Another new season, another week, another away day, another win. The beginning of every new season always brings about a level of anticipation and excitement, especially for Southgate as we had been promoted to a higher division. What would these new teams be like? Would they be at a much higher standard? Would they gaffer tape bread rolls to the sides of my ears? Questions, questions, questions ... but one thing remains the same, a dominant Southgate win!
Welcome back again to you all, in the week that saw Southgate truly embrace the 21st century and social media era with our very own ... wait for it ... Whatsapp chat group, we also proved that very little changes with, as first halves go, possibly one of the most ruthless performances I have ever been associated with. Whilst my intentions were good when I set the group up, what I in fact did was open a pandora’s box and unleash a hell upon us, that even Myles Dyson, of Skynet didn’t think was possible when he created the technology that would become the Terminator.
Building off our excellent performance from last week, we kicked off and as the ball came down on the Chess Valley 10m line, cries of “my ball” were yelled by the opposition, but actions speak louder than words as Luke Fields leapt like a salmon to utter, “No, it’s MY ball!” and run the length of the pitch to be pulled down on the 5m line before the ball was popped out to Taff who scored under the posts. I think that’s a Southgate record, but I’m happy for someone to prove me wrong.
The returning kick off didn’t leave any respite for the Chess Valley team as the ball was returned with interest, more forceful running, backed up by aggressive rucking and support play saw another Southgate try scored, with the leaping salmon, Luke Fields, now going over. This could prove to be a very long afternoon for the boys at Chess Valley.
However, they rallied themselves together and with the unfortunate loss of their captain, through injury, forced their way back into the match. The majority of the next 15 mins was spent in the Southgate half and 22. However, we proved that we’re not just an aggressive team when it comes to attack but in defence too as some resounding hits and determination saw us hold them at bay. Sam Hart’s pre-match words of defending the 22 like it was our try line may not have pleased the nearby tennis school, but it left an impression on us. It almost certainly left an impression on Mr. Kursar QC, one dislocated thumb for his trouble.
Let’s face it though, nobody likes defending much and Kieran let us know, in no uncertain terms to “sort ourselves out” so that we could get back to playing Southgate rugby in the Chess Valley half. Something clearly went off, because that’s exactly what we did with tries coming from Kier and Taff in quick succession. Kier’s being his first try for Southgate in over 2.5 years and I don’t think he’ll ever score an easier one as he took a quick tap penalty from 5 metres out and watched as nobody in the Chess Valley team wanted to tackle our big number 8.
Whilst the scrum was not at its most effective, our line out was dominant when both claiming our ball and disrupting the opposition, Luke Fields claiming almost everything to build on his first half performance. From another of these line outs the ball was stolen and popped out to Taff who broke through a number of tackles to score again. The last few minutes of the half saw no let up in our play as further tries were added by Kier and Taff to complete his first half hat trick, alas, no swan dive this week! However, he did manage to successfully convert every try, a feat I gather which was never successfully completed by a certain Mr. Daisy Langan! Half time 42-0.
The second half was a more subdued affair, Chess Valley, getting themselves together and playing with a much applauded pride knew the match was lost, but were going to try and at least win this half. They threw the kitchen sink at us in an effort to score that elusive try but the Southgate defence stood strong and our sole aim now was to preserve our lock out of Chess Valley. The main talking point of the second half was the injury list to both sides. Mike decided that a dislocated thumb was never going to impress the girls enough, he needed something more, so decided to run into Kieran’s head, never a good idea. Result, one busted nose – but a huge amount of kudos and pride, apparently.
Brian also decided to clash heads with someone and came off in a daze, nothing new there I hear you say. Another visit to the North Mid for a Southgate player in 2 consecutive weeks, where I’m told he has been given the all clear. The all clear from what, I don’t know?!
Although no more scores were added in the second half, we certainly had our chances as at least 2 efforts were lost with a little white line fever. More aggressive powerful running from the forwards, in particular a fantastic effort from both Kier, whereby Luke Rudd seemed to carry him half the length of the pitch, showed that very few teams will be able to deal with us this season.
So, congratulations for a fantastic team effort from everyone who turned up and always a thank you to everyone who came to play and support us. Next week, we await the coolest thing since the other side of the pillow ... I think you know the guy, the return of Mr. Jonathan “12 weeks” Fletcher. Can’t wait!
Scorers: Taff (3 Tries, 6 Conversions), Kier (2 Tries), Luke Fields (1 Try)
Team: Jack, Steve (Craig), Stav, Nick, Luke Rudd, Luke Field, Sam Hart, Kier, Brian (Stefan), Taff, Mike, Kieran (Capt), Tom, Eamonn, Phil.