Two games last week and both ended up being disappointing. The first was a mid-week student game, out in West London and happened to feature the same visiting side as a week earlier. They had been big winners then but given the strong sports tradition of the home side I expected a closer contest. The traditions didn’t extent to the groundsman, who seemed of have marked the grass for every sport except rugby. The additional pitch stripes did make spotting forward passes much easier, not that seem to amuse the visitors too much
As the side’s behaviour was fresh in my mind, I prepared myself, strong scrum, width and speed on their counter attack and captain and No8 that don’t know how to keep quiet. In the first half, they certainly found things tougher; the home side where physically smaller, but threw themselves in to the game with great spirit and where only 12-0 down at half time. Having the advantage of the substantial wind and slope in the second half they could expect to even things up.
The wet and windy weather meant that last week’s spectacular mis-passes from the fly-half were going all over the place and contributing to the scrum count. The home side fell apart in the second half conceding 6 tries, including an impressive chip and collect that would not have looked out of place on an international field. Final score 46-3 to the visitors.
My weekend game was a merit league match, first place vs second. However, this too proved to a one sided affair, with the home side running away with it. Brute force and team work were the defining features of the home side. A few beefy Saffas, who inevitably spent the whole game refereeing the game for me. However, it was the visitors who conceded my fastest yellow card. Attempted interception from Blue, knocked on, but I played advantage, the Red fly-half stops in his tracks and screams at me about the missed knock-on. You can go for rest matey!
The second half became very disjointed as injuries took their toll, one was nasty as a Red player was left with a hyper-extended neck injury which, thankfully only left him with a painful stinger. Scrums became uncontested after Blue loose head attempted to hook the ball back in and the scrum collapsed injuring the shoulder of his tight head. Blue finished as 43-5 winners. I had some good feed-back from both sides, but I think each expected the whistle sooner for infringements I was running advantage or judged immaterial.