A muddy old marble hill park was the venue for this fixture which saw The Spartans keen to make amends for the first loss of the season last week to British Airways. A strong team sheet saw returning players such as Inchy, Crazy Chris and Taity lining up alongside new recruits such as Wickers.
This was the first week where we were matched in our warm up time before the game, which (along with some shouting from Cookie, Kevin and Chocs) encouraged us to wake up and get our brains into game intensity.
As the teams were matched in their approach to the warm up, the early stages of the game saw the teams closely matched on the pitch. Early pressure gave The Spartans most of the territory and possession, but ultimately we were unable to convert this into points. Every ruck was heavily contested which saw the need for both teams to commit players to the breakdown, but unfortunately our scrum was creaking and going backwards on a few occasions.
The backs had some good breaks, particularly from James Jeffs in the centre and Callum marshalled the game well from scrum half. Mistakes from both teams (particularly with the handling) however led to frequent turnovers and possession switching back and forth.
Some substitutions on or just after half time brought Zippy, Botha, Quentin and Cookie into the action and they made their presence felt. Hairy Biker Sam moved to tighthead with Cookie at 1 which made the scrum more stable for this half. However it was Kilburn who scored the first points when they slotted over the second of their attempted penalties. Another strong run of play by Cosmos ended with them over our try line, but the a knock on 5 metres out meant the try was not awarded.
Cookie put over a long range penalty to bring us level, and both teams pressed on with the intensity never dropping. A few conceded penalties by The Spartans led to a Kilburn attempt at goal with the final play of the game, however it was pushed wide and Taity put the ball in touch to end the match.
Man of the Match: Pete Kim for a much improved line out performance and the usual exemplary work around the field.
Notable Mentions: Wickers for a strong debut after coming on at half time, Zippy for some powerful runs, Cookie for scoring all our points and the numerous players who came down to support from the sidelines.
Match Report: Richard Banner
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