Fixture

Oakdale RFC | 1st Team 48 - 0 Canton RFC | 1st Team
Luke Yates
Try 4
Brett Turner
Try 1
Simon Barber
Try 1
Morgan Rhys Wilson
Try 1
Simon Veall
Conversion 4
Try 1

Match Report
17 January 2016 / Team News

Who is Simon Habarber?

Let’s face it, the Rec could have been covered by three foot of snow and had woolly mammoths walking all over it this game would have still been played. Not having played since round three in December everyone was busting for a game, nearly as bad as a Peter North special (google him). The visit of Canton RFC was something that had not happened in sixteen years so everyone was looking forward to this game being played.

Greg and Lovell were fisting each other, Keir was walking around with his Fireman’s suit on (and nothing else) and Ged had cut himself earlier on in the morning shaving his legs but apart from the famous four everyone was available, up for the game and ready to play. Therefore it was a great shame that when they got to the ground some tool had locked the changing rooms and they weren’t able to get in. Once that hurdle had been navigated it was all systems go.

It was important for the Dale to get off to a positive start and that was what happened, in fact in less than two minutes when they scored their first try of the game.  When Simon Veall fluffed the chance to record his first points of the day with a penalty it gave the visitors the requirement to re-start the game with a drop out. That drop out went straight to Cerrig Wilson who gathered and went forward. When he passed out to the backs, a neat combination of switches and flick passes saw the Dale get within sight of the line before being taken to the floor. From the ruck Brett Turner decided to have a go but his considerable frame was held up by the defence. But that defence couldn’t stop Luke Yates who came from nowhere to take the ball from the base of the ruck and crash over. Veall added the conversion to take Oakdale into an early 7-0 lead.

When Canton restarted the ball fell straight into the hands of Super Gavin Hipkiss who burst through a couple of tackles then fed Captain Scott to carry on the attack. Roly, with that immense rugby brain of his, knew to feed Veall immediately and Simon, like Super Gav, sailed through another gap in the visitors defence. Veall knew when the time was right to feed the speedster that is Luke Yates and with one hand off Yates had a clear view to the line and he went over for his second try on four minutes. Veall did his best Zico impression and put such a bend on his conversion that it ended up behind him but the Dale extended their lead to 12-0.

Canton had their first chance to get on the scoreboard on seven minutes when Oakdale were penalised from going into the ruck from the side but their effort went wide of the posts.

On twelve minutes Canton were enjoying a good spell of possession and territory and had eyes on the Dale’s line but when a move in the backs broke down when their winger fumbled the ball Oakdale were quickly onto it and gathered possession. Veall fed Sam Dixon who handed off his defender well and he fed Josh Thomas. Josh adeptly drew the last defender and popped the ball without looking outside him for Yates to run onto and score under the posts for a 12 minute hat-trick. Veall converted and Oakdale extended their lead to 19-0.

It was try time again on 19 minutes when the Dale scored probably one of their best tries of the season so far. From a scrum Turner passed to Veall who sent a long flat pass through to Josh Thomas who cut the defensive line with ease. Thomas made good yards then passed to Turner who passed to Dixon. Dixon then switched with winger Matthew ‘Trev’ Davies and with one defender to beat he passed inside to Turner to score, sometimes simple rugby is the most satisfying to watch. Veall missed the conversion but the scoreboard ticked on to 24-0.

Five minutes later the scoreboard ticked a little more when Oakdale scored their fifth try of the half. On 24 minutes a lovely move in the backs saw the ball get to Sam Dixon who timed his pass perfectly to put two defenders out of the game and Josh into space. Josh drew the last defender and without looking (again) popped the ball to Cerrig’s better looking brother Morgan Wilson who went over for a try. Veall did his party piece yet again and smacked his conversion against the upright but Oakdale moved into a 29-0 lead.


HALF TIME SCORE – OAKDALE RFC 29 v 0 CANTON RFC


Canton came out in the second half with every intention of making their mark and had good territory and possession but when their number 10 kicked for the corner the chase was not good and Trev gathered the ball. He fed inside to Veall who had the relatively easy task of waiting for Luke Yates to come on a good line and his pace meant that the inevitable was going to happen and from just inside his own half he had the speed to get away from the retreating defenders and score under the posts. Veall added the conversion and extended the home side’s lead to 36-0.

Everyone’s eyebrows were raised on sixty four minutes when Oakdale introduced their new star signing, Simon Habarber. With film star good looks and a body to match he took up his position on the wing to make it the fourth Oakdale substitution of the half and he went straight into the action. With Canton in possession they tried the kick through again but it only found Super Gav and he beat two men and handed off another before passing to Veall. Simon took it on and went to feed Habarber for the final pass but Oakdale’s newest star felt that the pass was a bit too low for him and he didn’t fancy bending that far. Veall though cleared up with a nice pick up and he had the pace to go in for his first try which he also converted to extend the Dale’s lead to 43-0.

With the last play of the game Oakdale scored their eighth try when some good forward work saw Gethin ‘Pony’ Hockey take the ball up to the last line of defence and send a flat pass out to Habarber. With sixty metres to go and with the grace of a Jamaican sprinter Habarber lifted his knees and went looking for his first try in Oakdale colours. Everyone on the side was running down the touchline urging him forward, wishing him over that line. Closer and closer he got and as he did everyone started to chant his name such was the impression he had already made on the home side’s supporters. It didn’t matter if Canton had a side full of East German sprinters, they weren’t going to catch Oakdale's new golden boy and he dived gracefully like a swallow to score his try. There were rumours in the crowd that some people wanted to declare January 16th a Bank Holiday such was the elation but everyone’s opinion changed slightly when they saw Hababrer’s conversion effort (we won’t mention it again). The Referee had no time left on his watch after that and he blew for full time and a very impressive 48-0 victory to Oakdale.


FULL TIME – OAKDALE RFC 48 v 0 CANTON RFC


Are we happy? Damn right we are. It was great to get back on the paddock but even better to see the Dale playing with freedom and flair. Some of the passing in the backs was the best it had been this season and that is certainly encouraging after such a long lay-off. Credit to Canton RFC, they came to play and certainly didn’t let their heads drop in the second half after going so far behind in the first forty.

Some great performances on the day, Brett marshalled his forwards really well and never stopped talking to them, Pony had a great game in the forwards and Josh took some great lines in the backs but Player of the Match had to go to Luke Yates. His speed was the difference today and his four tries will be something the other 15 teams left in the Bowl will be weary of.

We have the draw for round five to look forward to in the week and we really shouldn’t fear anyone now but it the visit to Virginia Park which everyone will be looking to next weekend to maintain our unbeaten league form and do the double over one of the relegated teams from last season’s Division Two. We have to remember how much they showed off earlier on in the season when their narrow defeat to us caused them to lose all sense of direction and meant they could find our clubhouse after the game for the meal which had been cooked for them and a bit of socialising which should happen after every game of rugby.

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