After what has felt like a month of waiting, the day started in good spirits with everyone turning up on time and firing up under the trademark Rebels soundtrack. This week, we even had jerseys. The squad went out in record time and began a lengthy warm up and training session before the opposition had even arrived at the club. Forwards Vs backs with a focus on using our pie holes to communicate.
Back to the sheds for some last minute kit changes (and that one guy who always takes a dump) and we were back out. Rebels lost the toss but chose to run into the wind. Kick off Sidcup.
Game started brightly with quick ball to the forwards from our little general, Ieuan Cox, with strong runs from Ed Ugboma, Flashy and Bertie Elliott, showing the Rebel Alliance was going to be a handful. Sidcup came into possession and made it up into the Rebels 22 and then quickly within 5, but determined, the organised Rebels defence prevailed, clinching a penalty. Tim Hülskötter with a superb clearance, taking the pressure off early on.
Sidcup came into possession, an attempted box kick charged down by, I hate to say it, Ross "shampoo/Shamu" McGowan, who followed up putting pressure onto the Sidcup player tidying up the ball. Then it all gets a little hazy lads so I apologise, but somehow Glen scored, not sure how, the ball was hacked down field, there was a mess of bodies on the try line and Glen trotted back with what looked like a coat hanger in his mouth sized grin. Converted by Tim who had a cracking day with the boot apart from one fluff which we shan't mention. 7-0 rebels.
The Rebels didn't take long to put more pressure on the Sidcup defence, the forwards striding up field, smashing a shell shocked Sidcup pack backwards, breaching the gain line each time, before great play between the backs, pushing further into Sidcups half, strong runs from Jamie O'Conner and Gavin McCabe in particular. Well recycled ball from the pack pushed The Rebels deep into the Sidcup 22, before Flashy brushed off would be tacklers before dotting down directly between the posts. Tim, this is the part we leave out lad. 12-0 Rebels.
Not long after the restart, Ed "Vaseline" Ugboma, skilfully scythed through Sidcups defence, taking possession into the Sidcup half. The Rebels pushed up towards the Sidcup 22 after a few phases and were awarded a penalty. Tim made amends and dissected the uprights. 15-0 Rebels. Sidcup hit back quickly with great running from an angry centre running strong lines and Sidcups open side flanker went in, just to the right of the posts. 15-7 Rebels.
Shortly after another Sidcup box kick was charged down, this time by the Rebels captain, Glen Boevink, assisted by Bertie Elliott's pinky finger. Bertie followed up, the ball missed by the Sidcup defender, chipped through, and when the ball finally decided to pop up, fell gracefully over the line. (to be fair, he tiptoed sideways like a grandmother crab waiting for a sumptuous shrimp to poke it’s head up at the underwater buffet). Tim slotted the extras. 22-7.
Later, Sidcup scored off the back of a maul, again their open side cutting through the Rebel defence, to score in the corner. The Rebels slotted a few more penalties and that was the half. 28-12.
At half time there were some experimental changes, with Tim ‘the metronome’ being taken off and Jaime moving to 10, with ‘white’ Aaron coming onto the wing, and the rest doing a quick reshuffle. In the forwards, there were a host of changes as well, with Thumbs coming on at 8, amongst other changes. This wasn’t the end of the changes, and ten minutes into the half, we almost had a different team on, but this was due to people’s social calendars and other people being generally knackered. It’s fair to say we used the most of the rolling subs bench and just about everyone got 60 minutes of playing time.
Anyway, back to the game. With Jamie moved to fly half and after what was quite a comical effort of a clearance kick, he executed quite possibly one of the most impressive banana kicks I've ever seen, taking the Rebels from their 10 metre line, into the Sidcup 22. With a firing lineout, The Rebels got themselves into position in front of the sticks and were awarded a penalty. With Tim off the field the kicking was left to Bertie Elliott, who wobbled it over the sticks, using Tims sky scraper sized kicking tee. 31-12 Rebels.
The Rebels pushed their way into the Sidcups 22 once more, and with a strong trundle from Richard Fenton, bringing play up to within a couple of metres of the Sidcup line, Ieuan zipped the ball out to a flying Tom McFarland, carrying at least 7 would be defenders over the line with him. Conversion missed 36-12. Glen took a breather, confident the job was done. Sidcup hit back with their angry yet effective centre, who cut through the Rebels defence, to score just to the right of the posts, with a heroic attempt by Sam Waterton, who sliced the centre down with everything he had, including his face. Well tackled old chap, as always. Try was converted 36-19.
From here, the game became a slog fest with neither defences giving up. Some highlights:
· Flashy, holding Sidcup attackers up like children resulting in turnovers.
· The Rebels solid front row, Chris Hodder, James Kittow and Flashy, solid in the scrums and around the park
· The backs putting in hard graft in defence and it was a battle till the end.
· Gavin somehow going off injured after hurting himself whilst standing still, though having seen a photo of it the next day, it was quite a significant injury.
· The boys not giving the referee a hard time. Wasn’t it lovely to watch another team being marched up the field for being lippy for a change.
Final score 36-19. Maximum points for the Rebel alliance and a great attitude throughout made it a good day all round. Made even better by an English grand slam over in Paris. Swing Low and all that jazz.
Man of the match - James Kittow. Excellent around the park and throwing at lineout time exceptional
Dick of the Day - Ieuan Cox
After tireless efforts from the referee, telling him to put the ball in the scrum, he couldn't quite figure it out and a free kick was awarded to Sidcup