Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Dry, Yes. Cold, Very, but a Win is a Win.

Tue, 26 Feb 2013 11:41

Clearly, when all our teams win their games it can be seen as a good weekend for the club.  Also, the Comedy Night at the club was superb unless you sit at the front and happen to be of a particular physical somatotype.  In other words rather short or rather chubby.  Female comediennes don't show much mercy as I am sure Richard and Luke will tell you. Thanks to the organisers and bar people and bacon butty chefs. 

Senior Rugby
The first XV travelled to Coventry Welsh for a league match and although the team played a little below their usual standard, they did enough to win comfortably by 36 - 13  with young Tom our scrum - half scoring a hat trick of tries.
The Development Squad travelled north to take on Aston Old Eds and did well to return home with a 17 - 12 win.
As a treat I thought I would take a look at our Vandals (senior players), who played host to Camp Hill on our all weather pitch. There has been a close, local rivalry between our clubs and it is apparent that this tradition will continue.  Its good to see young referees officiating but they should not be like something out of Notting Hill Carnival.  Tip, let the game flow especially on a cold day and if you use the whistle too much then the players will stop paying attention to it. As for the game itself, it was all about contrasting styles, Camps gave it a go in the backs and Yards dominated up front.  The look on the face of the Camps loose head prop whenever a scrum was called was worrying, was it the fear factor, had he seen a ghost? or was Peter Fridge being playful?  Anyway its all part of the learning experience.  The final score of 13 - 10 to us was just about deserved and, to me, the man of the match was a bloke almost as old as me, well played Ralph Rollins. Vandals full match report below.

Under 9s
entertained Stourbridge and in a thrilling game achieved a narrow victory.  The key thing is the fact that as individuals and as a team, that the players are displaying the skills that indicates that progress is taking place.well done and also thanks to our guests from the west.

Under 17s
travelled south on sunday to play a spirited Alcester team in a cup game.  Amazingly we did not give the opposition a head start this week and in Cameron we had a decent goal kicker.  In a similar pattern to previous weeks the only major difference between the sides was the finishing. Four tries with three converted gave us a 26 -0 win. Thanks to Alcester, a nice club to visit, (even when its bitterly cold) and to the Warwickshire Society ref who was very good indeed.

Forthcoming Fixtures

Please note changes of kick off times and opponents
Saturday   First XV      v    Warwickians  League   Away  3.00
                 Dev  XV      v   University School of Engineering    Home 3.00
                 Vandals  XV  v    Edwardians 2nds  away    3.00       
Sunday      Under 17s    v   Birmingham Exiles  League    Home  11.00

And Finally,

In all honesty anything other than a win against Villa would have put the Samaritans under massive pressure, so as I suggested earlier, a win is a win.            

