Spanish Flu Grips Sefton
Sefton second team's defeat is blamed on the captains misdirected team talk.
----- The crying game----
It was cry-off central this weekend, Adam Walker promised 100% that he was available, until he wasn’t. His league buddy Bryan Unworthy was no better, first being available, then not, then available, before declaring his unavailability.
Precious said he was having ‘family time’! You would of thought with all his time off with various injuries, he would’ve had enough family time. What about this family? He needs another child, then he’ll be finding plenty of excuses
to get out of the house.
Biggest shock was Pistol Pete, who offered no excuse for his unavailability. Surely it wasn’t family time, his wife and kids are crazy, he often tells me he can’t wait to get out of the zoo!
Perhaps it’s this mysterious Spanish flue that’s going around. Poor Broccoli has already been struck down by it. This strange illness always seems to effect people around midday on Saturday, in particularly Spanish people, with the Fonze getting sick this weekend. It must be like Benidorm Belly but for Spanish, it could be called the scouse hurl.
Despite this we still managed to go away with seventeen ‘fully committed’ players, with the help of several third teamers. Even Brian Gardner had promised us his usual ten minute stint.
---- The Game -----
Kiev Mainwaring’s team talk was inspiring, if not a little confusing. He tells us to keep it tight in the forwards, but to get it out to the backs. No wonder poor AJ at scrum-half looked confused, unsure whether Kiev wanted to play a forwards or a backs game.
As it turned out, neither options were appropriate with Lymm not only having a solid pack, but also quite handy in the backs. Not letting Sefton have the ball must have been their objective, and they were quite good at it. Sefton’s scrum, usually the bedrock of Sefton seconds was rather lame, driven back a number of times with little resistance.
Lymm’s backs alternated between hitting the centres, and flinging the ball wide. Within five minutes they’d registered their first try.
Sefton hit back almost immediately with some forward dominance of their own, and were rewarded with a penalty ten metres out. The ball was popped to Kiev Mainwaring, who was encouraged to do his worse. Hitting the oppositions defensive line, but staying on his feet, he was able to power over and ground the ball over the try line. Princess surprisingly kicked over the conversion for the extra points.
This was the last joy had by Sefton as they settled into a defensive role with the occasional break away in the backs. Within twenty minutes Sefton had lost two players, Michael Carruthers who claimed he had slept funny on his neck the night before and couldn’t continue. I find this hard to believe from someone who used to play hooker. Any front row player generally doesn’t sleep well till at least Thursday, I feel back row has made him soft. Also going off was Sean Muirhead with an ankle injury. Both Gardner and Downing were called upon earlier than anticipated to the annoyance of Gardner who was expecting his usual ten minutes.
What was bazaar was Paddy Walsh’s enthusiasm to switch from back row to wing. Only afterwards did we find out he hadn’t come home till 4.00 in the morning, and was feeling rather delicate.
His rest only lasted ten minutes when Downing went off with a bang to the head. We are unsure whether he was confused, as he often has that vacant look in his eyes. Brian Gardner was very annoyed that Downing had taken his ten minute crown.
We survive, and we are only thirty-three points behind, but that is just the first half, the second half was going to be a long forty minutes.
------- Things to work on ------
I. AJ’s inability to pass off both hands. I thought this was a must for scrum-halves, but then I think of other scrum-halves who have survived with no ability to pass both ways, Matt Bland has blagged his nine duties all his life, and is still around to totally mess up the stand-offs game. This handicap gave the opposition plenty of time to line up Princess as he waited for AJ to turn, take a few steps, get his hands in the right position and pass a nice looping ball to the hapless Princess. He never had a chance.
II. Lacavos’ tackling technique. This powerfully built Greek import, was obviously a Greek wrestler in his home country, demonstrating his high grab technique, of which a lot of the Sefton players adopted during the game. I didn’t even have the absent Mark Dobie to blame.
III. Campo’s air tackles obsession. The chubby Aussie was so busy performing air tackles at full-back that he didn’t even have time to finish his sandcastle quota.
------- Kicking Update ------
Has Princess been taking pointers off Jay Evans? His inability to kick beyond ten metres at the restart was textbook, it wasn’t as if he hadn’t had plenty of chances to practice. So ashamed was Princess of his kicking performance, he faked an injury and disappeared onto the wing, handing the kicking duties to Sean Muirhead. Sean was no better, and at one point sliced his kick away from the safety of his forwards and into the hands of their backs on the opposite side. It isn’t hard to imagine how it ended.
------ Who is Sean Muirhead? ------
Is he one of those people who just bluffs their way through life? He claims he is a Jack of all trades, can play anywhere from nine to fifteen, though I haven’t yet seen his qualifications. Is he another Craig Johnson, expanding his pickability by being able to play a number of positions, but not actually mastering any? I’m sure next week he will be validating his experience as a top psychologist, offering to sort out Princess’ problems, which there are many.
A few breaks by Princess and Broccoli gave Sefton a little hope, and some strong running by Lacovos kept some pressure on Lymm, although Mat Stilgo didn’t see much ball outside him. Other than that Sefton spent most of the second half defending and did quite well to keep the tries out. This was mainly due to Broccoli’s tackling efforts, and not Campo’s air tackling. Only in the closing ten minutes did Lymm manage to score at will against a tired Sefton.
I apologise for the lack of actual rugby in this match report, but there just wasn’t any, not from Sefton anyway. Man of the match went to a busy Broccoli who spent the entire game chopping down the legs of the opposition as they ran at him.
Next week, the seconds are at home against Moore, hopefully there will be more rugby to report, and not the crying game. With the regular team I've been getting, I thought I'd separated the chaff from the wheat, obviously not. Off now to learn Spanish due to our increased Spaniard imports. Sean Muirhead assures me he can help, he tells me he's fluent in several languages, mmm.