I didn’t see that coming!!!!
I didn’t see that coming!!!!
Ignore the 30-21 losing score line-It’s not important! Who cares that we turned up to the luxurious , well equipped, gizmo’ed up , almost palacial home ground of the most well resourced club in Hertfordshire who easily put out 5 teams every week. They boast personal showers for each match! You can see from their set up why they are unbeaten and have only conceded 42 points all season!
Unlike another large team in Hertfordshire – (whose name I cannot mention for legal reasons) – they welcomed us into their heated changing rooms, loaned us a player or two and the rest cannot be scripted!
OA’s, expecting an easy win as is de-rigeur for them this season, we totally matched them in every department. So much so that the prop Darren whom they loaned us and fixture secretary for every club in St Albans needed a lot of persuading to rejoin his own team!!- He asserted that this was one of the best matches he has played in in 30 years. He wasn’t wrong there. Despite a well documented weight disadvantage ( Not even Richard Biggles from Letchworth – would have evened this out-<Remember Biggles makes Jamie Steele look like James Roycroft in comparison>), every player from 1-15 just irritated the 100% record champions elect at every opportunity. Really hard to call man of the match as there were 15 candidates who all made contributions.
Man of the match was shaded by Danny Weller , a 2nd row who looks like a fly half. Watched by his camera-popping Dad, he won great ball at the lineout and tackled well. We won’t mention his gratuitous use of language at the kick off that incurred officialdom wrath!
Running him close were our 2 flankers in Boggs and Sploodge. Boggs does what he always does- a total club man at heart. He has been a core part of our history playing mabulla rugby since 2010. Understated and too clever by three quarters off the pitch, he is just always there when needed.
Sploodge in contrast to Boggs, is TOTALLY INCAPABLE of going about his business quiety. Understatement is an alien concept for him. He announced himself to mabulla rugby by tackling and ending the aforementioned Biggles participation in a friendly at Letchworth (I was slightly peaved at the time because we had to go uncontested which ended my personal interest in the game) – Since then Splooge has been bombastically scything anything not in chocolate and white with devastating effect-The OA’s halitotic Chinese-speaking prop went up to me and (without breathing too much gastric contents-unlike the last time we played) , asserted ‘Your number 7 plays like he is 5 stone heavier than he actually is!’ –
Tom Roycroft has already propelled himself to new heights of popularity. He has his more celebrated older brother’s skill set but unlike James, he is much more team-minded,free-spirited and far less perfectionist. I am aware that his success has been met with some derision amongst his 1st team peers at school but Tom is a class act, both on and off the field. Intelligent, fast, well rounded and inspirational at times, his knowledge of remote political history tipped the balance in University Challenge. For those not in the know, University Challenge on Monday nightis compulsive Roycroft /Felton viewing where we all gather round and keep score!
Jack Fitzpatrick does everything well , including scoring tries. Don’t let his baby-face looks fool you! I know we have a team of baby faces – Lets not go there-but Jack is an essential character within the team. Totally au-fait with the team like Roycroft witjout the noise levels, he has the skillset and continually makes the correct decisions. It was his tactical play which optimised our possession.
PRH was at his goat-like best, monosyllabically butting opponents out the way, putting fear amongst the opposition and Panny was just Panny, Fraser was Fraser and Gidders was being Gidders- You all know what that means but I will summarise it. Great ball carrying, commitment and a stable scrum in the 2nd half. Blazej had the odd comedy moment on the ball and our 2 wingers really got stuck in. Rory Gallagher is well drilled and skilled and tackles fearlessly and Alex Merody went on a long run with good pace, nearly scoring.
In summary everyone played a part in one of the best games we have ever played. More importantly we have strengthened an already positive relationship with another club who deserve to be in the position they are in. They contributed magnaminously to the spirit the game was played in and the winner was social rugby!!
MABULLA MABULLA MABULLA HA!!!!