Our first home fixture of the new season was fast approaching and it was clear most of the teams in the league had the same issue with getting a full team together. Turns out most old boys teams go watch World Cup rugby – who knew? We made a call to the SOBs who remained in town to see whether any of them would be interested in coming out to play and they accepted. Soon the irony was not lost on me.
Sunday morning came with a huge downpour. After calling Tim and ensuring the “2 Duck” rule was not in effect, it was declared that the game was still on. By game time the rain had stopped and the sun was out. We had a good turn out. The NOBs brought 5 and SOBs 4. We ended up with 13 a side with four Snowcaps playing for the SNOBs side.
The two Fijian boys, Petaia and Ben had come to play. With Beirut Billy looking forward to continue on from last week where he single-handedly took on Petaia up front, we need to find a match for Ben in the backs. Big Joe did not make it so we decided it was best to match up a forward against Ben with Kevin O placed in charge of containing the wannabe Lomu. Read on to see how this worked out.
We had Beirut Billy, Dave McD and Hammer as our front row, Walshy and new boy Matt Walton in the pump house. We played with two loose, myself and John K. Our back line was comprised of Jmore, Andrew W, Shane, Kevin O, Jim H, new boy Juice (Justin) and Dougie. Leighton, Byron, Craig W and Nick started for the SNOBs. We also had a cheering section with WAGs including, Mike J, Renaud and Ivan. Gilbert ran the line.
With 13 a side and uncontested scrums, there was lots of room for running. Five minutes into the game Dave McD ran in the first try after a blinder of a run through their backs. It was all fun and games until a series of runs by their Fijian boys and Snowcap loaners. There was some desperate tackling but they eventually broke through with Ben, their Fijian centre scoring a brace. After a restart, our line ran in a second try with Jmore crossing for a second score, making it 2-2 at the half.
During half time we swapped out Leighton, Byron and Craig W (no one likes playing for the opposition, except for Nick who we left as a double agent). Hammer was called off to work and the SNOBs lost one. We were down to 12 a side. Shortly after kick off we lost Shane to an injury (ribs) and went down to 11 a side. With more space, there were more tries. Matt W ran one in after some sustained pressure, and great support. Next up was a great try with Craig W breaking their line and Beirut Billy smashing over for the score. Scout scored for the SNOBs and I replied after being set up beautifully by Dougie and Matt W.
With the game on a knife’s edge at 5-3, Andrew W and the SNOBs flyhalf squared off for some UFC action. Jmore did well to get in between and dodge some punches. Unfortunately the ref decided Andrew should be sent off as well. Something about both being out of line. We were down to 10 a side.
With the last movement of the game John K and Fiji Ben ran a trick play and put Kevin O in for a try against his own club (not that I’m judging you Kevin). The game ended 5-4 with the Fortress preserved.
The NOBs gave MOM to Matt W who narrowly won the boat race – nice work Matt! Thanks to John R for being the ref, Jan for choosing not to show the Japan game during the meal, Narins for running Shane to the hospital and to Jim L for the meal – as usual it was outstanding.
Finally, it was Jim Leith’s birthday. I heard he turned 80 but could just be starting a rumour. Be sure to wish him a happy birthday the next time you see him.