The Swans travel to their first away fixture of the season against Old Beccehamian, Captain Testosterone thought he would arrive in style with his mid life crisis toy but got slapped in the face by his the fuel gauge arriving on empty after driving up from the Medway. Coach Morris was absence at the pitch but present by facebook with 130+ updates from his better half the Swans were now under the birthday boys guidance.
At the tail end of an Indian summer the Swans warmed up in the shade to hide from the 20+ degrees while physio Kelly strapped up the majority of the aging side. Old Beccehamians young partnership of 18 year old number 9 who proved to have a brilliant game and fresh faced 10 showed their youth by dancing around Swans until Jamie Fitzpatrick and Phil Butler had enough with excellent low hard tackles to retire the Beccs 10 to the side line.
Swans "pick and go" tactic created mayhem within the Beccs forwards and beautifully executed set piece in open plan by the "show and go Hately" open up a gap for Butler to beat the 15 and run the ball over the try line. Conversion missed by Tate who blamed his man flu. The confident Swans, quick phases out to the backs playing a pinball strategy started to created gaps within the Beccs defensive. Quick thinking Hately flooded blind side to draw the outside centre and pass to Whitlock on the wing who was hiding just outside the 22 and for the Gypsy King to twinkle toe around the winger and score the try. Jamie Fitzpatrick stepped up for the tricky conversion while Tate was nursing Sudafed and just put it wide of the posts. Swans on a high continued to dominate the first half with immense quick ball out to the backs with tirelessly waves of attacking plays from the centres. "Boots" who travelled down from "The North" to dominate the backline. His experience shown on the pitch not only from the lack of teeth and grey hair, the silver fox was under nearly every high ball which never fazed him and enforced the attacking momentum with running lines and clearance kicks a performance Mike Brown would be pleased of in his 50s.
Under the blistering sun, both sides started to tire before the halftime whistle. Old Beccs reenergised showed they meant business from the kick off and put the Swans under pressure like a former nun on a dance floor at adult weekend at Butlins. Around 300 lineouts later and 299 "not straight" Old Beccs boxed the Swans within their 22 and Old Beccs very own 25 stone juggernaut super sub battered through 6 tackles to score under the posts for the Swans to concede their first Try of the season and they converted the easy two points.
Angry Ant called the Swans in for a telling off, which most of us have only experienced from your Mrs at 3am as you promised her you was only "popping out" for a quick drink. Hately sent the ball high and The Swans were focused and started to dominate the possession with quick ball out to the backs and another perfectly timed miss pass from Hately to Butler to score his second Try of the game and to take the top try scorer spot off the basking Yates. Conversion missed. Swans progressed to Old Beccs 5m line for Sniffling Tate to rip the ball out and spill on to the try zone with speedy reactions from Earnshaw to score his second try of the season. After three conversions missed the pressure was on for the Irishman but he sailed the ball over to put The Swans 22:7.
Swans backs delivered a solid performance with tactical kicking and perfectly timed passes from Hately, Butler and Earnshaw lightning pace through out the game, positioning and hard runs from Crook and Boots. Dave "no hands" Lawrence had a 75% improvement by only knocking on the ball once to mess up a certain try, well done Dave looking forward to next week. Connor and Captain Flanker stuck to coach Morris game plan and provided some entertaining runs and excellent supportive rucks. Jack Smash lived up to his nickname and Hit 23 some of the Old Beccs into next week. Allen Mehan, Hayden and Oreilly always put a shift in with some of the best turn overs and border line tackle.
Man of Man goes to Lee Crook for an astonishing performance from the receding 37 year old. Solid defence and hard runs through out the game with snake hips sidesteps and upper body strength only a captain could dream of. Swans forwards had a tough 80minutes against a solid and experienced pack with the heart and passion becoming overwhelming at times with the "1 in All in" attitude causing several scuffles through out the game.
A special mention to Old Beccs scrum half, who had turned 18 years old absorbing some of the biggest hits of the day and continued to bounce back with excellently sniping runs and had an engine better than a 1990 Mercedes, he earned the respect of the Swans and hearts of the spectators and certainly put a few hairs on his chest.
Rambo -Jack Nash
Dave of the Day -James Aikenhead