Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bruce at home: Week Five

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.

Presidents Report:

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.

Coaches Report:

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."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

St Catharines at home: Week Four

Grimsby Gentlemen 11: St Catharines Tigers 5

Referee:Heather Jones (an international ref)

Weather: Warm and humid, but not as bad as expected, with a significant wind blowing away from the clubhouse.

Attendance: We did not quite hit the 500 but we had enthusiastic fans working on their tans and one enthusiastic cheerleader.

Presidents Report:

Well done team, we have not been 3 and 1 in a long time and it has been a couple of years since we last defeated St Catharines in a league game. It must be because of the coaching. Thanks to all those who make things a little easier for the players afterward. Bill behind the bar, Frank and Bubbles on the BBQ, Billy making salad and all the others, you are appreciated. Jeremy even managed to sell some air freshener.

The game was mainly played between the 22s probably due to some strange interpretations of the law by the referee. And although Dylan was not as on with the kicking (2/5) as he was last week, he hit for two penalties, one in the first half and the other in the second.

Half time score: Grimsby 3: St Catharines 0

When we did get inside their 22 we put on a great display of ball control by cycling the ball several times before Martin V. finally put it down on his second attempt. Later on, a handling error resulted in an interception by St. Catharines and a score between the posts. The points after denied by the ref because they could not find a kicking tee.

Final score: Grimsby 11: St Catharines 5

Team: Jeremy Young, Dylan Kinch, Jon Millington, Scott Walker, Dean Gibson, Nathan Rowbottom, Bob Mavro, Kyle Wilson, Jon Jeske, Derrick Weber, Vic Blaney, James Tulloch, Jamie Scully, Martin Van Den Hurk, Nick Lemieux

Coaches Report:

A good week of practice during which we were able to work on some back row plays and use them in the game. Thursday we had the most out for practice since the first one on April 1. We only had fifteen players but for probably the first time in years, so did the opposition. They had a few injuries and had to play short for a time. The referee caused both teams problems but we need to read the ref quicker and us him/her to our advantage. We need to work on kicks and lineouts for next week's test against Bruce.

Scoring summary: Dylan K. 2 P: Martin V. 1 T

Coaches Man of the Match: Martin for doing well on the wing (not his normal position) and scoring our only try (in photo)and for bringing a cheerleader.

Other teams pick: Nathan Rowbottom who laid a beating on St Catharines in the boat race.

From under the Willow

I can't tackle them; they are in orange like the Dutch football team.

How are Father's Day and a World Cup Soccer game the same? You just know someone is going to get a tie.

"I can't hear you over the sound of how epic I am"

Check out the nude rugby in Dunedin N.Z yesterday compared to the semi nude rugby in Grimsby. This is not a link as I don't know how to do that.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kent at home: Week Three

Grimsby Gentlemen 9 : Kent Havoc 6

Referee: Brian Chappel

Weather: Turned out to be a nice day the got cooler as the game went on and fog started to come in with a heavy rainstorm just after the game ended.

Attendance: We did not reach the 500 mark again for the second home game.

A new fan and my Granddaughter Tayla with my daughter Erin

President's Report

Once again we just got enough players at kick off but it is difficult to organize and a demoralizing for the team to not get enough preparation time. We need to make a better effort. Kent seemed to get more possession and position in the game but could not effectively make much ground and threatened only one or twice in the whole game. Our forwards were able to establish themselves at the set pieces and stop them from punching the forwards off the ruck. They did not effectively kick and did not really put us under much pressure. They hit for one penalty after about 20 min but Dylan answered with a forty meter kick soon after.

Half time score Grimsby 3 : Kent 3

Second half was more of the same with neither team really making any significant headway. The ball tended to get locked up in the rucks and become unplayable. Kent struck for a penalty but very quickly Dylan answered with another almost 40 m kick. Grimsby went up three points with another penalty soon after and were unlucky not to score near the end when Kent seemed to tire and we had a flurry of plays in their 22.

Final Score Grimsby 9 : Kent 6

Team: Jeremy Young, Dylan Kinch, Jon Millington, Nathan Rowbottom, Dean Gibson, Bob Mavro, Kyle Wilson, Vic Blaney, Jon Jeske, Derrick Weber, Tyler Leggatt, Alex Millar, Jamie Scully, Frank Della Fortuna.

Scoring Dylan Kinch 3/3 penalties

Dylan lining up one of his kicks.

Coaches Report

It is difficult to get anything significant going in coaching with limited number in practice - we need work at tackling and going into contact. Our advantage is that we have not yet met a pack that can push us around and so we have some opportunities to work with that strength. If we try to keep everything simple and straight forward we should be able to do alright. It is not as demoralizing for the team if everyone was at the clubhouse or game earlier so we can get organized.

From Under the willow

We should have been able to score a try.
Thanks to Bob and Billy (the Greek wet-on-the-back)for the food and social and thanks to Bubbles for cooking in the downpour.
I think I will drive where the other people have driven and I won't get stuck.

Coaches Man of the Match: Jon Jeske - all over the field

Their select: Dylan Kinch (the kicking machine)

Cambridge Away: Week Two

Gentlemen 10: Cambridge 66

Weather: Warm and humid with a wind

Ref: Eric Ciezar

Attendance: a few supporters but most missed the bus

Presidents report:

I was not available for this game as I was away in Wales watching Wales lose to South Africa 34 to 31. I was hoping for a much closer result (the Grimsby game).

This is me before my tryout with the Gwent Dragons.

This is me with Colin Charvis who is the coach of the Newport Gwent Dragons who wanted a picture with me. Colin has been the captain of Wales and has been a British Lion. He has the world record for a forward in scoring tries (22) in test matches and is the most capped forward in Wales. He is considering coming to Grimsby for coaching experience.

When Colin stands up, I come up to about his knee.

The following report was compiled by the team captain, Derrick.

We started flat and had no pressure on Cambridge who created overlaps and scored within two minutes. The continued to move the ball wide which we could not answer and by 20 minutes we were down 21 points. But on the ensuing kick off our forwards led by Nick Lemieux(?) took charge. We realized we matched up well against a younger inexperienced pack and with a few crashing plays Victor sliced through the line and scored dragging bodies with him. The convert was missed.

However, we lost the ball in a ruck on the ensuing kick off and Cambridge ran wide to score and added one more try off a quick lineout before half.

Half time score: Genelemen 5: Cambridge 35

Last year it was a very similar score at half and we took it to Cambridge and won the second half but this year was not to be.

The second half was similar as we over committed to the Cambridge forwards and they passed quickly to the outside center who scored twice more. We were held up once in their try zone The next scrum led to a high tackle by Cambridge on Nick L. and a penalty try was awarded. The convert was again missed.

Victor went into the backs which helped but Cambridge scored three more times

Final Score Gentlemen 10: Cambridge 66

Team: Jeremy Young, Dylan Kinch, Jon Millington, Nathan Rowbottom, Dean Gibson, Bob Mavro, Kyle Wilson, Vic Blaney, Martin Van Den Hurk, Nick Lemieux, Derrick Weber (C), Frank Della Fortuna, Alex Millar. Jamie Scully, James Tullock.

From under the Wilow:

We need to use the forwards more as in rolling mauls.
Do I still get credit for the try? (not really but we will make an exception)
I wish I was five years younger.
Players need to be more organized and get to games earlier to have a proper warm up and preparation.

Captain's man of the match Nick Lemieux

Cambridge's pick was Derrick Weber