Saturday means rugby and what a day of it there was to come. Not only was it the home nations first weekend of autumn internationals, with: Scotland v Samoa, England v Argentina, Wales v Australia and Ireland v SA but also the main event Thamesians traveling to Uxbridge to try and cement a top of the league position.
The day started well with the lovely Pat making the wise decision to swerve the north circular and take the longer but hell of a lot quicker route round the M25. So arriving in plenty of time allowed for an unusually calm changing room. This calm control however this did not transfer down to the warm up, with everyone so eager, simple mistakes were happening across the forwards and backs. Everything was just a little rushed and a little forced. So with 2 mins to kick-off the last huddle was do or die, and with the simple instructions of: breath, think and play to our structures, battle could commence.
And that is all it seemed to take, as the T's took to the field and rolled through phases for the first 10 mins like never before. Keeping the ball in hand and taking it to ground when required, 10-15 phases of play became the norm and T's soon found themselves camped in the Uxbridge 22. However with the eagerness of the try line mistakes happen and Uxbridge ended up clearing their line kicking deep into, not only the T's half but straight into Callums arms. Having spent the previous night watching "football" in the form of Escape to Victory, and with Peles tactics fresh in his mind: I get the ball here, I do this, this, this, this, this, this, this, TRY! He set of to do exactly that, slicing through the opposition from left, to right, back to left, and then right again, he finally travelled across the line under the sticks for the first try of the day.
The next 10 mins continued with some incredibly strong play from T's, with Slash being provided with the cleanest ball he's seen in his many years with T's, he was able to distribute the ball at will to the next pod of players desperate to break the advantage line. And after one such passage of play, with nearly every forward from Cokely, Seb, Neil through to Worley and Kiether getting their chance to break the line and then with the Uxbridge defence in tatters, the call came from Kieran that the backs wanted in on the action, and with that, 2 passes was all it took to see Callum over for his second.
How long could this continue? No longer was the answer and the handbrake was slammed on and what seconds before had seemed like an unstoppable T's team now turned into dishevelled mass of knock-ons, off sides and miss-communication. Even the usually dependable Neil was out of sorts, and after controlling a perfect rolling maul went over to score his first try of the day..... the ref however disallowed it due to it being touched down on the 5m and not the try line, Dick of the Day in the bag!
The tables were turned and defence was now the order of the day with Uxbridge coming with all guns a blazing. And although T's were putting it all on the line, a spell of in-squabbling lead to more and more penalties being given, allowing Uxbridge to march their way into T's half, and across their Line to get points on the board. And the game was on.
For the next half an hour the game was anything but beautiful with the penalty count growing along with frustrations that T's couldn't find their earlier form. All this allowing Uxbridge to go over for their second, letting T's know the game was there to be lost. However T's weren't quite down and out and after a scrambled together couple of phases Callum went over once again for His Hatrick. The rest of this period was just grunt work, tackles following rucks, following mauls, however some solace was taken that T's were doing this as a team and not turning on each other!
Then it clicked with 10 mins to go and T's realising they were a potential bonus point short of the top spot (depending on other results) the game clicked, and once again the phases started to come thing and fast. It may have taken 20 phases (due to the intense defence of Uxbridge), to move 15 meters but it was 15 meters that T's had control of the ball and the game. Growing stronger with every play T's found themselves deep in the Uxbridge 22 with seconds on the clock. Never one to be left off the score sheet Cokely broke from the 5m scrum, ignoring the dead certain pop inside to his flanker and the even more obvious outside pop to his scrum half he just managed to wriggle his way over the defence to touch down and secure what had seemed like an elusive bonus point
A bonus point win it was, a great game it wasn't, but a couple of 15 mins passages of play gave an insight to how great T's can play the game.
Trys: Callum x 3, Cokely
Convs: Kieran x 2
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