Vandals vs Camp Hill 2nds/3rds - full match report

With Warwickian 2nds crying off as expected, we had to go swimming in the Pool this week, and Mark fished us out a very interesting fixture from a sparsely populated pond in what turned out to be a combined side from local rivals Haslucks Green RFC.
The pack this week at loosehead Shannon "Stepmeister" Killarney, Mark "Pie Chucker" Baldwin & Pete "Fudge" Butler at tight, John "Casper" Lonie alongside Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn in the boiler room, with a back row of  Marcus "Shark" Hope,  Nick "the Assassin" Levey & Paul "Goose" Gower at No.8.
The glory boys this week at scrum half Phil "the General" Evans alongside Barry-John "Baz" Cole, Tony "Fitz" Fitgerald & Dave "Blade" McGill in midfield with a back three of Chris "Golfball" Rowe, Mike "PFI" Neary and Dave "Ralph" Rollins at full back.         
A reasonably sized bench this week in Alan "the Colt" Arkell, Dave "Chicken" Hanson, Ali "G" Gouldbourn, Bill "Bilbo" Burrows and a long awaited return for Nick "Barrel" Palmer in his first game back since the opening day of the season.
With no other Camp Hill side playing this week, we weren't sure of what they would send, but on the whole another young looking side, with just the one of an age, and thankfully just the one first team player; a prop whom the side's skipper said would be operating at fly half! The man in the middle this week a young up & coming French lad Monsieur Axel Dejan who was also being assessed.
Well on Monday night as I haven't been sleeping well, I thought what better way to put myself to sleep than transcribing the first half's action, and by the time I'd finished, whilst still wide awake, I had three sides of tightly written A4 notes, which when read could safely be described as probably not our best half of rugby, albeit against a much younger & enthusiastic bunch with a reasonable skill set, but which could also be summed up as lots of knock ons, loose kicks, high tackles & missed tackles, a couple of which led to their opening try by their tall centre. Following a penalty for a high tackle (that'd be you Pete "Chopper" Butler) they kicked for position the ball going out about ten metres from our line. The throw was safely taken by their tattooed No.8 jumping at four then swiftly spun out to their fly half & some small amount of midfield trickery saw their tall centre skip through a couple of tackles to score under the posts with about ten minutes gone. Thankfully the fly half's goal kicking was not matched by his distribution as the ball flew past the left hand upright & under the level of the crossbar 5-0.
We did however, after this set back defend resolutely, and probably more by luck & poor judgement from them we reached half time with no further scores from either side but with us just about hanging in there.
Halftime 0-5 Arks comes on for Nick (apologies to the latter for not as promised, getting him back on into the action).
The second half follows a similar pattern as the first, with their prop cum fly half banging the ball downfield at every opportunity and us having to build each time from our twenty two. And it is following a scrum just in front of our twenty two, the ref decides we've driven a little too early & pings us and as if that isn't bad enough we indulge in a little "parlez vous Anglais?" and we go back another ten metres, they take it quickly, we're not back ten, another penalty and before you know it we've gone from our ball on our twenty two to a penalty less than ten yards out, they go again and we concede another in short order five yards or so from our line for not rolling away. The niggle begins to boil over and the ref decides it's time to call Shark & the Camps skipper over for a chat, and whilst the Camp Hill skipper relays the message to his players in a tight huddle we stoically stand along our goal line.
They run it again but the pass goes forward & we get the scrum five yards out, we get the nudge, the General spins to Ralph in the pocket and he bangs it out a couple of yards inside our twenty two, Baz quickly on hand and stops them taking a quick one. The ref blows at the lineout insisting that le corridor remains ouvert, so Camps have another shot at it but we steal it & spin, Phil to Baz, miss pass to Blade who cuts back inside before offloading to Goose as we cross our twenty two, to Fitz, to Baz but the ball's knocked on, scrum Camp Hill at which point Ali G comes on for Goose at No.8. The first scrum goes down, the second we get the drive on and they pop up, penalty Yards and Ralph despatches it to their ten metres line and the immediate siege is lifted. Mark Baldwin, not usually known for injuries hobbles (ok more than normal) off and Bilbo comes on at loosehead, with Shannon switching to hooker.
Casper pinches their ball at the lineout, and offloads to BMT who goes on the crash, makes a few yards but then gets rather pedantically pinged for crossing. Camp Hill kick for position the ball going out on our ten metre line. They knock on at the lineout & we get the scrum, but our new look front row misfire and the ball pops out and the Camp Hill scrum half collects and the General makes the tackle, Camps a little quicker to the breakdown secure the ball, then spin & their tall centre causes havoc again bursting tackles before Golfball finally brings him down, but they quickly shift it wide and their No.8 goes over about five metres in from touch 0-10. This time they try to drop kick the conversion and it sails safely under the crossbar.
They run the restart straight back and worryingly we slip two or three more tackles before Blade (who looks nothing like a black half vampire anti-hero) finally mugs the winger into touch and we take the opportunity to sneak Chicken on in place of Mike. And Slow thinks it's gonna be tough to come back from this, our biggest deficit of the season against a wholly younger side. A few minutes later Barrel comes on for only his second game of the season in place of workhorse Fitz.
But slowly we manage to claw our way both into the game & their half and finally our endeavours are rewarded after Camp Hill infringe just outside their twenty two and Ralph steps up from about ten metres in from touch and bisects the uprights to get us on the board 3-10.
However, we continue to concede penalties with abandon as the clock runs down, the referee not helping matters by allowing seemingly endless advantage including twice letting them kick it away after already making yards before dragging us all back. I also can't remember a game with so many "high" tackles, at least five against us & perhaps a couple for us; something I hope the assessor mentioned in the debrief, this was a third team fixture after all. But Camp Hill continue to play the smarter rugby pinning us down in our half with some astute kicking by their experienced ten.
Mark then casually informs me that the assessor has remarked at the sheer volume of punches being thrown by Arkell's mate, you know who you are, mind they must have been good ones, the ref missing each and every one!
Anyway with about fifteen minutes to go Marcus & his not so merry men begin to start turning the screw up front & in the tight and we begin to see a bit more ball and with about ten minutes left on the clock a long touch finder is knocked on by their winger, so scrum Yards about seven or eight metres out. Our 149  stones of well seasoned beef get the drive on and the General barks out directions to drive in and left, and with a couple of yards to go Ali gets the nod to pick up & go and over he goes about ten metres in 8-10. Pressure kick but Ralph cool as a cucumber bangs it over 10-10.
And with only a couple of minutes left on the clock (of what seemed a very long half with all that "time off please" ....who was he talking to? the bloody TMO?) we found ourselves pressing once more on the Camp Hill twenty two and when they infringe again under pressure, it all comes down to Ralph and he doesn't disappoint as his kick sails between the sticks 13-10.
Final Score 13-10 our get out of jail card well & truly played, final age 704 averaging a shade under 47.
Man in the Dirtiest Shirt this week goes to Casper, purely on the recommendation of some of the senior players (f*ck that's a laugh we're all bloody senior) but who am I to argue.
Oh yes bet you thought I'd forgotten a special mention to Dave, for having done all the hard work, running a great line, bursting through tackles and with only the line to beat succumbs to a slight deviation in the local terrain about five yards out, in an area now forever known as Magoo's Triangle.
But seriously our 20th win on the bounce, and like I said couldn't have been prouder.

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