Match Report vs Petersham

It’s been a few weeks since I have written one of these. And they have been long, dry weeks. But like Moses in the desert I will endeavour to lead us to the land of milk and honey- a 4th grade premiership and another year in div 2. But you need to promise to follow me…

 
We had Shammies at home last week, and wasn’t it an absolute ball-tearer. A real bell-ringer. Each game more intense than the last, with the obvious exception of 4th grade (which was so intense that most of the players and spectators are still receiving counselling).

 
Overall we had a win, a draw and a few losses. But overall the spirit was high, the beers were (relatively) cheap and the conversation was good (unless you were standing next to Noodles).

 
And we start, as we always do, with 4th grade. This is the grade that turns boys into men, lizards into dragons, goldfish into sharktopuses. And Saturday’s instalment was no different- two competition heavyweights fighting a titanic 50-minute battle to the death, on a celestial stage viewed by thousands. Shammies struck the first blow with a try under the sticks, and we went to half time 7-0 down. Following a raw, blistering speech from new coach Con Noodles at half time (which had most players in tears) the side came out renewed in the second half. The forwards were charging hard, and the backs were running with the pace of a coked-up unicorn. With just minutes left the equaliser came, through the golden-haired colt Henry ‘Phil’ Collins. Kyle James added the extras, and the game finished a 7-7 draw. A good result for us given that Petersham had about 30 reserves, although most of them were under 5 feet and Irish.

 
Normally I run through who got the game points, but it seems immodest of me to do so this week. Let’s just say everyone played well… but one person was objectively better than the rest. I’ll let you work that out. It wasn’t Derek. He was terrible. But seriously, it was a great team effort and it bodes well for next week.

 
So then we moved on to 3rd grade. While overall they were smaller and uglier than their 4th grade counterparts, they nonetheless put in a great display to win 13-12. Together they showed the best of what ‘08’ could offer- Mouley, Wol, Anstey and co representing 2008 leavers, and OC representing the great class of 1908. But I don’t want to go over too much ground here given the good match report already provided (I won’t say great, still plenty to work on there before we get to the big leagues). I will single out the return of the Rat- the one and only Chris Lucas, who turned in a vintage Rat effort- steps, tackles, tries, intercept passes, big hits and missed tackles. We can only hope we see him again this season. I will also tip my cap to new coach Alan ‘didntcosta’ Lott, whose age and wisdom has been, ironically, a breath of fresh air around the place and will complement the great work of Gerard and Brendan very well.

 
Colties were up next, and jeez wasn’t this a great effort. Easily the best game these blokes have played, and they should have come a lot closer to victory than they did. A couple or the arsiest tries I have ever seen killed their chances late in the second half (I think a few of the 4ft Irish 4th graders had passed on some sort of lucky charms to a few of the colties). The performance of the forwards was the most pleasing, lead by Reuben ‘Milky Bar Kid’ Loughlin and Dragonball-Z…enon Kosmider. In the backs there were great shows put on by Luke Rowntree (who needs a nickname. I feel like I have taken the piss out of Zenon enough, and I now need to do it about Luke. Any suggestions would be much appreciated, because I’ve got nothing), Damon ‘Murphy’ Brown (one for the 90s TV fans), Emmanuel Sautu and Alec Baggaley. But plenty of good signs there.

 

2nds were up next, and had the tough task of facing a big, ugly Shammies side that was topping the table. I presume. Because they were bloody good, and although we tried hard we couldn’t get on the scoreboard. Again there were plenty of encouraging performances, with Tom Hosegood (the backrower with Hollywood good looks and a heart of gold, or so I’ve been told… by Toby) a standout. The silky cream locks of the Milky Bar Kid were also visible, with Reuben backing up a good colts performance with an even better one against the big boys. Sam Shumack was good, as was Jamie Craig (and may I say how nice it is to finally have a 3rd Shore boy at KOBs. Let’s just hope our winning attitude rubs off on all these other losers, hey).

 

So then it came time for the second most important game of the day, 1st grade. The Petersham team made a big finals charge in 1sts last season, and were riding high again in 2013. The 4ft Irishmen had been replaced with 7ft Islanders, and they looked angry. The best we could offer in reply was the 3ft Moule brothers, who are kind of like the Super Mario brothers but without the overalls or plumbing skills. Or Italian accents. Tim has to be Mario and Josh Luigi, right? Is Anna-Louise the princess? No, that makes it weird. Who is Bowser? Ben Osmond? Anyway these are questions for another time.

Which is which?

Which is which?

From the kick-off this was a tight encounter. Both sides traded penalty goals early, and while Petersham had the bulk of possession our defences held strong. Jimmy ‘Neil’ Armstrong was a rock in midfield, and was ably supported by backrowers Rowntree (M), Wolley and Osmond. The game was evenly poised at half time, with the score at 6-6 (I think). Unfortunately the break came for Shammies midway through the second term, with a try coming from a loose pill at the back of the scrum. However our boys battled well and finished the game down 18-9. A ripper effort against a team that was far bigger and (in their minds, anyway) better than us. Special mention to debutant Alec Baggaley, who played a belter after coming on for the injured Kyle Rees (who was also looking good early).

 
I caught up with Mario Moule after the game, and asked him which was the more enjoyable game- 3rd grade or 1st grade. He replied “Neither mate. Watching the warriors of 4th grade go round in the morning was an experience I will never forget. It showed me what it is to truly be a man. Particularly our number 8, Ed Love said he played like Wycliff Palu, and I’d have to agree.” He then jumped up, grabbed a star and started flashing different colours. Music started playing, it all got pretty surreal. So I bailed.

 
This week we have our relegation rivals St Ives. Make sure you get down to training on Thursday, this is an important week. Especially 2nd grade- Charlie Crane offered to buy you all a beer if you showed up. Not to be outdone, Toby offered to buy you all a feed! Hearing this, Gus had to get in on things, and offered, well… something that is best not put on a family website. But trust me you want to turn up.

 
Till next time suckers. If you crave any more of my writing, why don’t you spend your valuable time here, whereyou can read my collection of articles on Green and Gold Rugby. It’s a shitload better than the junk I write for you muppets.