On a mild yet wet afternoon in Twickenham, the Thamesians we're looking to put a right a few wrongs after the disappointing draw against Hillingdon the other week by welcoming Ickenham RFC to Marble Hill park.
The pre match warm-up was evidently more intense than usual with the group certainly wanting a win more than ever before. And straight from the kick off the forwards showed great intensity to retain possession and ruck hard; as if frustration suffered against last week's opponents was finally being released. Young Gallic scrum half, Quentin, was making his debut and couldn't be more excited to get stuck in.
That intensity, however, ebbed away by the minute as a plethora of penalties were conceded which Ickenham were only too happy to take advantage of. The forwards struggled to adapt to the "ahead of the scrum half's back foot in the ruck" law as the defensive line was too eager to put pressure on their opponents.
Despite that Thamesians found themselves 3-0 to the good thanks to Johnno converting in front of the sticks. But our poor discipline failed to subside as Ickenham made much ground courtesy of the penalties we gave away. And shortly levelled proceedings.
Our line outs weren't much better either. With Thamesians facing a defensive line out near our try line, Ickenham almost scored with a fancy training ground move where the front pod took a short ball to head for the corner.
However in the melee the maroons lost the ball and T's countered with fury, quickly dispatching the ball to the banks just outside our own 22. And following a sublime offload by Tramp, Johnno took the ball on the wing and sped all the way to the white chalk underneath the posts which was duly converted.
At half time even the footballers near the changing rooms at marble hill park, half a mile away, could coherently hear skipper Adrian's rage at the team. Poor performance was rightly pointed out at all angles; including poor scrummaging, poor line outs, off loading in the contact area when our training strictly forbids us, and most of all, downright shoddy discipline. With that in mind the T's retained some of their focus at the restart.
The penalties soon dried up and more sensible rugby ensued. Despite that Ickenham refused to lay down and put right their line out move by scoring their first try of the game.
Thamesians refused to panic, however, but certainly did not let up on the hits. Lynchy and Hoggy were men possessed in the back row. Tackling hard and stealing in the ruck, the two were instrumental in getting the T's a decent foothold in the game.
Thanks to this intensity Thamesians found themselves near the Ickenham try line after some good ball retention. The forwards used this momentum to keep driving back Ickenham with some formidable rucking. Consequently Hoggy, the South African colossus, powered his way over the line the cap his man of the match winning performance with a try.
With precious few minutes to go Ickenham's fitness levels evidently dropped whilst the T's robust training and warm up made a great deal of difference. With an Ickenham yellow card towards the end, Thamesians closed the game out with a 17-11 victory. But again Thamesians left the field thinking the score should have been so much more resounding.
The return of Zippy to the fore and the return to form of Tramp are certainly encouraging as injuries are being kept to a minimum. But since Ickenham's man of the match was the loose head prop, there will certainly be a shift of focus to scrummaging at Whitton roundabout next Thursday.
Tries: Johno, Hoggie
Convs: Johno (x2)
Man of The Match: Hoggie
Lady of the Hour: Coogan ("My arrows are nevery wonkie Ref!!!")
Match Report: Jamie
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