Sod testimonial Match, 4 February 2007
Match report by Martyn O’Driscoll (North) A beautiful Sunday for a game against your mates began with the Southerners et al separating into their two separate camps, those from the Northern Hemisphere on one side, and those from the Southern Hemisphere to go somewhere and count how few people they had amongst themselves.
A decision to change the name of the club to Northerners was disregarded as being stupid, something about the weather being better down South. After the South came begging for some players a few practice runs were had, everyone started to get excited and before you knew it the game was underway.
The rules were clearly explained to one and all in advance of kick-off by Cameron �Section 1, Paragraph 5� Sinclair. The main ones to note were 2 Golden Oldies classics: no kicking unless inside ones’ own 22, and non-contested scrums. Hence, every time Cameron received the ball a fine kick was produced.
The North put on plenty of early pressure up front, and was ferocious against the Souths� forwards – well after the game when they were all bitching about the ref anyway. After five minutes of the first half of the first third, Forty Two Black went over to put a fine try between the sticks, all too easily, and a conversion was to follow. The Northern forwards were bolstered by several highly evolved species from the Bangers, who contested strongly at the breakdown. During an early mid-field break, surrogate Southerner Bob Ball mauled Richie Perkins in a movement that looked more like a leaping bear attack than a tackle, collapsing Perk’s spindly Birmingham pins. The game continued. The Southern line-out was abysmal, despite Momo’s best efforts to handicap the North’s. They bit back when Southern Sinclair helpfully assisted Northerner Mike Harding to break free of two Southern tacklers, and fall over the line for a soft try.
It was about this time that Ultan turned up, slurring like Rocky Balboa, pumped and keen to dish out a few fighting Irish lessons on the hapless South. But with a wee shove from Smonty, the ref decided the North would be better without Ultan, reducing them to 14 players. Andy Steel also received his golden ticket later in the game. When asked why by those eager to learn what not to do he replied “it was a professional foul, I didn�t do anything really, just knocked the ball out of scrum halfs hands to give everyone a break, I reckon it was the right thing to do, stopped them scoring a try didn�t it?�. Later Andy could be heard announcing how the North had won the game based on total penalty count (and was seen trying to sneak back on by hiding his golden locks under a scrum cap)
Perkins pins made a swooping movement around someone who couldn�t take the pace and darted for an almighty try, putting the North ahead. The �mobile quick-reaction force� (otherwise known as the Northern forwards) were right behind Richie, at the half way line. Another flowing movement of note was Harmstrings spectacular leap of faith, a high pirouette to catch the ball before rolling over his tacklers shoulders. The game continued. The Norths backs kept themselves organised only to find hookers, props and people too tall always in the way to “disrupt the flow” along the back line. Old timer Pete Burgess squeezed his walking frame through a tiny gap between the front rowers, starting a flowing movement down the sideline that put Teru into open space, that resulted in most of the Southern forward pack subbing off for a breather after the chase down the paddock.
The game continued in the tird tird, as the young Southern back-line broke through the North at will. Kiwi Sam made a huge impression at fly-half, unloading to put George Black through again, and then sliding through for one himself. Jet Black also put in a good kick, but Joel Arnie Gibson’s muscular head charged it down. Sinclair also had one last kick (after an Adkins ‘school-boy’ fumble). Kirk Kahu ran strongly in the centres in the latter stages of the game, later earning the South’s praise as the Northern man of the match. Not long after the double triple waterbreak, the final whistle went, to the shock of the North, who clearly had dominated possession during the water breaks, and a sigh of relief was heard coming from the South.
Sod was the real winner, with over 23,000 Baht raised for his Darwin travelling kitty.