The first week of the season approached faster than expected. It was still a sunny dry day, the temperature perfect for playing hard nose rugby. It soon became clear that a third of the regularly playing members were going to miss some of the games while away on RWC tours.
We were rocked with the news that Mike J broke his collarbone on Friday and wouldn’t be able to make the game (thanks for that Heather). To add to that, Jim M had to deal with a last minute trip before leaving on tour (something about Happy Wife equals Happy Life), Jonny Casanova needed new luggage and Sean A twisted his knee in the shower on Saturday. We travelled to South Surrey not knowing exactly how many men would turn up. I was happy to see 10 ready for kick-off. The SOBs had a cast of thousands (or tens) and happily gave us 5 players.
Beruit Billy, Dazza and an SOB hooker made up the front row. The scrums were competitive and I don’t think any team won against the hook. Walshy played with another SOB at the lock and was his usual self in the line outs. God knows what we’d do without him. The back row comprised of Leyton (a new again player – he last played for the Snowcaps in 2004) at flank with another SOB, and myself at eight. Leyton – welcome to the fold. We’ll need to get you to the Two Lions with Kent, Mossop and Cable soon to give you a proper introduction to the team.
Jmore played scrumhalf doing a fantastic job feeding Andrew W at flyhalf. Big Joe was inside center and as usual ran through everyone in front of him. Matty G played outside with his speed and we had at a rotation of SOB players on the wings. Dougie played fullback and as usual was masterclass.
The first half was tough as they pummelled us with their big Fijian – he must have been 6’3 and weighed 300lbs. Beruit Billy did a fantastic job reigning the big boy in – he must have made 8 tackles to keep him in check. By half time we were down 2-0 and their boys were pumped after we beat them in Surrey last year.
The second half started with them scoring another try and a rousing team speech by Dazza got our boys motivated. We scored soon after, the try worthy of a team, only to be scored by Gary – an SOB player, much to the annoyance of the opposition. With our tails up, we started the comeback and were duly rewarded with a second try. A good loose ball win was fed through the line and Big Joe broke through. Our loose forwards were on hand to scoop up the ball and our number 8 scored when he should have passed off to the new guy.
With us down by one, the ref who was awesome up to that point decided forward passes were now legal and the SOBs went ahead by 2 again. Dougie was pissed and with a great amount of encouragement from Big Joe ran through everyone from our own 22. He must have danced around 8 or 9 tackles to score the try of the season so far.
With 5 minutes to go they were camped on our line. From a defensive scrum I looked back to see where our line was positioned and was surprised to see what looked like a convict dressed as a Snowcap playing at flyhalf. It was Shane with a dapper new haircut. He made it to the ground with minutes to spare. He managed to clear the pressure with a great kick to the half way line – yes it’s true. Soon we were piling the pressure on them. From a penalty near their line, Dazza stormed over to score only for the ref to decide it was held up to everyone’s surprise, including his own. From the following scrum, Big Joe ran over to score again only for the ref to decide that it was a knock-on. At this point the game ended and our comeback fell short by one.
The game was played in great spirit with both teams heading for the bar ready to enjoy the festivities. Well done to Leyton who was chosen as the Man of the Match. He was courteous enough to let the SOB player down his beer faster. Adrian – you may have competition in that department.