R7 Match Report: KOBs vs Lindfield

KOBs came agonisingly close to a clean sweep against Lindfield, winning 4ths, 3rds, Colts and 2nds before going down in 1st grade in a nonetheless successful day out at Concord.

Colts kicked off the day and were quickly onto the front foot skipping away to a 12-0 lead early. However Lindfield refused to go away and scored a try to keep it interesting soonafter. KOBs proved far too good in the end though, running out 31-7 winners thanks to a flurry of late tries, the best of which was a 70m effort by Luke Rowntree, Sam Renzaglia and Gibbo who showed a surprising turn of pace to dash 30m and score. This was another great win for the colties, who are starting to click.

Then came the game the massive crowd had come to see. 4ths- the grade where boys become men, and men become gods. Not since William Webb Ellis decided to pick up the ball and get stuck in had such a fine group of men been assembled in the one side. The team had it all, from club immortals (such as Whitto, Sarge, Benny Russ and Gloss), to club legends (such as Noodles, Deano, Gilmore, Rat and Gus) to club heroes (Max, Al Wong, Justin Gow, Lachy Love, Hozzo, the Marto brothers, Tom Smith, and anyone else I have forgotten) and of course, myself (modesty prevents me from saying what category I am in, but I’m sure you can all work it out). They assembled for kick-off and the 10,000-strong crowd held their breath in anticipation of the majesty that was about to unfold.

So did they deliver? Kenny oath they did. A commanding 29-7 victory which was never in doubt. Running into the wind they battled for most of the first half, and trailed 7-3 at the break. But some frankly inspired tactical substitutions from supercoach Loughlin at half time saw a big turnaround, with KOBs scoring four times in the second half to take the game and a bonus point. Gilmore scored two tries and took three coaches points after putting in a performance so devastating that a young child ran up to him after the game and asked for his autograph, thinking he was Jerry Collins. The poor kid clearly had some issues, but Gilmore still signed the autograph.  Al Wong took two points after yet another inspired effort, with Gloss and Tom Smith picking up a point each. But it wasn’t about individuals. It was a stunning team effort, with the press expecting many players to announce their retirements as they realise rugby can’t get much better than that.

So after the singing and celebration had subsided, everyone packed up their stuff ready to head home. And then 3rd grade ran on, and we realised there was still three games to go! Surely they couldn’t match the dizzying heights of 4th grade… but we were proven badly wrong as 3rds chalked up yet another BP win, 27-0. Dave Smith and try-scoring machine Brendan Boulos (who bookmakers have now installed as favourite for the coveted ‘top tryscorer’ award at the end of the season) scored early and KOBs ran out to a 15-0 lead. However Lindfield fought back and only some committed goal-line defence would hold them out. It wasn’t until the last ten minutes that KOBs would really got going though, with Zach scoring out wide to secure the win, and then Derek scoring a runaway try after the siren to secure the BP thanks to a crunching tackle from Ben Boulos.

Things are really coming together for 3s, many of whom were unlucky to be overlooked for the recently announced Wallaby training squad. Ravin, Zach, Steve, Argy, Derek, Ben, Brendon and Dave all had great games, and everyone else had good ones. Rat also deserves a mention on his comeback, with some punters describing his form as “Jarrod Hayne-esque”. Most of those punters had the last name ‘Lucas’, however that could be half the fucking club so I’ll let it stand.

2nds were up next, keen to continue the momentum of the day. And they delivered in a delightfully scrappy encounter, 21-10. I can’t comment on most of the first half, as I chose that time to go and get some KFC (sweet chilli twister combo, fyi. Always a winner), however I could still hear the roar of the crowd as Steve Styles crossed to open the scoring for KOBs. Richie Croft was keeping us in the game with his educated right boot, and when Steve scored again KOBs were out to a comfortable 13 point lead, 18-5. However Lindfield refused to die, and scored their second try to peg the margin back to just eight points. But the win was never really in doubt, with KOBs closing out the game well to take the victory. Steve, Oppo, Simon, Sam and the Harris brothers all had great games, but once again it was a great team effort from all involved.

So then came the third most anticipated game of the day- 1st grade. This was the showdown for 4th spot, and Lindfield were clearly fired up. Their club had been whipped harder than Gus Rutherford on a rough Saturday night, and they were keen to save some face. Sure enough they scored first and quickly opened up an 8-0 lead after some sloppy midfield defence from KOBs. However slowly we began to work into the game, with some good lead-up play from Badman and Fordy seeing Heff chalk up the first try for KOBs. Lindfield hit straight back, with KOBs kicking a late penalty to send both sides to the break with the score at 13-8 to the visitors.

Sadly the second half was not the best rugby we have played this season. Lindfield were the first to score, and at 20-8 all looked lost. KOBs grafted but couldn’t penetrate the solid Lindfield defence, with a Luke Rowntree penalty the only points to show for our second half effort. The final score was 20-11 and with injuries to TMoule, Doddy and Aure we are going to need all hands on deck for next week. TMoule was immense and took home 3 refs points, 3 coaches points and 3 registrars points (the most prestigious of them all). Fordy, Badman and Wol also had good games, with Kyle James and Luke Rowntree both outstanding in their first games.

I asked around after trying to get a comment on the 1st grade game, but all anyone wanted to talk about was 4th grade. In fact all 15 KOBs players (and 6 Lindfield players) told me they were considering signing with KOBs 4th grade for the remainder of the season, with Toby Buchanan saying he would appoint himself as 4ths captain by “Presidential decree”. I told him I wasn’t sure that that was even a thing (and frankly with the amount of talent in that side I doubt he’d make the starting team), and he had his bodyguards escort me from the premises.  It was there I found coach Deane, huffing some sort of petrol compound and muttering about Nick Williams. Again. I just left him alone.  It was one of those days- starting with such great jubilation and ending with such bitter disappointment.

 

This weekend we have Briars at their place. They are a big rival in the club championship at the moment and we will need all hands on deck so we can put them to the sword. Get down to training on Thursday.