"It was a meeting of minds - we bonded"
By Rich Fenech
Orca meets.....oh never mind - Gus - Dog Bowl!!!
Barnow junkies far and wide its time to lock the kids in the play room, tell the wife to read 50 shades again and crack open a bottle of your finest; its Harrodian Happy Hour!!
Whilst our Chairman’s weekly blog has certainly kept you captivated, I know you are well over due the under counter serving of Finche’s finest; Welcome to 18/19!!!
Summer is but a distant memory; the budgie smugglers packed away, Hawaiian Tropic and Gillette Fusion pushed to the back of the cupboard as Jock strap, Vaseline and Deep Heat step forward proudly to the front, indeed a front row union of their own!
By way or an introduction to the many new wonderful people whose lives will have inevitably changed for the better having joined Barnes RFC this season; this is the Vets match report and it’s the most accurate account of everything bar the match. So welcome to Barnes RFC 18/19 and the Vets end of the club; the St. James Gentleman’s Lounge amongst the minis mayhem and Seniors alcohol infused ‘rig contest’, its going to be an absolute fire cracker!
Over the summer a number of senior Vets discussed tactics, moves, skills, patterns, fitness and so much more, we even had Eddie Jones sniffing around at our set up. The outcome of this diligent process was to appoint Marek our own Polish Express as Head of Fashion, Nick Hamilton, the most laid back unreliable Ozzy, as Head of Admin and the self appointed ‘Legend’ as Head of Social. So we aim to be the most organised and smartest revellers in the league, unless of course Sutton & Epsom still have a VERY young vets side!
Also over the summer we recruited and made a few great singings including, Butch, Ben, Boko, Boris, Chris Corby, Freddie, Jacko, James H, Kevin, Mike D, Peter Mackey and Russ Barnes. Welcome Gents, it’s going to be a pleasure running out with you all. In fact I will try and do a little bio each week, so starting with Dad of a current mini – Russ Barnes hasn’t yet found his boots, but I know, he knows, that he can’t keep blaming Brexit, Theresa or Boris and that sooner rather than later he will be back in the pack doing what he does best – making a difference – Harrodian have missed that for a while, so I personally look forward to writing about his first of many 18/19 tries to come.
So let’s go pitch side I hear you cry…..
Plenty of summer touch rugby kept us fit, but when it came to an early September road trip to Bury St Edmunds too many Vets kept away so we didn’t play. Then despite a confirmed fixture for SIX weeks with Bank of England, clearly the Governor got involved with another mixed message and the fixture was pulled at the 11am on the Friday before – Skips was utterly hacked off!
However, last weekend we managed to find our first fixture of the season in a great friendly to Belsize 5ths who came up to a very wind swept and soaked Barnes. Scrums were unfortunately uncontested, but that was the only aspect of the game which was to be so. We worked hard to keep a young and enthusiastic side away from scoring and used the game as good platform to get to know each other, develop some calls and see which patterns would serve us well.
A 29:0 win felt like a good way to start the season on a wet October weekend; all eyes on the real rugby to follow – Esher at home in the Cup!
Now some of the more established amongst you know that Skips has a pre match routine; super rugby digest, study some Quade patterns, (essential for a No 3), would normally clean my balls, but Ken gave my clean ones so no need too! However, we did invest wisely in new kit and now Skips looks like Frankie Detoire performing in Strictly! FFS Gus, why oh why did I let you decide on the kit pattern, we now have two years of trying to win the league looking like a bunch of Jockey’s high on skunk in a Khartoum Camel beauty contest!
This Saturday morning was, however, preceded by less than usual preparations, but instead on Friday a few of us had the privilege in supporting our closest rivals and warmest friends, Richmond Heavies. The Heavies Foundation was the culmination of so much good work by the Club in the wake of some very recent and painful losses amongst their ranks to create a proactive support network for players and families alike. I do urge you to visit here to learn more. I’m still choked at how lucky I am to put boots on; we have so so much to be grateful for – Richmond THANK YOU.
An incredibly warm afternoon with only a slight breeze was a welcome relief to a heavy head, but a cracking squad of 20 soon fixed that! With Gus Graham away in Dubai introducing the one and only Orca to bottle nose Dolphins and with Marek squatting in Gus’s house and Richie Mayson working out the websitewattsappemailtext comms system it was left to Skips to decide who was going to play where – step forward Jose & Morgs…. “Yes Skips you are on the money – totally agree Skips”!!
Warm up brief, fluid, and satisfactory, I soon realised it was more like wives coffee morning because we were quickly caught off guard by a very convincing attack from Esher who ran straight through us and scored. Like that kick in the nuts from your sisters 1 year old at Grannies 80th which you didn’t want to be at either their conversion was most unwelcome; we spoke, shouted and ranted some positive vibes and then unleashed Harrodians ‘The Come Back’ – even Clappy would give this an Oscar!
Now I mentioned earlier about the absence of a minute by minute match account; if you want that sort of bedtime reading go and read up on the snooker!
We put in one heck of cracking genuine all round performance, 1-15 on the park and a sublime bench! Set piece was solid, lineouts dependable but the rucking was brilliant; we put frightening pace on the speed of turnover principally created by an outstanding backrow in Jacko, James H and Codo; the guys turned the collision zone in to their own play pen. With Mike Croft orchestrating impeccably at 9, he was able to deliver fast ball to a constant wave of support players who interlinked perfectly.
Tries just kept coming.
I know Esher snuck over for a second only, but that doesn’t do justice to their hard graft, strong and physical and never ever out of the game – you don’t gloat playing Esher, that’s a fools game! Though sheer pace and fitness created TEN tries, Pins and Mike both with three each!
Everyone played with such a positive approach and especially the two younger lads Alex and Jamie from the Occies and take a bow George for playing you’re first ‘happily married’ fixture!
There are mentions due to everyone, but I have to shout out for this guy.
Charles Delamain AKA Freddy has gone from a decent shift on Tour in Madrid in May to stepping out on both fixtures and playing scintillating rugby and utterly relishing it – he epitomises what Vets is all about, rediscovering YOU and pushing the comfort zone boundaries, but above all just slotting in as if he’s been there for ages. Another mention in my fellow front rower Pete Norvill, who I think really really enjoyed himself!
Yes we won convincingly, but we did that last season to the Heavies and then it all went Pete Tong!! What we have to do is raise the bar week in week out and next week is a huge test as we welcome Henley Vultures; Skips will be doing his homework between now and then!
The side that played was:
1 Peter NORVILL
2 Jamie H
4 Alex W
5 Rich BENEY
6 Chris CODO
7 Jacko JACKSON
8 James HARRIS
9 Mike CROFTS
10 Nick MORGANS
11 Freedy - Superstar
12 Nick BELLIS
13 Jose FERNANDEZ
14 Cris PINI
15 Colin OSBORNE
16 Nick HAMILTON
17 Dean STANFORD
18 Jonno HOWARD
19 Georg BUCHNER
On a less savoury note, the Club House despite its amazing summer refurb has attracted and infestation of Pigeons, fortunately of the six benches pledged they have decided to desecrate only one!!