Grimsby Gentlemen 5: Bruce County Barbarians 34
Referee: Jeff Dahl
Weather: no wind, a little wet, low twenties, better than expected
Attendance: The whole town of Kincardine showed up while our supporters were moving Frankie or watching the U.S. get beat.
After two wins in a row we lost for the first time at home this year to a very good Bruce County team. Their team in only their third season has a lot of players who are enthusiastic for and committed to rugby. They seem to be well coached, organized and relatively fit. Bruce brought 23 players down although it looked like more but then how would I know what 23 players looks like. The have the advantage of being the only team in a large area with lots of high school rugby and a number of "accents".
Their disadvantage is the players have to travel a long distance to even practice and longer distances to play. They did however play a good clean game with no whining and complaining. Well done Bruce, deserved win.
However, it was a bit disconcerning to arrive at the club at about 1:30 to have a couple of guys with British accents ask "Hey, boyo. Is this where the rugby game is? The team came down last night, slept in the parking lot, ate a couple of squirrels for breakfast, warmed up and had an intersquad game this morning." I said our players should get here soon but we started the game with only thirteen men, but Bruce mishandled the kickoff and we got a scrum around the 22. We won the ball with 7 forwards and a few cycles later we were given a penalty kick. Thinking we needed more than three points from this chance, as Dylan explained later, he decided to kick the ball off the upright into the hands of Alex our center who would then score a try. In retrospect, Dylan said, it probably would have been better to go for the three and practice the play a little more as Alex just mishandled the rebound. We came to full strength in players with two late arrivals but the next thirty-eight minutes were mainly spent in our end except for restarts. Bruce scored tries at 10 min and 25 min converting them both and got two penalty kicks. We did well on defense after their first try to keep the score down but a few penalties undid lot of that work.
Half time score: Grimsby 0: Bruce 20
We continued to have difficulty getting out of our end and at the 55 minute mark Martin took a yellow card for his second offence of laziness?? Martin claims it was really slowness but agreed he should not have interfered with the player. This was a real shock to the team as the book had it at even money that Derrick would be the first to get carded this season and that it would be for a punch. Bruce scored again within a minute and converted.
For most of the game, Bruce had difficulty with restarts and mishandled the ball again in their end and with some aggressive tackling we ended up with a lineout round their 5. A drive and rolling maul took the ball over the line and Nathan put it down with the help of the pack. Bruce scored another nice try at about 70 minutes and converted.
Final Score: Grimsby Gentlemen 5: Bruce County Barbarians 34
Thanks to all who helped with the beer and food (Mary, Jonelle, Martin Wolff and Salad Billy. It was our best beer-up of the season so far with an enjoyable group of opposition players and supporters who bought all our cider and most of a keg. We even had an unexpected zulu. A special thanks to Captain Derrick who donated a keg for our win against St Catharines (I wondered why he served up that interception to put them back in the game).
Team: Jeremy Young, Dylan Kinch, Jon Millington, Nathan Rowbottom (late),Bob Mavro, Martin Van Den Hurk (late), Frank Della Fortuna, Kyle Wilson(AC), Jon Jeske, Jamie Scully, Derrick Weber (C), Vic Blaney, Alex Stevenson, James Tulloch, Nick Lemieux.
It was a good defensive stand for much of the game they did not exactly have their way with us but we had little offensive punch and really did not look threating very often. It would be nice to work on that aspect at practice and use some of it in Norfolk in two weeks.
Coaches Man of the match: A force in the scrum when he eventually got here, Nathan Rowbottom.
Their Man of the match: Nathan Rowbottom (first time they are the same this year) and he had to drink fast to beat a skinny full back in the drink off.
Here is Nathan in action at loose head and his opposite number is hurting. And this was when the guy was prepared as Nathan had him a foot off the ground on the first scrum but I was so in awe, I forgot to take the picture.
From under the Willow:
G.B. Shaw once said that rugby was useful in that it occupied 30 bullies on a Saturday afternoon and kept them away from the center of town. At least were were not in Toronto burning police cars and breaking windows. But they were still keeping an eye on us (actually three).
"Grimsby scored? I just came in to watch the U.S. soccer game."
"How can an anarchist complain about the police breaking the law by beating them up if they do not believe in laws." I'm confused, oh wait, maybe I'm not
"No I don't know if Mike is playing or how his knee is, he never gets in touch with his dad."
"I don't think we have any more rugby balls."