1st XV
Sat 07 Jan 2023
Southgate Rugby Club
1st XV
Penalties: M Kursar
Old Grammarians
Tough Start To 23

Tough Start To 23

Jack Stapleton10 Jan 2023 - 15:44
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Soaking in Southgate

This will be a bit of a Groundsman's diary for the day.

Having seen the last two games of 2022 called off due to adverse weather conditions we went into 2023 with a fear that the year might start in a similar vein. The weather during the week had left the prospect of the pitch being playable for the Saturday dubious as BBC Weather, Met Office and Google Weather Apps all promising a huge down pour on the Friday evening/Saturday morning.

For those of you who've played at the Walker Ground before, you know the area of the ground we play on has the habit of turning into a boating lake during the month's of January and February, and as pitch inspections were made on the at 7am seeing the other games called off at the ground there was fear that our Rugby pitch would meet the same fate. Thankfully as we walked over the pitch we found it to be in a fit enough condition to see the game played, but knew with more rain predicted it may not contain the free flowing rugby that we hope too see.

And it did hit as we started the game. But the poor weather worked well for the 13 Southgate men (+2 Grammarians lads who helped make it 15 a-side) as we're known for our preferred style of up the jumper rugby and battered the OG's line with phases after phase of crash ball rugby only to be undone by knock-ons as the ball became harder to keep hold of. OG's were also frustrated as they couldn't utilise their men out wide due to the double whammy of the rain and a narrower pitch then they're used too. It was a scrappy affair as Southgate took the first half kicking a penalty to pin Grammarians on the back foot and then scoring a Try, as Tom Flint in a bit of broken play ran across the fractured OG's defence to send Nathan (Southgate player for the day) through to put us 8-0 up at half time.

HT: Southgate 8-0 Old Grammarians

The opening half was a tough affair and had seen more tackles and rucks then either side would've cared for and left many players wishing it was full time whistle. But both teams picked themselves up and went back at it again with the furiousness of the play just as intense as the first half with the second half being an attritional affair for the opening 10 minutes. Fatigue finally started to kick in as Southgate found themselves defending their try-line as Old Grammarians used their bench well and let the fresh legs run at us, they were also buoyed by a dry spell in the midst of the game that allowed them to get the ball through the hands. Eventually the pressure told as OG's went over twice finding gaps in a tiring defensive line. Then game entered the final 15 minutes and the ball was played end to end as penalties from both sides allowed saw territory traded via the boot and both sides could've scored on a few occasions. The game was unfortunately taken away from Southgate as from a messy lineout as OG's broke onto a loose ball in space and ran in unopposed with 3 minutes left. Whilst the game beyond us one last opportunity did present itself as we attacked in the corner and were unlucky not to get a reward for the efforts as Old Grammarians hacked it clear.

FT: Southgate 8-21 Old Grammarians

A tough game against good opposition and we look forward to playing again in March. A much better and improved performance from those towards the end of 2022, on to Pinner & Grammarians away next week.

Final word from the Groundsman's diary. 'Thank Christ it's two week's until the next home game.'

Match details

Match date

Sat 07 Jan 2023


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