Round 9 Match Report: KOBs vs Newport

KOBs had their best round of the season last weekend, towelling up Newport in 1s, 2s and 3s, recording an impressive draw in 4s and going down by a nose in Colts.

Now I have to start by apologising for the lack of a match report last week. I know you were probably spending hours on the kobweb homepage, clicking ‘refresh’ thousands of times and hoping it would appear, breathlessly wondering which player/club/race/gender I would be putting the boot into next. But it didn’t happen, mainly because the shit that we dished up against Briars just didn’t do it for me. Except obviously for 4th grade, many of whom are coming down with back and shoulder injuries having to carry this fucking club…

This brings me to Saturday, where the game was taking place amidst the tranquil beauty of Doyle 39- a ground which certainly ranks among my top 25 Doyle grounds. Colties kicked the day off, and quickly went down 12-0 to a fired-up Newport outfit who were determined not to walk away empty handed after enduring the six hour bus ride to make it to Kings. At half time things weren’t looking good, but an inspiring half-time talk from Supercoach Nunez saw a shift in momentum in the second period. Wol scored a try to narrow the margin to just 5 but sadly we couldn’t close the gap. We were held up agonisingly in the last play and Newport stole it. The bastards.

So 4s had a chance to square the ledger against the current table-toppers. Although without a few of their stars they still manage to field a XV containing some of the finest human beings you will ever see. Sadly like Colts they went down early (never a good move) after some soft defence in midfield. As the game slowed in the muddy conditions KOBs had a chance to put points on the board thanks to a penalty from right in front. Up stepped Morne Rutherford, who preceeded to spray it out to the right. To be fair to him he wasn’t quite the same without his usual partner in crime, John C. Reilly. He kept gazing distantly off to the sideline, and would look up expectantly every time a new car came over the hill and say excitedly “Nighthawk, is that you?!”, but sadly it never was and Gus barely touched the ball.

But after half time KOBs fired up, and scored a good try to take it to 7-5. With the pressure on Stoko had a conversion from the sideline to level it up. He was at least 65m out, with the wind blowing a gale and posts that looked to be much narrower than regulation. But then he remembered that he was playing KOBs 4th grade, the grade where boys become men and men transcend the bounds of mortality to become gods. He slotted it and took his rightful place at the right hand side of Steve ‘Zeus’ Glossop, the king of the gods and patron saint of the triple cutout. The game stayed 7-7 until the final bell. This was a great result for KOBs as the subsequent games showed that the side we played was not Newport’s true 4ths, and contained quite a few players from higher grades.

Then came 3rds, who were looking for a win to push inside the top 4. They looked impressive from the outset, dominating Newport in the forwards. Dave Smith and Ed Love both scored early tries as KOBs took a narrow lead into half time. Despite being down to 14 men having called uncontested scrums, Newport were playing well. But not well enough. A couple of tries from Pumba’s mate and KOBs were home, with Brendon Boulos putting the cherry on top with a late meaty to take him to equal top of the KOBs tryscorer tally (with Gilmore and Simon). A comfortable 25-8 win to take them into finals contention. Tom Riley, Ravin, Dave, Derek and Mark all had great games. And Zach. And Argy. And Steve. Well, everyone really. Except Ed Love, who I thought was pretty average and one has to wonder what he has to do to get dropped to 2nd grade.

I must admit I drifted in and out of consciousness during 2nd grade. As 2 is half of 4 it only stands to reason they are half the side that 4th grade is, and despite winning comfortably they never had the 8,000-strong crowd on their feet like you would see in a 4th grade game. That said it was an impressive win. Plenty of tries and skill on show, and Newport never really stood a chance. 33-15 thank you very much. I gave 3 registrar’s points to Simon Minns who had a belter in the front row (and was cruelly overlooked for match points), but really it was yet another great team effort. Mark Rowntree also had a cracker, with Richie Croft and Oppo also impressing me.

The day was going brilliantly for KOBs, but we were nervous as 1st grade ran out. We had to learn the lessons of Lindfield where we dicked them in every grade only to have 1st grade swagger in like kings and fuck the whole thing up. Good work guys. But an industrious try to Luke Rowntree eased our nerves, and when Mitch Harris’s boot added a couple of penalties things were looking good. But Newport fought back and despite a try to Rob Lagudi they were only behind by 9 at the break. It was a brutal game in the forwards but every time we spread it wide we created chances, with Fordy, Benny Wales and Badman going through the Newport backs like a dodgy Vindaloo. Sure enough the points came, first with a try to TK, and then meaties to Coatesy and captain courageous Matt Leonard (Toby who?). The end score was a commanding 44-15 in favour of KOBs. A much needed BP win to restore some momentum coming into the second half of the season.

After the game I called absent 1st grade captain and Club President Toby Buchanan to ask for his thoughts. Despite not having seen the game he offered the following “Look it’s fair to say we were very lucky to take this one. We had a few fortunate ref decisions and scored a couple of very lucky tries. I thought on-field leadership was clearly lacking and the lineout was a shambles. Frankly it’s a miracle we scored any points at all. Clearly the team needs a solid presence in the second row to steer the ship. Put it this way- if you had Buchanan leading them out it would have been 144-15, let me tell you. I consider 44-15 an abject failure and heads are going to roll, that’s a Presidential guarantee.” Interesting comments.

This weekend we have Petersham at home. This is another big game against a club championship rival. We will need all hands on deck. Also we will be having a function at the Nags after where we will farewell a couple of KOBs 2012 legends. Stay tuned for more details.

The last word this week will go to the one and only Badman, who tweeted this earlier in the week: