Rugby: A game played by Gentlemen
Well mannered Captains insist on the other team winning: Game Ends in a Draw
It probably wasn’t a good sign before the game, in the car on the way to the Club...
We had to pick up Colin Alexander, who literally lives only a few hundred metres from Sefton, but had insisted on a lift (“I’m not playing if I have to walk there!”).
Thinking about it, Richie Lloyd actually lived further away, but he would always walk to the Club, to avoid having to use his precious car for away games.
Anyway, we’ve not seen Colin for a while, so I say to him, “mate, we’ve lost every game that you haven’t played”.
Hoping for a bit of a lift, we were disappointed to hear Colin’s response, “funny that, because I’ve lost in every game I’ve played!”.
As we pull into the Club car park, just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, we see Captain Gore, fully kitted out by the front door....
“Crap”, we groan collectively.
“Yes”, beams the big man, “I’m on the Wailing Wall. No students to help us today, I’ve gone cap in hand to Collegiate, and I’m having to play myself too”.
“Collegiate? Don’t they hate Sefton? Maybe they are trying to bring us down as well?”.
“No”, insists the begging Captain, “they’re bringing a few good players, and Jake, their Captain”.
“Crap again”, we cry, “bring back the days when the Captain used to be the best player in the team, rather than the guy that wouldn’t get a game unless he is the Captain!!”.
“Haha”, mocks Aaron, “now you HAVE to do what I say!”.
The match was excellently officiated, allowing a running game, rewarding enterprising rugby, allowing the odd offside and some inventive cheating.
The young Ormskirk 8 enjoyed the freedom of the park for most of the game, until Sefton realised he had legs. And the Sefton centres, the portly ginger Collegiatian and the burgeoning Kyle Dawson, both had storming games.
I think those players scored most of the tries.
Now I know everyone has been astonished in the last 10 years or so, witnessing Richie Lloyd stumbling round a rugby pitch, but no one warned us that Collegiate Bob had been dragged out of his assisted housing to help with our numbers today!
There was concern about the defibrillator. Would it do more harm than good?
Surely he comes with a “Do Not Resuscitate” label?
Does the RFU’s insurance go up to octogenarian?
Where was his special hat to denote “tackle cuddle only”?
Anyway, Captain Gore has to respect to effort that has been made today, getting Bob dressed and on day leave, so Bob is allowed to start the game.
To his credit, Bob surprised us all, getting involved with some of the scrums, and even managing to head the ball from a restart!
Ironically, Richie Lloyd was in the crowd today, hopefully he took some notes for his comeback.
But Sefton had numbers, and Bob was blanketed off in a wheelchair at half time, to allow Colin a run.
The Confidence Boost
You are probably all aware of the commitment the Club has made, with its assistance in the rehabilitation of big Mike Walsh.
No one has really been able to identify the exact source of Mike’s trauma, but it did coincide with 87-15 loss to St Eddies in September.
Anyway, we’ve done everything for Mike, constantly encouraging him, not blaming him for all our losses.
Why, only last week, Mike told me he was cutting down his “underwear to games” ratio.
But just what Captain Gore did to young Mike’s confidence, 2 minutes into the second half, when he takes Mike off and replaces him with Bob??
“Need some fresh legs Mike, thanks for your effort mate. C’mon Bob”.
It was brought to my attention, but being the ref, it was pretty obvious, but Blandie has to win this award yet again.
I’m not saying it cost us the game, but one of his knock ons was right on their try line, with an overlap, and no pressure...
One of his knock ons wasn’t even a knock on, coming off his knees. But it summed Blandie up pretty well, so the ref called for a scrum...
Running WITH a stout breeze in the first half, Sefton keep their composure, and there were no kicks worth mentioning.
And then, at half time, when then breeze seemed to STIFFEN, Captain Gore introduces the highly enthusiastic Ciaran Fairclough.
It is soon apparent that young Ciaran is from the same school as James Evans, with his, “kick at every opportunity” attitude.
Indeed, a kick is only as good as its chasers, and perhaps young Ciaran may have been a bit presumptuous to assume anyone in the 3s would bother chasing any of his efforts. But, in general, they were pretty dire.
Mind you, he did score a fine individual try, climaxing after a fine kick and chase to finish in the corner.
As for Blandie’s midfield bomb attempt, from his own tryline...
Well, he should go straight out and buy a lottery ticket, because if their fullback didn’t uncomprehendingly knock on, it would have been a simple counter attack try for Ormskirk.
But, my distaste for the game’s kicking would be NOTHING, compared to what the Ormskirkians must be thinking after the match.
How they must be rueing the selection of their goal kicker, who missed 2 of their conversions from in front of the posts.
It was uncanny how he missed those kicks, seemingly being put off, when the only person near him was the referee....
At least our Brummy Mike’s and Fat Matt’s pathetic attempts were from our wide!
It’s not often that many rugby teams can say they’ve enjoyed themselves with Dave Sixsmith blowing the opening whistle, but today both teams went home without looking to release some tension.
Of course we are all hoping Dave recovers from his calf injury, which rendered him even more useless after 15 minutes, but this only meant the introduction of Ref Campo, who comes from the school where all “friendlies” are officially recorded as honourable draws.
A great day for Rugby. Played in a good spirit, and there were no losers.
Except Downing, of course.