Thamesians faced Mill Hill in the prestigious surroundings of Allianz Park, apparently word had gotten around the rugby world that T’s were on a two game winning spree, were finally ready to fulfill their potential and as such, Saracens scheduled home game was postponed to allow the home supporters to be treated to some expansive running rugby rather than their usual Saturday of box kicks and smothering defense, yawn!!
Thamesians kicked off with a 7.25 meter drop kick, giving Mill Hill an early scrum back on half way. T’s pack won the scrum against the head, despite Mill Hill fielding the Guinness Book of Records certified 7th largest man on the planet in the second row. That early scrum set the tone for a day of dominance at scrum time which built the foundation for what was to follow. A scrappy first ten minutes followed with us enjoying the lion’s share of possession and territory. A penalty apiece made it 3-3 as we once again began to advance into the Mill Hill 22. After taking the ball wide out on the right, a quick recycle gave the ball to Kieran who produced a show and go straight out of the Billy Edmonds book of trickery, to score the game’s first try under the posts. After a shocking kick off by Mill Hill, we were straight back on the offensive. Frustratingly for the legions (five) of away fans packed into the away stand (touchline), every time we got close to the line an unforced error or poor decision prevented us from adding to our points tally. The highlight of these botched opportunities must go to Jonno, who receiving a ball from Tramp precisely one meter out from the try line, continued to sprint toward the touchline (run Forest run!), before hurling a hail Mary ball back into the field before continuing his pacey run towards the advertising boards. Perhaps due to his pre-game removal of his base layer, the idea of sliding in for a try on his now uncovered forearms posed a far too terrifying prospect, even for a player of his notorious commitment (can you guess who wrote this week’s match report? Ed.).
This seemed to kick start our boys into action and Buddha showed how it should be done moments later to slide in for a try on the right wing in his first competitive game (sorry Ickenham) as a winger. This was followed by a try after a driving lineout which means Coogan is still on course to head the scoring charts for Christmas. The half time whistle blew with T’s comfortable in their 20-3 lead, but also knowing they had let a few tries pass them by in the first 40.
Rory, Gentsy and Billy with some words of encouragement "T's on three" and then into position for the second half. If Coach James was wondering if the now infamous second half capitulation was about to take place, he wouldn't have to wait long for his answer. Despite numerous attempts to get it right, Mill Hill were unable to fashion a kick off that didn't sail straight out, or struggle to go ten yards. It was off one of these softly struck kick offs that the try of the match was scored. Catching the ball just inside his own half, Captain Rory CEO of LBF incorporated (that being ‘large but Fast’ ... ‘not low body fat’) accelerated at the awaiting Mill Hill pack, as the eight of them braced for impact he changed direction, dodging the contact before putting the hammer down and leaving them all in his wake. Motoring towards the try line and a petrified full back beginning to wonder why he keeps dusting his boots off, Rory did the unthinkable. Instead of bulldozing the full back and claiming his well-deserved glory, Rory flicked a one handed off load inside to another board member over at LBF, monsieur Tramp. Tramp accepted the pass, scoring underneath the posts before attempting to procreate with the hallowed turf in celebration. Tries quickly followed for Jonno after an excellent (or average? Ed.) off load from our league 2nd row turned fly half Kieran, plus a second for Tramp who seems to be the man people like tackling the least on our team.
Rory added another, popping up midfield to dummy, shimmy, step and then outpace the cover defense for an excellent solo try. Anyone present at touch over the summer has seen his O'Driscoll a hundred times, unfortunately for Mill Hill, they weren't at touch. Mill Hill never stopped battling and managed two late tries. First an aimless kick through which wasn't dealt with by Jonno and allowing the fly half to ground the ball after a good chase. Mill Hill's second try, the last play of the game was scored by their right winger after a strong run that typified his days’ work.
Honorable mentions must go the back row. Lance for a typically disruptive performance at the tackle area, but also some excellent carrying. Kristian gave a busy and energetic display at 8, and our new yellow card collector C-Mike did well not to lose it, despite being punched in the face. Nobby and Dan Jones in the center performed in their customary 'thou shall not pass' manner in defense, which resulted in Dan sipping a jug of ‘smash em brew’ as reward for the biggest hit of the day. Tramp however has raised a point of contention for the ‘smash em brew’ award. It is the belief of Mr Griffiths that ‘smash em brew’ should be measured on a tackles seismic reading and not on player turned to liquid and propelled backwards rating. Whilst this issue is certain not to be resolved until the next committee meeting, Tramps two monster collisions with the 7th largest man on the planet showed he treats those eight stones heavier than him as he does the rest of the ball carrying public, LBF for life baby!!
Tries: Tramp x 2, Rory, Kieran, Jonno, Buddha and Coogan
Penalties: Jonno x 2
Conversions: Jonno x 3, Nobby, Kristian
Man of the match - Shared between Coogan and Fitzgerald.
Dick of the Day (by a mile) Callum Godden for 1. Texting the captain the night before to say "whiskey was a bad choice" and 2. Locking himself out of his house the next morning, with his kit inside therefore making us all 30 mins late.
1.Sam Burlinson, 2.Colin Coogan, 3.Rory O'Reilly, 4.Ben Jones, 5.Michael Griffiths, 6.Lance Davis, 7.Mike Jury, 8.Kristian Fitzgerald, 9.Callum Godden, 10.Kieran Morgan, 11.Andre Cabera, 12.Will Childs, 13. Dan "Goose" Jones, 14.Joe Morgan, 15. Jonno Chandler
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