On the back of an encouraging training session with a certain rugby legend (whose name we are not allowed to mention …), Spartans’ first home game of the season was crying out for a special performance. The sun peeped out as the team warm up began, you could almost taste everyone’s enthusiasm in the air. As the 3pm crunch time neared, a rather worrying scene of eight oppositions on the other side of the pitch distracted our preparation. A long chat with the referee and Haringey captain, Kev delivered the bad news, “lads they don’t have enough players, they forfeited the game”…
After the long journey across London that Haringey had to make, neither team wanted it to be a waste of fine afternoon. Selfless volunteering of Barty (who has now clocked up more time this season playing against us than for the Spartans), Jeffs (near Man of the Match performance controlling the back line, shame it was for the wrong side) and Tom G (welcome to the club Tom, the initiation is playing for the opposition), meant that a 13-a-side friendly was arranged in the midst disarray.
Unfortunately we started the game with the attitude of “it’s only a friendly, we have won the points already”, which meant there was a real lack of discipline and we ignored our game plan. Even though the first try of the game was scored by us, we were completely dominated throughout the first half, falling behind on points while no shortage of conceded penalties.
Much needed stern words were spoken at half time, special emphasis on ‘RUN STRAIGHT’. The second half whistle blew and run straight we did, another debutant Jack with his broken finger (the great NHS’ advice, “you can’t make it any more broken so might as well play”) charged down their defence line setting the example for the rest of us. Tireless running from building project manager Soups, never ending disturbances from Kristian and Ceri to name a few, all forwards set the platform for the backs to do what they are good at, scoring tries and taking all the credit.
Not to make the game all about the forwards, the better looking half of the team certainly made sure they didn’t go unnoticed. The solid centre partnership of Dan and Smithy not letting a fly through the midfield and quick feet of Jake and Jacko confused their defence. The halfback partnership of JJ and James G is blossoming nicely, this could become something special.
The second half made us a completely different team as well executed set pieces, great running support and constant communication put points on the board and even smiles on some faces. Special mentions of Jacko’s side stepping two try effort, and Ceri’s try of the day for not letting Jacko have the hat trick.
It might have been a friendly with familiar faces in different colour shirts but in the end we all gave everything we had, Spartans’ spirit reignited in what we hope to be a turning point of the season.
Tries – Smithy, PK, Jake, Jacko x 2, Ceri
Man of the Match – Soups
Team Jack, PK, Jacob, Kev, Soups, Ceri, Kristian, JJ, James G, Dan H, Smithy, Jake, Jacko, Tom G, Tom R, Jeffs, Barty, Walker
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