Handsome win at home to Caldy
Big win but some bashed up bodies
Caldy, a gentle village on the west coast of the Wirral, a successful rugby club set in an elevated position and fond memories of visits there for tournaments...all good so far and they were very welcome to a mild, still Hall Road for this friendly. The coaching team had shuffled the pack and picked a competitive team, but still left a number of Galacticos to strut their way through a light training session before lending support. The coaches have a difficult job in balancing the needs of forty young men who have increasingly busy social lives, GCSE study and tough school fixtures the previous day and for many two games each weekend mixed with numerous training sessions is becoming demanding. Others yearn for their Sunday rugby so lots to think about going forward.
Sadly, despite everything being in place for a low-key morning the game was played in a fractious spirit. All I will add is that this will never be tolerated by the 'Loo coaches who would happily show lads the door and replace them with one of twenty others willing to play without the nonsense. Perhaps a lack of depth prevents other clubs from taking action? Enough said, onto the rugger...
Loo started brightly but were under real pressure in the scrum, Austen managed to dig the ball out despite the boys going backwards and Teddy was fed ball in the Centre position, great burst and score. Next up a dash from Alfie at full-back, when he was tackled Austen was on hand to recycle and Ewan broke the line, popping the ball to Rhys in the tackle to go under the posts. Slick handling in the back line was a real feature of this performance, great to watch and difficult to stop! Next up a score from Zak who finished off phase after phase with a dash from ten yards out. Sadly the Loo boys then suffered some nasty injuries. First Josh Collins took a knock to the head after taking clean ball from the kick off, it was a little worrying as he lay immobile for a few moments but thankfully things were not as bad as first thought, then Matthew Kelly took a similar knock, this time executing a brave last ditch tackle. He can be relied to get low and stop the man when playing full-back and this time he paid the price. Finally Sam Neary stressed a previous shoulder injury, the joint expanded but didn't quite dislocate...ouch! Hope all is well soon boys.
Dan McQueen got the next try, another dart over after multiple phases and good interplay. Dan was taking the conversions too, missing only one in the first half and using the boot to relieve pressure and gain territory. He continues to develop well, between him and Austen the half-backs displayed real awareness and skills...great to see.
The next score came from Caldy with an athletic burst through the middle and a cheeky drop-goal conversion and further Caldy pressure was relieved following a fantastic box kick from Kian...yep that's right 6'2" prop Kian, who also demonstrated a couple of lovely 'back of the hand' offloads following bullish breaks. More great skills from Austen who swivelled and played a reverse pass to Ross who scampered over, with the presence of mind to dash towards the posts to make thing easier for Dan. Good stuff, only eclipsed by an expertly executed line out move which moved the ball seventy yards from right to left for Ben Mcintosh to score.
A final mention, Sam Nourish was feverish in the tackle and determined in the ruck, what a sight he was with his 'ketwig' hair exploding through his scrumcap like a burst mattress...I cant get the image out of my head and it would be most disconcerting to see him dash out of the line to nail you in the tackle with locks flowing everywhere!
Good performance and great running rugby, but a little frustrating and all present have to aware of the opportunities presented to them by coaches, referees and parents, don't take this or them for granted, enjoy the rugby...that's what we are all here for.
Full time 38-7.