The first 15 a side game for the Southerners in some time got off to a shaky start with a late venue change and an apparent lack of players.
After 1hr 45mins stuck in a cab with Skinny, Kirk and Josh we were left scratching our heads when we saw a small pitch with no posts, lines or teams…..we had to wake our cabbie at every set of lights.
However, we mustered a total of 22 players turned up for us (23 if you count a very hungover Darell who pleaded not to play), and the game started well, with a new look back line and a strong forward pack (thanks to the Japanese and 2 Thai friends of Jean’s).
In the opening 5 minutes we were over for the first 5 pointer of the day. Jean won the line out and Carl ran off the back to score, carrying 3 Thais with him. Wagga was a little disappointed as there were no posts so his Jonny Wilkinson impression was left waiting for another game. The second try came from sustained pressure on their line and a forward drive I think – can’t remember!
The running battle between Carl and the heaviest Thai player ever (Morca) was partially comical. Carl ran through him, stepped him and when they finally collided Carl (aided by 30kgs of ass) bounced 2m back, spun and made a break through the line throwing players off like lice.
The second ? was uneventful with Southerners making many changes to test combinations. Both sides went at each other hard and we did well with some scrambling defense and pressure at the set piece. Scrums were look strong.
In the third ? we asserted more pressure and good field position eventually paid off when someone scored in the right corner from a charge down scramble.
New boy Ian scored the try of the match in the fourth ? (the backs performed yet another brilliant attacking raid from a set piece practiced at training, sending Kirk on a looping 30m bust, he drew two players in and threw a great ball to Ian under pressure and he raced the last 30m to score in the corner.
The last try was set up by Kirk again with a break down the far side (in front of the B.C crowd) after another set move, and kicked ahead. Callum chased as we all wondered what for…the ball bounced, the B.C lost control and Cal picked it up to score.
Great game and many positives to come out of it. Lineouts were very good at times. Scrums were also very good at times – must settle on the combination.
Spec mention goes to Carl-3 points, Reed 2 and Jean 1.
Thanks to the great supporting Southerners crowd who were there in numbers. The injuried boys who helped out (Ritchie and Josh) and the dad (Alistair Dean) who ran on the field to protect his son Gareth (who had probably already whacked someone himself?).
This article is long enough so I wont go into any more detail.
And footnotes from Wagga:
Firstly what a fantastic day Sunday turned out to be. From being mid-week and wondering if we had enough for a team and unsure of the format, to playing a full game of 15s with 22 players, numerous supporters, wives and girlfriends, parents and siblings all making a TREK to Hicksville – and putting in a decent display. Outstanding Southerners Spirit!
Special mentions go to:
Supporters: All wives, girlfriends, parents etc. Those that don’t have a significant other playing but still showed up to watch and support – Stanners, Amanda, Hanna Livesey’s friends, and of course a rugby supporter from way back and singer of note – Andy Minnitt.
Gareth Dean from Patana and Lions – great first game with the ‘big boys’
Jack & Gook from Thailand.
Friend’s of Jean’s – both showed promise in the forwards
Iain from Harrow via England – Magic display in the wing showing us how to run on to a ball and how to eat opposite numbers
Carl (J-Lo) Stephens from In Zid who used is posterior to good advantage and bounced off 14 different players on his way to scoring a couple. Showed us how to play.
Wazza – the pasty white Aussie with big legs who has never played rugby before and stood on the left wing for half a game, caught some difficult balls, attempted a couple of passes and almost scored. Even copped some nice down home abuse to make him feel welcome. Well done Wazza.
Old Players Back: Dave Rimi who smashed it up in the middle in maybe his best ever display despite not eating any food for 5 days (true)
‘Henry’ Rollin Miller, longest serving rugby Southerner who locked the scrum so hard Houdini wouldn’t have made it out
Injured Players Supporting: Baron Perkins who is looking at a world record comeback of 3 months from an amputated ankle (almost) – looked after the forward
Jet Black who had 18 CAT scans after concussion which found nothing (literally) – ran the line