Fixture

Fleur de Lys RFC | 1st Team 17 - 20 Oakdale RFC | 1st Team
Luke Yates
1 Try
Scott Evans
1 Try
Christopher Davies
2 Conversion
2 Penalty

Match Report
15 October 2016 / Team News

Tight As

After notching up four victories in the first four league games it was a welcome distraction to find ourselves in round 2 of the SWALEC Bowl last weekend after having a bye in round one. Our opponents were someone we had faced already in Fleur de Lys playing them in the first league game of the season and only just emerging victorious in horrendous conditions. That game was no marker as the ball kept being dropped, the speedsters could not get into gear and we were just happy to come away with four points. But on Saturday, the sun was shining, the ground was firm and it was to be a level playing surface for both teams.

The game started well for the Fleur with their full back having an impressive run in the first few minutes of the game and all the pressure was being exerted by the home side. So much, in fact that the Dale never really looked like getting on the scoreboard in the first ten minutes as they could not build any kind of momentum.

It was though on 12 minutes that the first chance of points came when Oakdale started to send the big men up the middle to bash some holes in the home side’s defence. When the Dale got closer to the Fleur line they won a penalty when one of the defenders was caught with his hands where they shouldn’t be. Captain Scott gave the ball to Cripper and he struck a great kick which went high and over the top of the posts. The linesmen looked at each other, then the Ref and then back to each other with no firm decision being made. It left the Ref no option but to award the home side a drop out and the scores remained at zero.

The first real incident of the game came about on 17 minutes when Oakdale, with the ball in possession started to pick and go and made good ground. With the defence having more holes than Andy Murray’s tennis racket, a John Cena WWE special clothesline move by one of their players brought Jordan Hughes crashing to the ground and the jeers went up instantly on the side. The Ref called the game to a halt, called the player over and told him he was a very naughty boy but failed to send him from the field for 10 minutes.

To add insult to the bad neck which Jordan now had from the resulting line out which Oakdale won Trevor suddenly found that he had no control over his arms and slung out something that loosely resembled a pass which wasn’t gathered by the back line. Fleur gathered and made good ground into the Oakdale 22. It was left to Luke Yates to interpret the laws of the game as he saw fit and the Referee duly penalised him for some indiscretion or five. Luke proceeded, for the second time in two weeks, to tell the Ref that we were playing by his rules and the yellow card was forthcoming. The penalty was taken slotted over the posts and Fleur went into a 3-0 lead on about 20 minutes.

Straight from the kick off the Fleur receiver failed to gather successfully and one of his team mates touched the ball in an off-side position to give Oakdale an immediate shot at levelling the scores. Once again, Cripper stroked a lovely kick but it missed the upright by a fag paper’s width and the Oakdale side of the scoreboard remained static.

On 25 minutes things got just a little bit worse when Richie Meyrick Parker received Oakdale’s second yellow card of the half when he was penalised for obstructing play just like a premiership footballer. All the Dale’s supporters looked at each other and thought maybe this was not going to be our day and an early exit from the Bowl was on the cards. Fortunately, for RMP the penalty attempt was missed but the Dale still has seven minutes with a two man disadvantage.

Just before the half hour an Oakdale line-out was successfully won but inadequately delivered to Trevor at scrum half. He wasn’t able to gather possession and the ball went over to the home side. Fleur immediately slung it out wide to the fast men who made some good yardage and when the last line of defence was all the Dale had left their wide man came back inside to score a try under the posts which was converted to take the home side into a 10-0 lead. Everyone looked at Yatesy and RMP with much disdain.

Another mistake straight from the kick off by the Fleur, this time at the first breakdown gave another three point chance to the Dale to get themselves back into the game and this time Cripper made certain and the Dale clawed their way back into a score’s deficit with the game stood at 10-3 to the home side.

With the last play of the half, a poor Oakdale line-out saw Fleur again gained possession and this time the scrum half decided to put a kick over the top of the Dale defence. Indecision between Morgan Wilson and Luke Yates saw the ball being gathered late by Wilson and he was tackled well by the onrushing Fleur players. Yates went into help be he was penalised and this gave Fleur another shot at goal. Fortunately for the Dale the kick wasn’t successful and the scoreboard failed to tick over.


HALF TIME SCORE – FLEUR DE LYS 10 V 3 OAKDALE RFC


Within a minute of the second half starting it was the turn of Fleur to see yellow when one of their players tried to intercept a lateral pass but was adjudged to have deliberately knocked it on.

Six minutes later it was Fleur attacking again but strong defence by the away side saw possession turned over and the Dale set their backs in motion. Good hands and players being drawn before the pass was made saw Shane Kerby being released down the wing and he had the speed to get passed a few players but with space running out he went as close to the touchline as he could and Fleur did their second WWE impression of the day with another perfect clothesline move and Kerby went crashing out of play. It left the Ref no option but to go to his pocket again and their second player went marching to the side-lines. A big round of applause from the Oakdale supporters showed their debt of gratitude to the Ref for evening up the play.

