Anyone who’s played rugby round here for a few years knows that ‘Old Rish’ is a lovely little club near Sowerby bridge. So when Airbrough pulled out due to having no team, we were pleasantly impressed when ‘Forty’ got us not only a home fixture against Old Rish.
So we arrived with 23 men and were very confident. So we took the long walk to back pitches. We walked past the field of Dreams to see that it had been freshly ploughed. The first team clearly using every trick in the book to slow down their opponents. I decided to jog over but very quickly realised that my left groin was in dire straights.
I elected to bench myself, Campbell followed suit. Our bench was strong so it wasn’t a problem. We weren’t too phased when we produced the worst warm up in history. Especially since I’ve played for the ‘Extra ‘C’’! Our lineouts looked especially poor. A bit of a surprise with Pete playing at a mere 6’7” but it would all come together once we got going. They won the toss and we decided to play from the cloudy end towards the other cloudy end. So the game began.
What happened next was a bit of a shock! They clearly hadn’t read the chuffing script. It turns out they had fielded a team of early 20’s Rishworth public school graduates! With a name like ‘Old Rishworthians’ how could we have possibly foreseen such an eventuality??
Never the less we were at home and we had experience and composure! We applied pressure but they looked very dangerous out wide. After about 8 mins our defence faltered and they stole a cheeky try. I got mad and started warming up vigorously, I had to really pull on the huge strain in my groin in order to get some relief.
The game went on and it was time for revenge. 20 metres out after a half break ‘Old War Horse’ Spike passed the ball to Parry with a three man over lap. They expected us to score in the corner? We expected ‘Parry’s’ legendary 10 crash? However what happened was stranger than fiction, Steve fumbled the low pass, then accidentally tripped, toe prodding the ball which slowly came back up with about the power of a butterfly fart. The wind suddenly picked up and somehow the ball scraped over the bar, faltered, then fell just over the posts? Parry being, well Parry, immediately claimed he meant to do it and that it was a perfectly good drop goal. They were gobsmacked at this outrageous claim but the ref thought, ah, what the hell and awarded the three points.
They then kicked off and through some nice play and a little pressure managed to score in the corner. I decided I’d have to try and play, so me and Aussie came on. We gained spirit and immediately applied pressure. We smashed them off the kick off. Some solid drives through the middle and some passages of sustained pressure. None of which actually yielded any points. There were even a few feisty moments. Eddie flattened their winger. Oliver had a cuddle with his winger, resulting to a mass 15 man pushing contest. Their coach ran on claiming there was a head butt? I told him no one cared what he thought. He screamed at the ref that he had a duty of care for his players?! So the ref politely told him to shut up and gave him a yellow! Justin had a bit of a tiff with three of their players. However, the whistle went for half time and we went into the break 14-3 down.
We made some changes and discussed improving the two weakest elements of our game. The line out currently winning around 10% of the ball and defending the wide channels. Then we confidently went back into battle. knowing that our composure and experience would see us through.
The second half started and ever reliable Spike appeared to have a bit of a funny turn. Instead of an ‘old war horse’, a ‘midfield general’ instead he looked more like a fumble-a-potomous! It wasn’t pretty, Parry didn’t look great, everyone outside him looked a bit lost. The forwards weren’t too bad, just a bit lazy but the worst problem was the line out. Our hooker managed to throw three ‘not straights’ in a row to the front! We couldn’t seem to steal anything either. So the ‘composure’ was the first to go.
As their points began to come at a steady rate. Then our ‘experience’ started to show as the older players started to go down like flies! Sore toes, a little bit out of breaths, can’t really be arsed’s and a few ‘I’ll think of something later’s’. Not what we needed so we haemorrhaged points. We got some patches of pressure on one instance I told Brooky to stop being idle and push in the scrum. We immediately won the scrum against the head and attacked but sadly It was fumbled. The question is if Brooky could do that when asked, what the watzit had he being doing in the last ten scrums!!
With five minutes left their captain asked if we wanted to end it early? I responded that we would let them off the hook if they admitted defeat, he laughed, it might have been pushing our luck a little since we were 34-3 behind. So the game ended 49-3 to them. Not exactly how it was meant to pan out but Parry had clearly wasted all our luck on that fumble kick. Which he was already referring to it as the greatest drop goal since Wilkinson won us the World Cup…..
Does anyone know of a good psychologist? as Spike has told me he may not be available next week due to PTSD! He wasn’t even the worst player! I think it’s fair to equally share the blame, or blame Parry! Whichever sits best with you.
A-Team 3-49 Young Rishworthians