1st XV
Sat 14 Jan 2023
Pinner & Grammarians
Southgate Rugby Club
1st XV
Tries: S Langan (2), J Stapleton
Playing through Puddles in Pinner

Playing through Puddles in Pinner

Jack Stapleton19 Jan 2023 - 20:56
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Southgate worth their Salt(Beef)

Seeing #MatchAbandoned trending on twitter on Saturday morning left some frantic calls between Southgate and Pinner trying to work out whether the game would play or not. A call from the Pinner skipper prior to leaving the club ensured a game would happen but the pitch may be more swamp-like then the billiards table coverage that we all hope to play on.

Arrival at Pinner saw us out earlier then the home side to warm up, and on a cold day as it was, warming up was definitely needed. Doug (recently returned from Australia) was also heard questioning himself why he swapped the warmth of the Australian summer for the joys of a British winter. The arrival of a familiar referee also meant that this was a day that behaviour and verbal's were to be kept in check.

The swamp-like conditions made play difficult but things got more tricky as within the first five minutes both Ben and Ed had gone down for minor injuries and saw us having to utilise subs early on and created a disjointedness to our play. But despite this set back our attacking play excelled as everyone carried hard and the security at the rucks showed we weren't going to allow any easy opportunity for Pinner, particular kudos to the backs as they got just as stuck-in at the breakdowns. Unfortunately despite all the good play we couldn't make the initial possession count, as Pinner then executed an equally good attacking spell. A combination of the tricky conditions and poor tackle technique brought undue pressure on our own try-line, only some rear-guard defensive work from the back three of Tom P, Martin and Will prevented Pinner going over early. But even despite these heroic efforts Pinner finally managed to find the gaps and make their possession count as they went over a few times, as Southgate struggled defensively as tackles were broken and poor cover left overlaps. A call to arms from within had us reminded that things weren't insurmountable we just needed to do the basics and utilise a set piece that was garnering results. This talk galvanised the lads as we used a steady period of possession to gain territory the old fashioned way, up the jumper. Particularly impressive were Joycie and Luke as they made great strides that lead us into Pinners 22 for the first time since the beginning of the half, the forwards were determined to make this opportunity count as from about 8 meters out they utilised a scrum to force Pinner back and allow Shane dot over the Try line a deserved score and show there was a lot more Rugby to be played.

HT: Pinner 28-5 Southgate

Buoyed by the performance at the end of the first half Southgate knew that more of the same was going to be needed if we were truly going to make an impact on this game. The start of the second half descended into a mess as a rain shower 5 minutes in made the ball as slick as a bar of soap and had numerous scrum restarts due to an inability of either team keeping hold of the ball. This made also made tackling even trickier as Pinner managed to release one man who slipped out of the grasp of a few tackles and break for the Try line and score and give them the opening score of the half. But whilst they managed to get the score dissent began to creep into their actions as they saw a man sin-binned for questioning the referee. Utilising the man advantage Southgate went back to the well and played route 1 Rugby as they replicated the play that led our Try in our first half, and they replicated nearly exactly the same as the first one this time the scrum was set 5 meters out as the Southgate forwards motored through the Pinner pack and see Shane score his second of the afternoon. In a half that was a more balanced contest Pinner came back with their own attack and with the rain cleared they managed to get the ball down the line and stretch the game the width of the pitch. Desperation defence was called upon from the Southgate line and despite some great efforts the referee determined that Pinner had managed to ground the ball over the Southgate line. A further yellow card for Pinner allowed Southgate to control the end of the game as Kursar booted for territory allow for Southgate the right to have a final say it was found as Sam chipped into space in the corner that a grateful Jack caught and fell over the line with.

FT: Pinner 40-15 Southgate

Post game both teams made quickly for the showers to warm up and never had they been more greatly appreciated and needed. After what was potentially the most difficult game either side had played in recent years they were greeted with a post match meal of Salt Beef sandwiches provided by B&K Salt Beef Bar. Thanks to the Pinner guys for hosting us and playing the game in the right spirits and we look forward to seeing you guys in the return fixture.

Match details

Match date

Sat 14 Jan 2023


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