. This is a first for any vets game I've been involved in, but hopefully contributed to the lack of injuries during the game (or warmup...).
It may however have contributed to our opening 20 minutes being a little less than strong, as a lot of us were a bit knackered from the pre-game plyometric-yoga-weirdness. And it was pretty hot out there.
As is traditional we don't dwell much on the game, which is useful for me as I'm terrible at remembering any of it in order. So... Highlights from my recollection:
Great takes from the re/starts from Tinks whose cries of "hurt the young ones"! were taken in the spirit it was meant (i.e. seriously).
Equally angry was Garth, who having felt a little out of the action on the wing replaced Ted (who'd injured his shoulder - more on that later) at 10 and preceded to become the most abrasive fly-half ever - skipping past tackles and quick tap penalties. Most un-vet-like. The Ref took me aside and pointed out that the 'tone of the game had changed a bit since the 14 had come (back) on' and he asked me to have a couple of words, and so I did. And those two words were 'Absolutely F'ing Brilliant'*.
Talking of abrasive, the simmering anger-pot that is Ted almost decapitated one of their young centres (possibly wanting to run his fingers through his boy-band hair) and narrowly avoided a spell in the bin. Their fewer-young and more-tattooed other centre then showed us how you actually earn a yellow by smashing our guest Spaniard about 3 seconds late and with weird high yet twisting technique. To be fair it was kind of him to do it to one of the chaps on the field who still has bones flexible enough to take it.
Similarly not an angry man, but you wouldn't know it - Alex Millard made the hit of the day as he chased across the field and absolutely smashed one of their youngsters into touch. I was particularity pleased as it was my wing they were about to score down.
Our visiting Spainard and Asbel were a lovely addition to the game, and great to see the OBs - spain love-affair thriving!
We stole a number of line-outs, and also got 1 (or 2?) against the head in the scrums - Sam Hawke as ever was fantastic (who had not expected to play, as it was his daughter's birthday until his misses pointed out that he really wasn't going to add much to (or enjoy) a teenage girl's party. Her loss was our gain.) Mike Dean bounced a few of their lads wonderfully, and then showed some great hands as well.
Peaches and Gorman, as expected were everywhere. Also as expected Peaches damaged himself, and then, as ever, cheerfully bounced back. Those two are both OBs GCM personified.
Brid, Ted, Grzonks and Gareth were wonderfully impenetrable, even when they stuck their huge 20yr old second row into the centres. It's was a thing of beauty seeing the grizzled ginger lions of the two Gs team tackling the young bull elephant who they'd probably expected to break through. Talking of Bull elephants - Dave Burrows - despite losing 3 stone after a type 1 diabeties diagnosis at Christmas (cruel timing!) was still able to swallow up 3 tacklers in each bullocking run. It'll take more than diabetes to slow that man.
The back three (esp me) had a mixed game, as the oppo had quite a lot of pace going on out wide (not helped my your's truly's tendency to step in), and a few looping passes (sorry again) and fumbles (ahem) were pounced on mercilessly. Youngsters with the ability to sidestep is pretty much my worst nightmare, so as a man who keeps a mental record of tackles made (and missed) I was in negative numbers by halftime.
Talking about scoring however, Gio - a late and SO SO welcome addition to the lineup was a man possessed - almost as if his lady was watching. A ref with a sense of justice would have given him his try, as he sprinted from near halfway, through at least 5 atempted tackles, and 3 at the end to twist and roll to score backwards over his head. The Ref (who had a mixed game, his admittedly very clear comms not really entirely excusing being rather tight on some of the laws) disallowed it - and when it was feeling that OBs were coming back nicely, having started to play a lovely offloading game.
On that note, a fantastic come-back from Monty (to be clear, not the old or famous one. But the one with terrible chat.). Smashed through tackles and put one of their couple of enormous lads backwards, having said he was going to. Monty: more than just chat.
And still talking of come-backs, Mark Li was a contender for Best on Park as despite not being the largest of men, was carrying constantly and tackling everything. Stunning work. A fantastic rip from a man twice his size was cruelly punished by the ref as he'd called 'Hands away' a nano-second before.
Continuing in that line, Aussie Pete took a couple of great kicks and one lovely looping pass to show great pace and touch down. We all especially loved how surprised he looked every time he did something great.
But the Best on Park performance came from Jim Sesh who, having said last game he was timidly just wanting to play a 10 minute spell or so, then absolutely tore it up (tap and go right into, and through their pack...) and one of the finest chasing back tackles I've seen in any OB's match. Fantastic. A lad half his age with a 10m head-start - reeled him in and then hauled him down full body outstretched just short of the line. The only reason they went on to score is because absolutely NOBODY thought there was the faintest chance Sesh was going to catch him. Underestimate gingers at your peril.
We scored a great team try in the last minute, and having said something along the lines of "I don't care about the final score, let's just bloody finish this strongly" I was still feeling pleased with the lads when we then totally failed to collect the restart, gave away a penalty on our 5yd line (after a valiant chase back) and then were bulldozed down over the line. Ah well. There were two other intercept (or collected off fumbles) tries so arguably 15 of their points were fortuitous, and our second fumble was in the act of us scoring so there could have been a 20 point swing if fortune had been smiling the other way...
But nevertheless, a great day - the game was played in great spirit, we acquitted ourselves well and in the second half, when our middle-aged legs might have buckled going up the slope into the sun, rallied strongly. Great band of brothers, and as this game's about camaraderie more than winning (although both is nice) - a great Saturday.
*this is a harking back to an old OBs pre-match mantra: "Boys, I've got just two words for you... Personal F'ing Responsibility" PFR became the two words the senior club built its success on. And Burpees. YAY Burpees!
BOP - Sesh
Final Score - 36-17