The Good the Bad and the Ugly......you decide!
As I young boy I always thought Boxing Day meant there was plenty of boxing to watch on television, a kind of World of Sport Special introduced by Dickie Davies featuring the best of the brawlers. Some forty years or so later I find myself reporting on our own BRFC Boxing Day Special! So as you awake to Bubble and Squeak and the clink of empty bottles pushed aside here is my account of last weeks final fixture to 2017!
Your Honour, if I may address the panel and set out proceedings as I recall.......
On waking early on last Saturday morning I was alerted by my learned friend Mr Graham that many of the BRFC squad had been struck down by bouts of ‘......what do you mean playing rugby, you haven’t even put up the f’ing tree yet.....you merchant banker!!’. Indeed your Honour we had one serious attack where our own mascot, Hobbit.... Mr Frodo never even turned up and has since gone missing. Though I have been reliably informed by our head of ‘Classics and Fine Arts’, Mr Bellis, that Harrodian RFC have a policy about only ever fielding one Scouser on the field at a time and as Mr Grimes had made the special annual pilgrimage from St Helens to the South he was to take Mr Frodo’s place...... a kinda of BRFC special needs - supporting the community initiative!
Thus your Honour a core part of our defence is that many of our squad were under extreme spousal pre-Xmas stress syndrome and this left a number of our players unusually uptight. Even Mr Pye, despite his Friday illness and extreme loosesphincteritus decided he had to play rather than suffer spousal pre-Xmas stress syndrome.
Indeed your Honour I too had a deep anxiety that day, not only did I have to leave the Vogue at home and get the train to Barnes, (St Helens risk factor etc!), but on arrival our learned friend and esteemed Kit Manager Mr Macrae had omitted to have our kit washed! On closer inspection I discovered that the content of the kit bag resembled the laundry basket of Mr Matthews after 3 days in Bordeaux and so quickly had to make use of the Occies much smaller sized kit, again a further factor which was soon to add to the squads tensions!
Your Honour I must plead to your charitable nature and seek your understanding that the players who came together to represent Harrodian RFC against the mighty Guildford did so with a burden rarely seenl; tiered, harassed, squeezed into Lycra kit too small for even a fit Rhino; to brave the mighty unbeaten GRFC of 3 yrs - tensions were brimming early on!
I even had an infamously famous member of the squad approach me, a certain Mr Curran, who went on to inform me that I had inadvertently omitted to report that in our previous defeat of London Irish Mr Fernandez had scored four tries and that Mr Fernandez was so distraught over this he probably would score no tries against GRFC. Of course as any good leader would I assured Mr Curran that if Mr Fernandez scored just one try against GRFC I would be sure to mention how simply a brilliant cornerstone he is to Harrodian RFC; Mr Curran seemed pleased with my assurances and spread the good news to the backs who soon started to feel happy and shared nail polish remover.
Your most venerable Honour I led my men to the pitch and soon realised the dark cloud was not one in the sky, but the sheer size of each and every single GRFC player; collectively they were an awesomeness not seen before on our home ground for some years. On the other hand the referee did not share in the same awesomeness and I and my fellow opposition Captain, (Editor here.....serious for a moment - an absolute cracking guy and Club man, Stuart), did as much as we could do to chaperone him through the game.
Your Honour GRFC were strong, powerful and imposing and Harrodian RFC were simply stunned at how good GRFC were ball in hand and it was very much a game of two halves; a first half and a then shortly after a second half! And that your Honour is all I can recall, however, fortunately my learned friend Mr Graham watched the whole game from the touch line and had an excellent vantage point. He went on to inform me that I made 6 carries, never lost the ball in contact, lifted in the lineout and should be in World’s Strongest Man and scrummaged at tight head like a possessed Puma......brilliant account you would say!
The game of two halves did in fact ensue and Harrodian RFC maintained a lead throughout, but your Honour we had to fiercely contest a highly effective onslaught from GRFC which did not abate and on occasions they upset a few of our mild mannered players, at which point I must submit their defence and my utmost support.
Mr James Carlsberg, (JC) received a yellow for over jubilance at the prospect of his Father coming to watch him. As a young boy JC lost a conker fight at primary school where the opponent proceeded to beat JC over the head with the winning conker, which accounts for JC’s speech impediment. Sadly during the game the GRFC player said to JC “you are a Plonker” and JC thought he heard ‘Conker’ rekindling painful memories of when he sat on his Dad’s lap 40 years ago sobbing. Your Honour JC lashed out a) to impress his Father and b) because he is a Plonker and so the ref under my and Stuarts guidance had no choice but to show him a yellow.
Your Honour shortly after and as only 14 men, another flash point occurred. A hand-off led by a GRFC player wielding a medieval kettenmorgenstern charged at our small player Mr Ozzy. Ozzy, looks like an Ozzy, but isn’t an Ozzy, yet Ozzy sounds like an Ozzy and behaves like an Ozzy, but Ozzy is not an Ozzy, so in his defence Ozzy was right to protest at being targeted as if he was an Ozzy and accordingly lashed out like an Ozzy, but Ozzy isn’t an Ozzy and so your Honour the red card was harsh in my humble opinion, but had Ozzy been an Ozzy, we would have shouted bravo to the GRFC player!
No sooner had we become 13 men on the field another incident took place. This time involving Mr Grimes. It would appear one of the GRFC players who had played against Mr Grimes 15 yrs ago when the then Barnes RFC 1st XV beat Guildford had taken umbrage when tackled by the towering Scouse Giant and ceremoniously dumped and as Mr Grimes walked away he was heard uttering....,(think Lock Stock)....”F@£$%^g Southern Fairy”! Thus your Honour it would appear the GRFC player soon heard Mr Grimes speak and called him a ‘Northern Monkey”, which in turn Mr Grimes dealt with in true Northern Monkey style!
Your Honour I submit to you and the panel that it was very gracious of GRFC to let play continue with only 12 Harrodian RFC players on the field and for that we are in their debt. They are an utterly brilliant side on and off the field and the minor incidents will be dealt with by our internal disciplinary committee which will make sure we always ensure all players are only ever selected on producing proof the Christmas tree has been put up!!
The side which happily shared beer and stories of bravado with GRFC afterwards was:
Beaves.......back from many years....at last!
Tries: Pins, Mayson, Mike and Euge
Cons: Marek x 3
We play Guildford away at end of January - please take the Xmas tree down to be considered for selection!
Skips/Finche - Phuket - Boxing Day!