This week the 3s played host to Wendens Ambo. These guys always bring a good game of rugby to the pitch and great socialising off of it.
As it was rugby day, the weather had a turn for the worst just before warm up. The snow started falling and everyone was wondering if the game would be cancelled. But as it often does, the weather changed and the ref said it was playable if both teams agreed, which we did. To put another spanner into the works, Wendens could only bring 10 men with them, so in the spirit of wanting a game we lent them four players to make the teams 15 to 14.
This delayed the game slightly, but eventually we kicked off with Cantabs receiving the kick closest to the club. Now my memory is a little fuzzy (should really write these reports up right away) so this could get interesting. For the first 5 minutes we were pressing hard with the forwards, be it a bit bunched so we were struggling to get some good ball technique going, this allowed Wendens to get through some of the rucks and steal the ball. When Wendens had the ball they were running some great crash moves and had some lovely hands between their backs who ran at our backs fast and hard. There was some great defence played today.
But once we settled down we managed to get some nice clean ball at rucks and mauls which went out to our backs for Kaz, Tozer and Brad to work some magic in the centres. This lead to Brad having a run and slip through to score the first try of the game. He also took the conversion which went over, 7-0 Cantabs.
This sort of pressure continued from the kick off, this time the forwards felt like they could apply some pressure. There was some lovely rucks being formed, but somehow Wendens still managed to get in there and steal a ball or two, to have a run at us once again. Once we got the ball back we headed for the top right corner with a full pack. The ref pinged up four penalties against Wendens, which after some great scrummaging from the forwards, Justin managed to place the ball down over the line. Once again Brad took the kick and over it went. 14-0 Cantabs.
This really uplifted the guys and made everyone raring for another run at Wendens. Once again the kick came over, Justin found himself once again on the receiving end with Darren, Tim and Dan on his back and pushing him forward. This time it went straight out to the back line and into brads hands who ran it right over their line for a second time. Sadly this conversion he missed. 19-0 at half time.
At half time we switched round some of the players we lent to Wendens, Scott and Geoff (the troopers they are) stayed to help out with front row duties.
We sadly lost Darren to a leg injury as they lost a back row due to a missing contact lens.
Second half got under way with Cantabs kicking up field towards the First Team pitch. Wendens managed to get some good moves in from the catch and make a few runs with the backs. We managed to do some brilliant defending (all be it taking about four people to bring one guy down).
When we got the ball back we managed to get some great moves out to the backs and Craig being his slippery self managed to dance around a couple of their backs to score to the left of the posts. Brad with his kicking boots managed to get the extra points. 26-0.
From the kick off we managed to get some great forwards play, everyone pitching in, making their runs, switching the play from one half of the field to the other. This time the ball managed to get all the way through the backs and out to our lone winger Matt. He sprinted for the line and looked like scoring, until Dan was on his tail and Matt almost fumbled it over the line but managed to get his try in for this game. Brad once again kicked that ball right between the posts. 33-0.
After another returning kick and great take we once again shipped it out to our backs for this time Craig to give another dancing lesson, skipping round a few players and racing for the line to score his second of the match. Sadly Brad missed this one as well, 38-0.
Before this kick off the Wendens captain came over and had a word about possibly calling the game early as everyone was feeling the pinch of the wind. But Wendens kicked off again, taken greatly again by Dan (I think) who had a run at some of the bigger lads. With once again all the forwards going over and making sure we kept hold of the ball. A couple more hit ups and the ball once again found its way through Kaz's hands and into Craigs. This time though he managed to pass it out to Brad who brushed off a few players to make a nice hat-trick. Although he couldn't seem to find the posts with his boot this time either. 43-0.
At this point with 20 minutes left of the game, Wendens captain and I agreed that the cold was a bit too much, so we called the match there.
I want to extend a huge thank you to Scott, Geoff, Craig, Chris, Matt, Jack and Dan (I feel like I'm missing someone, sorry if I am) for stepping up and helping out Wendens so that we can have a decent game of rugby.
MoM was not an easy choice, the whole team played with utter passion and finesse that it's hard to choose. But I would have to pick Scott and Geoff for both offering to play for Wendens and keeping their spirits up and making sure we all had a fair game.
DoD, I don't think there are any contenders for this, maybe Matt for nearly getting tackled by Dan and not scoring. But no, everyone had a fantastic game so this can go to the captain (Me, Ash) for first time captaincy.