We travelled to some hill in the middle of nowhere in South Bradford, home to some rugby league club we’ve never heard of. We were 26 strong and confident of success. Many men were carrying knocks and were hoping to survive the game, to last until next weeks invaluable rest week.
We had two debutants, James Giblin formerly played for the very prestigious ‘Extra C’ team from ancient folklore, who achieved heroic defeats and if you’ve ever spoken to Paul Giblin about them, don’t be surprised if he tells you that they frequently beat the All blacks! Also, we had Matt Simpkins a rugby league player who’s decided to learn the grown-up rules.
Toby returned from uni to get a cap to make sure he was eligible for Tour. The students were back in force, with Angus back after taking his mother shopping last week. Tooley was back to see if his debutant try last week was a sheer fluke. Bez decided that his legendary moaning ability would be best done from the sidelines. Then there was a load of the usual rabble. Match prep was outstanding as the ref had been locked out of the changing rooms. When they eventually let him in, we were ready to kick-off, with our medi kit safely locked in the changing rooms so that we couldn’t access it. The pitch had white lines on it. It was perfectly marked for American football so none of the lines made any sense. Alas, we are resilient.
So the game kicked off and within 30 seconds Tooley brought his beginners luck to the fray scoring in the corner. 12 mins into the game he scored again. Just call him Tooley the try machine! Shortly after we had a driven line out in the bottom left corner 10 meters from the line. We pushed them back before the ball was spun wide by the backs. Leading to Eddie scoring his first of the day. With five minutes to go Simpkins was on on the wing and the ball came out to Cadogan at 13. He dummied and went with a line break from 65 yards, Simpkins ran support screaming for the pass. It didn’t come as Cadogan neatly stepped the full-back and went the distance. To our surprise, Simpkins came running straight back screaming to the crowd that he’d personally made the try despite not really been involved at all. So he was immediately christened Matt ‘gobsh*te’ Simpkins! In the last minute of the half he got his first touch as the ball was spun neatly out to him. He went around the other winger then straight over the full-back and scored from 60 meters. So Gobsh*te became ‘Matt ‘half decent’ Simpkins.
With half time and lots of personnel, we made quite a few changes. Both me and parry went off leaving a void of leadership. I was pondering Ben Royds as captain when Cooky announced that Parry had asked him. So I thought what the hell! When the ship needs steering, who better than Captain Cook! Giblin came on at 10 and immediately began organising the troops. Cadogan too started showing more responsibility. Cooky charged from the front, unfortunately, he was stripped like candy from a baby! They managed to sneak a try after Luke and Cameron gave away 47 offsides.
Before too long more changes were made. Me and Steve came back on to put them to the sword. Then tries came thick and fast. Parry scored from, you guessed it, his legendary 10 crash. I think I’m correct in saying that Eddie even snuck in for a cheeky hat trick. The game ended after 64 minutes when Cleckheaton, broken and dominated, threw the towel in.
Huddersfield 57-5 Cleckheaton.
All in all a great performance. Let’s get fit and take Vandals apart at their spot in two weeks.
Special thanks to Martin Walker for his notes on the game.