Round 13 Match Report: KOBs v Balmain

KOBs had a lean day against Club Championship frontrunners Balmain, however the 3rd grade juggernaut rolled mercilessly forward, recording our only win of the day.

OK so it’s been a few weeks, and I sincerely apologise of the absence of this column. I would ask that you stop calling and texting me asking when it will be written- I am a busy man and having to answer hundreds, even thousands of calls takes valuable minutes out of my day. Just be patient and know that when I have a spare eight hours (the time it takes to concoct this weekly masterpiece) you will have your precious match report.

That aside, I would like to briefly touch on the raging success that was Back to White day. It was a ripper of a day, and my thanks go out to everyone who contributed. In no particular order, my highlights included- Whitto’s 5 or 6 Gloss-style triple cutout balls in the Golden Oldies, Benny Boulos’s sales patter on the microphone (beers now on special… just $4), new Italian recruit Alberto putting in a solid 6 hours running water, touch judging and BBQing despite only discovering the club on Thursday, Doddy FINALLY making an impact on a 1st grade game… by running water and the tee, 3rd grade destroying long-time rivals St Ives with a performance that reduced many crowd members to tears, TK putting in a huge effort in 1s, and Styles’s runaway try to seal the BP in 1s, which finally shut up that red-headed, pasty-faced St Ives kid that taunted me all through 4s (obviously jealous of my ability… they all are).

That brings me to last Saturday. Now I must preface this write-up by saying that this was a special afternoon for 4th grade, and thanks to the good company, afternoon sun and a dozen or so Coronas my recollection of the later games may be a bit hazy. Though judging by the scorelines I reckon that might be a good thing…

We start, as always, with the most important grade. Balmain put forward a big, experienced side and came out firing, scoring an early try. With a makeshift backline and undermanned forward pack it looked like it might be a long day. However in true 4th grade fashion when the pressure was on we responded, and Gilmore ran in for a simple try soonafter to level the scores. It was a scrappy game with an inexperienced ref, and Balmain recorded their second try midway through the first half. This was again answered by KOBs, with a break from Mannion being finished off by an unnamed KOBs forward. I didn’t see the try, however I did observe many of the spectators had been blinded by the sheer brilliance of the play, and a few other 4th graders told me that they can’t wait to be grandparents, purely so they can tell their grandchildren about that try. So we went to half time locked up at 12-12, but sadly Balmain would dominate most of the second half, scoring two more tries to run out 24-12 winners. Noodles, Mannion, Gilmore, Gus, Max, Dellow and Will Close all had good games.

3rd grade came next, which I think I can now call the second most important game of the day. Why? Well because our guys are just killing it. With the exception of Derek, who is just a bit off the pace at the moment. And Ed Love, but that goes without saying. But other than those two the 3s are firing on all cylinders, thanks in no small part to the arrival of Ryan O’Connor, who coach Kyle is now calling “my American Beauty”. A bit creepy from Kyle, but I guess he is just passionate about his backline. And they were looking good on Saturday, despite the distinct lack of tries that saw the game finish in a 3-0 KOBs victory. The game was an armwrestle from the opening whistle, although KOBs were clearly the superior team.

The obvious man of the match was Ben Boulos, who produced a play that was so brilliant it was being compared by some to the second KOBs try in 4th grade, scored just half an hour before. Let me paint the picture- KOBs were under pressure, with Balmain attacking just outside our 22. But we secure a turnover, however the heat is still on and a clearing kick is badly needed. Ben saw this and dropped back into the pocket. Derek passed it to him (poorly, I might add), and immediately he was under pressure from two Balmain defenders looking for the charge down. Ben stepped these two pretenders with ease, before deciding that the 15,000-strong crowd had not come here to watch a game of aerial ping pong and he’d give them something to cheer about. He was faced with two Balmain defenders next to the ruck, which he broke through with absolute ease. He was now in the clear, with the crowd on their feet. A try was a mere formality. But in truly unselfish fashion, Ben decided he didn’t want to run the 80m to score (although you know he could have), so he looked for support. Having found none (Ed Love was nowhere to be found, as usual), he decided to do the right thing for the team and play the percentages by putting an immaculate spiral torpedo down into the corner. The ball went out and KOBs now were in prime attacking position. Game, set, match Boulos.

I almost went home after that play, but reluctantly decided to stay and watch the remaining three games. Colties was the first of those, and put in a great effort despite going down. By this time the Coronas were taking effect so I can’t exactly give you a play-by-play, but I can say we fought back well after conceding a couple of early tries. Josh Andrews had a belter, and was ably supported by Drew Moran, Sam Renzag and Joe Timbs. Colties are on the verge of breaking their winning drought, and everyone should make sure they are there when it happens.

2s and 1s both faced tough games against undefeated opponents. Thus we were rank outsiders for these games, however some pundits were convinced upsets in both grades could be on the cards. These pundits were wrong. Balmain put 40 on 2s, and 50 on 1s. There is not much to say about either game really, our guys stuck at it well but were outclassed by a well-drilled opponent. A few guys stood out though- Luke Wawrick-Smith, TK, Anstey, Carter, JMoule, Richie Croft. Also a special mention to Kyle and Gus who put everything on the line for the club late in the second half of 1s.

So that was Balmain. Special mention to the guys who made it to Dicks for the speeches, I was told they were very good. Also thanks to the guys who chipped in to buy a jersey for charity, the Balmain guys were extremely appreciative.

This week we have UNSW, and it will be close across the board as it always is with them. Last time 1s stole a win after the siren, so the Uni boys will be pumped up for revenge. At the moment we are locked in a tight battle to avoid relegation, so every win is worth its weight in gold. Make sure you get to the Kingdome.

Also tickets for the Cocktail Night are now on sale, just click the icon on the homepage for more info. It promises to be a great night in a top-notch CBD location.

And as always I will end the match report with my new segment- Badman’s tweet of the week. Enjoy: