We all woke up on Saturday morning with the feeling of a cup final in our stomachs. That slight rumble of anticipation. Kieran thought he was just hungry so spent all morning with his head in the fridge...
We all arrived at Thamesians HQ at MHP on time for the first time this season, with the exception of Jonno who was under strict instructions not to be late as he has the tunes. He claims he was busy shifting tin.
There was a good atmosphere in the changing room and there were some strong words from Coach JG and skipper Rory, which got the blood going. We were suitably motivated and ready for battle.
Our warm up was the best it’s been all season and the boys could feel a huge performance around the corner.
Kick off time – Showtime.
We couldn’t have asked for a worse start. Pretty much from the kick off we made a couple of handling errors which allowed Isleworthians in in the corner for their first points. What followed was what can only be described as lunacy - Old I’s Captain acting like a footballer in Division 4 by going up to a group of despondent T’s and shouting “Have some of that you F*$%ing C***s’. Skipper Rory had to be restrained from chasing him back to the half way line and it’s safe to say he poked the wrong bear.
Cue the Rocky Montage. T’s were not going to roll over and came out of the traps at the second bite like men possessed and were determined to make Isleworth and their Captain pay.
Two minutes later… TRY from Dan Jones in the corner following an excellent piece of team play. Tramp was punching holes like a machine in a tea bag factory. After consistently being off their feet at the breakdown the ref had enough and gave T’s a penalty inside the 22. Sensing blood in the water T’s urged Rory to go for the corner. In a moment of clarity he rightly opted for the three points. Gladly taken by Jonno. Tramp added another try himself shortly after cutting up their backline like Edward Scissorhands trying to dress himself.
Half time. Isleworth were clearly rattled. T’s could feel they had more in the tank and wanted to “put the foot on their throat”.
The second half started and shortly after I’s flyhalf was sent off (yes a straight red) for calling the ref similar to what their Captain called T’s earlier in the first half. Thamesians took advantage of a weak 10/12 channel and got in behind them on more than one occasion. Jonno taking advantage of some space ran in for another try. We really felt it would be our day today.
Some great passages of play followed with everyone supporting each other at every possible moment. Aggressive rucking and controlled mauls. T’s got another penalty deep in I’s half and looked like they were going to just tap and go and continue the arm wrestle. However a nod and a wink between Rory / Slash and Kieran and we knew what was on. Rory calling for the ball as if he wanted to unleash his inner Miley Cyrus and come in like a wrecking ball. However he was a decoy and slash put a beautiful pass out in front of Kieran who returned the favour with a wide miss pass to Vice Captain Dan Jones in acres of space who ghosted under the posts for his second.
T’s made a few changes with a few minutes remaining and brought on veteran Alex Cook in place of the monumental Sam Burlinson. Sam so often the unsung hero for T’s was a candidate for man of the match. Colin Coogan also got a chance to test out his dodgy back.
Another penalty inside I’s 22 with two minutes left on the clock. The new subs were keen to get some action so we elected for a scrum. There was a chorus of Varsity, Varsity from T’s which signaled a text book move from base of the scrum (credit to Zinzan for that one). It worked a treat and the tireless Marc Lynchy powered over for the final nail in the coffin.
T’s go into playoff.
Man of the match – There could have been four or five on the day. Nominees were Dan, Tramp, Joe, Sam, Wig and Lynchy but hands down the award on the day went to Lance. One of the best performances from the dirty saffa in quite some time. Carrying ball, hitting rucks, tackling 10’s, annoying the shit out of 10’s, getting 10’s sent off. There is a rumour it’s his last year but on that performance he could be looking at a Springbok call up in Sept. Pity that he will already be in pre-season with us.
Dick of the Day – Dan Jones for hat trick avoidance.
Team: 1.Sam, 2.Mike, 3.Rory, 4.Flatman, 5.Jonesy, 6.Lance, 7.Wig, 8.Lynchy, 9.Slash, 10.Kieran, 11.Callum, 12.Tramp, 13.Dan J, 14.Joe, 15.Jonno, 16.Coogs, 17.Cookie, 18.Hugo Fildes (Debutant)
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