Cripper put the ball into the corner but the execution of the line out was once again unsatisfactory and possession was gained and the ball was cleared by Fleur. Although the ball didn’t reach touch and Kerby gathered and straight away fed Luke Yates. He went wide to beat a couple of players and when everyone was running one way he quickly changed direction and the defence opened up a line straight under the posts and Yates did what he does best and scored Oakdale’s first try of the day. Cripper put the conversion over and it was game on with half an hour left at 10 points apiece.

Straight from the restart it was Oakdale with their tails in the air and they were soon crashing through tackles and making good yardage. A few holes were broken and it seemed like try time was on the horizon when the ball was spun out to the backs. Good hands somehow found Flanker, Keir Ennis with the line in sight and one more teammate outside him. He thought he wouldn’t be selfish and went to pass the ball to send Kerby over in the corner but his pass was as poor as a poor thing that’s poor and the ball dribbled into touch. Rhys Vaughan just stared at the ground unable to look his friend in the face.

When Fleur gathered the resulting line out they cleared their lines but only gave the ball back to the Dale for a lineout of their own. A great take by Gareth Edward Davies saw the ball find Ennis (WTF?) with space to run into to make amends for his recent misdemeanour. Ennis took a couple of people on his back and went forward a couple of more yards. Trev took it from him and played switched back to the line it came from with Cripper in possession. Cripper drew two men, put his hands (with the ball in) under the tacklers and slipped a beauty of a pass around one of the tackler’s backs to feed Captain Scott. With his dancing shoes on there was no-one who was going to stop him and he made it over the line for the Dale’s second try of the day which was complimented by a very good conversion from Cripper to see Oakdale take the lead for the first time in the game on 53 minutes when they went into a 17-10 lead.

On 64 minutes, Fleur were throwing everything at the Dale and soon found themselves in the attacking 22. When they were awarded a penalty the home side decided to forego the opportunity at goal and instead opted for a scrum with a couple of metres from the Oakdale try line. Their scrum was solid but more importantly patient and they trundled Oakdale closer towards their own line and when the time was right their number 9 picked and dived for the line and he brought the home side straight back into the game at 17-15. The conversion was out wide and it was a tense one but fair play their lad kept his head and converted a great kick to tie the scores with 15 minutes left at 17-17.

It was to’ing and fro’ing from there on in with both sides looking for the next score which they hoped would win them the game. Some great attacking and solid defence made this an enthralling game to watch and when temperatures boiled over it only added to the spice of the match. We had to wait 77 minutes for it but it was with three minutes left of normal time that the Dale decided to have their best spell of the match. Some great teamwork, strong running and good support saw the home side continually retreating back to their own line and they eventually succumbed to the pressure they were being subjected to when one of their players was penalised for leaving his pinkies in the ruck for too long. The kick was kickable and Cripper made no mistake to edge the Dale just into the lead at 20-17.

When asked the Ref said there was four minutes on the clock and the home side used every second to try and get another score. They sent the big men up and the fast men wide but the Dale remained resolute and tackled for their lives. They managed to hang on for three of those four minutes but were penalised themselves at the ruck right in the middle of the field and within distance of the posts. The Dale supporters looked at each other to try and remember the try count on the day but their heads soon turned because instead of going for the posts the Fleur number 9 decided to tap and go like he had done all afternoon. What he wasn’t able to do was successfully collect his own tap and knocked it on much to the delight and amazement of the away side support. The resulting scrum was successfully navigated by the Dale, the ball went out of play and the Ref blew for full time much to the relief of everyone from NP12.


FULL TIME – FLEUR DE LYS RFC 17 V 20 OAKDALE RFC


Are we happy? Definitely, like a room without a roof (Pharrell Williams link there, down with the kids see). Fleur are a much better side on a dry ground and gave us a great game which all made for an absorbing cup tie and one which we will happily take with a 3 point victory. At some stages we played well but work needs to be done in many aspects of our game and it gives us something to work as we progress through the season. But it is onto round three, and an away tie against Cardiff Saracens, a side we have not played before.

Fair play, special mention must go to the Fleur number 9. He knew the rules of the Bowl competition better than the Oakdale supporters. His unfortunate mistake with a minute left on the clock when he knocked on his own penalty tap was met with much derision by the Oakdale supporters when he decided his side would not go for the easy three points. But he took the right option as if Fleur had taken the kick they would have still lost the game as there was no extra time to be played. The rules stipulate that it goes on try count first and if that is level the away side takes the victory. Well done to that man and shame on all you Oakdale supporters who jeered him (not me!)

COST OF ENTRY TO THE GAME - £2.00 – They obviously read my last match report when they were lambasted for being Danny De Vision 2 and charging £3.00 for entry. They listened and they made a change. Good on you Fleur de Lys RFC

QUALITY OF THE MATCH DAY PROGRAMME – Again, they read the previous report identified their mistake with them still thinking they were in Division 2 on the cover and it got changed. Wasn’t a bad programme we had something to read.

QUALITY OF THE AFTERMATCH MEAL – Now we don’t normally get choices after match, you take what you are given and you don’t complain. But Chef Cheryl only went and messed things up by not only offering Cheese and Potato Pie, Sausage and Beans, there was also an alternative option of Corned Beef hash as well. This completely flummoxed the front row players who just were unable to make a decision and held up the rest of us for ages. I think I eventually got my nosh at about 5.35pm which was very nice indeed, just like the lovely lady cooking it.

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