(by the report monkey)
After several weeks of booming numbers in the 3s this week was more of a flashback to seasons past, with a large number of injuries, holidays and grand prize winners throughout the club, leaving the 3s to contemplate a 11 v 15 Saturday.
Fortunately our numbers were boosted to 15, thanks to 2 league lads Will and Gareth (thanks Scott for covering your absence), an ever so slightly hanging Mr Ford, and the very last minute Charlie (just about managed to put his kit on for kick off).
Cantabs kicked off and Ely were quick to apply the pressure working the ball well though a couple of phases to give them selves a break down the side, full back Charlie tackled well but Ely had a man in support to get the first score. 0-5.
Not long after the score Sacha chased a kick that did not quite make touch, rather than choosing to tackle like Chabal he opted to tackle like Cantona, earning him a 10 min break to think about his actions.
For the next 10 mins Ely tried a plethora of routes to get the next score to no avail, as the 14 men of cantabs stood strong tackling well and running back anything they kicked over. Ok so yes on one of those occasions I did run at one of our players rather than the rest of the open pitch but I don't really think that it was a incident worth reporting. For risk of repeating previous reports this week I will say special mention to everybody for their tackling and focus in this period.
It was not long after our numbers had been restored to full that we started to apply the pressure our selves with a good run by Alex off-loaded well to Ford who drew several men before shipping the ball to Charlie who cam bulleting through the line and ran it over for our first score on his first game. Our kicker shortage returned this week no conversions again! 5-5.
I believe our next score started from a run by Will, then Gareth, then Alex, then Ford, then Dan, we managed to get the ball to with in inches of the line, however Ely battled well and turned over the ball, but with Cantabs not giving up and charging down on him the Ely 10 kick the clearance our left wing were it was collected by Mr Moss who charged it over the line, 10-5. I could have asked him what he was doing out there, but I'm pretty sure the answer I will get would be scoring!
Our last score of the half (and unfortunately the game) came again from good running from the forwards building a good platform for the backs drawing runs by Alex and Ford meaning when Dan got the ball he only had to step round 2 defenders to find himself in open space and dotting down over the line (not a bad way to celebrate returning to rugby after 3 years).
The second half was like a completely different game Ely defended well against everything we could throw at them. With great team work and battle they pulled them selves level then sailed off ahead to win the game 15-38. Ely worked so well that it was not until most of the way through the half that I noticed they were a man down! Thank you Ely for the lessons and hopefully (for us) we can us them to turn the table for the away fixture in the New Year.
A few thanks before MoM and DoD. Firstly I would like to thank all the players who have played every game so far this season, Tim C, Dan S, Matt S and Sacha. With 3 out of the 4 of you new to Cantabs this year thanks for choosing to rugby Cantabs.
Secondly I would like to thank all the guys who played their first game of the season for us Rich L, Rich F, James B, James T, Will M, Alex BJ, Gareth C, Dan B and Charlie.
Thirdly thanks to Ford, Wayne and Alex (and probably a few more that did not let on), for battling on through injuries to play on.
Lastly thanks to Rhys for turning up for half time to provide a much needed sub. (even if you did bring your curse, which I am starting to believe in!!).
Alex BJ for starting most of the scoring plays and general demon tackling.
Sacha for his football tackle.