As likely as Rocking Horse s…..!!!!
By Rich Fenech
Happy 2019 as I write on day 27 of the year all ready!
To think our last game was London Irish on a bitterly cold and wet Saturday is hard to believe, though I did have a most dreadful nightmare last weekend which was so random but kinda went like this…..
Curran was Captain of the abseiling team…!
Sorry I can’t bring myself to write about it, a truly horrendous nightmare which will take me some time to recover from!
So straight in to this weekend as I know you are all salivating at the phase by phase encounter between Harrodian Vets and Camberley’s Vets…. the Gin & Tonics! Objectivity and fairness underpins my written work so to a more befitting description would be White Lightning & Special Brew!
Of course it may be that the oppo were preparing for a cultural visit to Japan in good time for the 2019 RWC and have been captivated by the art of the Basho, a contest where two very large men bounce off each other until a winner is declared; no oval ball involved! Hmmm……just a thought.
Skips preparation of course started early on Thursday with the usual quest for confirmation of the squad and other than the noticeable absence of Marek, still out with a massive injury sustained in Touch, the squad looked very tidy indeed. Forecast was milder but wet, kit was crisp and clean and balls smooth as ever Rhino, Gilbert would be proud!
As we haven’t played at Camberley in recent years it was difficult to guess how proceedings might unfold, so a visit by the Ref early on to our changing room which resembled more of a warm up act for Frankie Boyle at an after dinner Wake, was most intriguing! And it certainly set the tone for an interesting game.
We received the kick off after a well drilled warm up so needed no time to wake up and got straight into the game with real conviction, though early on it became clear we were 15 v 16. In fact not a lot went our way and in a quest to play a fast, open and expansive game we were frustrated by infringements, high tackles and ref decisions which were caught in a time warp!
Scrums were all in all fairly equal much to the rock in new Harrodian cap Mark Eastley at Loosehead and lineouts continue to see James and Jacko dominate providing Gareth at 9 such good quality ball.
It was a physical game on and off the ball leading to further frustrations for Harrodian where we must really learn to raise our standards rather than lower them; just as Nigel Owens once said… ‘this is not soccer’, though I guess sometimes soccer mentality will creep in and we must learn to ignore it.
We did put some great patterns together and took an early lead, but only for the ref to award a penalty try to the oppo, lots of high fives, banter and jokes amongst the 16 prevailed as a welcome respite to the Harrodian attach. When we didn’t have the ball we defended brilliantly from 1 to 15 on the park, imperious on occasions!
One of our attacking phases was really impressive as it involved almost everyone in the move; the oppo though closing in on Codo who managed to make the offload about 30yrds out from their tryline. A fumbled low pass so close to the ground was scooped up by Skips where I still managed to keep an eye on the white lightening tsunami coming my way! A big step and a huge fend left two of their players chewing mud and I picked up speed…..Pini and Jose managing to keep up but too far away for me to pass; another side step and the tryline was in sight, but only for two of their large back row grasping at me; I switched the ball in a nano second from left to right hand and reached out my left arm to hold them off and dragged them over the line to place the ball over the line with my righthand……….TRY!!
The boys were jubilant and jumping in to each other’s arms, Gus with one knee on the floor looked up to the dark sky and muttered ‘thank you Lord’! The oppo heads dropped and their body language showed how morally bankrupt they were, empty nothing else left – they turned to their best friend and the ref looked back at them shrugging his shoulders as if to say ‘sorry my beloved CRFC but I can’t help you any more’!
Skips trotted back…… “Nil Nil boys….we go again”!!
Sadly we lost our FHM Model Lewis to an ankle injury, but great to have Nicky Bellis back on the park to replace him and slot back in to his normal playing style, mate we need to see more of you!
All the guys played well and a special mention to Rich Mayson for continuing to excel in everything he does and especially giving them the ball in the closing minutes; “here you are Chap go and have yourself 7 points on us”!
In fact Richie reminds me of the sad loss of the late Windsor Davies, who we all know so well for his role in Ain’t Half Hot Mum; a stalwart of good values and so only right I salute and say a genuine thanks to all those amongst the Harrodian Ranks who have brought some real excitement to our game!
He also starred in Grand Slam, a 1978 film with the scene set with a France v Wales opener to the (then) Five Nations; so raise a glass to him this Friday night.
We won because we play in the original spirit and we are slowly becoming aware that we are only in 3rd gear, so lets see what we can do in our next fixture at home to Farnham in two weeks and lets do everything we can to keep this squad intact.
Tries: Richie, James, Pini, Codo and Skips!
Cons: Richie x 5
The Squad was: