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3XV Run Close in Season Opener

(by the Report Monkey, based entirely on poor memory)

As the dawn rises on a new season for the 3s, it saw a combination of old warriors and young bloods don the blue and white for the opening battle. A last minute ghost from the past giving us the extra boost to 19 willing men.

Cantabs kicked off and it was not long before our defensive pressure caused a spillage from Ives and the 3s were given chance to work with ball in hand. Due to our lacking of a front row the scrums were uncontested (though given the amount of buttered hands on the pitch this probably worked out in the favour of all the forwards).

With the backs cutting in some great lines and the forward providing wave after wave of support, we pushed them further and further back, a strong run from new blood Peter took us within 5m a forward charge (sorry I forget the owner), then drove us to the line. The ever ready Rick took advantage of slack fringe protection to leap salmon like over the ruck to open the scores. 5-0

After the opener both sides spent the next 15 minutes picking away trying to find the chink in the others armour. It was to again be Cantabs that found their way through, the stalemate was broken when Jamie spotted a gap and fed Alex though it. Good cover by their defence saw him brought down 10m out, he offloaded to Peter who drew in the remnants of their defenders before he popped the ball back to Alex to take the honours diving over the line. 10-0.

Mark and Max entered the fray taking over from Peter and Carl. Shortly followed by Mr Goode, replacing Ed who had been bloodied by making one to many demonic tackles.

The final score of the half came from some great pressure by the forwards causing a turned over ball to find itself in the hands of Oliver who stampeded his way over the line for his season opener.

While not normally one to question Sirs decisions I will say that the choice to give a penalty for a high tackle then give the defending team the ball is a first for me.

Half time saw Stefano make way for Harry.

Not long into the second half following an Ives scrum Jamie read their 10s intentions to a tee an plucked the ball mid-air from inside our own half, jinked the full back and proceeded to run the ball home under the sticks. Luke added the extras this time. 22-0

Last season Ives gave us a much needed lesson in complacency in the same fixture, this year they looked set to do it again as they seemed to finally spot the size difference in our forwards any used it to good effect. To ram their way closer and closer to our line so close they got over 3 times. 22-17.

However with the sign of victory slipping away the Blue and White resurrected the solid wall that had been in place. The clock ticked on for an eternity (8 minutes at least) before the final whistle blew and a win to start the season was claimed.

As always full credit to Ives who never surrender and ensure the 80 mins will be a battle from start to finish.

The backs took all the glory this week, but the forwards tackled like monsters to make it possible, Beast, Stefano, Ed, Carl, Chris, Shaggy, Stephen, Max, Goode and Harry you are all animals.

MOM many contenders for this weeks title, hard yards were put in by all, but for setting up one and scoring a belter. This week take a bow Jamie.

DOD a lot less choices for this one, and as I did not hear who it was that pushed us back 10 talking to Sir, I will take the honours for forgetting to dish out the DOD shirt.

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