Fixture

Oakdale RFC | 1st Team 14 - 6 Newport HSOB RFC | 1st Team
Cieran Jenkins
Try 1
Christopher Davies
Conversion 2
Niall Martin
2 Penalty

Match Report
15 September 2016 / Team News

Please Sir Can I Have Another....

‘B+ Can do better’ would be a mark that you would be quite happy to take home to your parents when the school report came around. It would be obvious your teacher had faith in you and thought that you could get to that ‘A’ grade (well some of us anyway). That was definitely the case on Saturday as although we never looked like we were going to give the game away we just didn’t seem to click into a high gear. That’s not for the want of trying mind, it just didn’t go right on the day.

It wouldn't be fair on our opponents if we said we were definitely looking forward to this game after the two heavy defeats we inflicted on them last season but it was obvious in the pre-match warm up that they had recruited well with some big forwards and some good passing by their backs. They looked like they were going to be quite tasty.

With Jordan Hughes being left in the rugby ‘ether’ by his unscrupulous former club he made way for Gethyn ‘The Beast’ Hockey and with Cripper finishing filming of his latest series of Ibiza Reps and flying in like some la-di-da the day before he was able to pick up the mantle of Number 10 which had been so mercilessly (yes that’s the right word) dropped by its previous incumbent.

The sun was definitely shining on the Dale as they got off to a great start within 120 seconds of the game starting. With their outside half not fancying a run he pinged it straight to Luke Yates who started off on one of his trademark runs. With only one man to beat he deftly chipped over the last defender and gave chase. I would like to say here that Cieran Jenkins out-sprinted him to the ball but it was the visitors last defender who got there before Luke. Unfortunately for him the last ditch attempt to secure possession only forced him to push the ball back over his own line and it was that man Keys who was there in good support to score his first try of the season. Cripper slotted the conversion and the home side took and early 7-0 lead.

Five minutes were not even elapsed before it was try time again for the home side when they were awarded a scrum on the HSOB’s five metre line. With the bulk of Wilson and Hockey back in the second row the front three of Evans, Jenkins and Dowden were able to gently nudge their opponents back towards their own line. As the ball edged ever nearer the away side’s scrum half mis-judged his run around by milliseconds and went to touch the ball down to give his side the drop out. Unfortunately, the ball had yet to cross the line leaving the Referee no option but to award a penalty try. Cripper made it two from two and extended the dale’s lead to 14-0.

It was a further 24 minutes before there was any further chance of points when the Dale were penalised for what only could be described as counter-rucking, something I thought was legal but obviously the Referee did not. The visitors decided to take a shot at goal to get some points on the board but their effort went wide and as Led Zeppelin once sang, the score remained the same.

And that was it for the first half, ahead but not really dominating the game with any real conviction.


HALF-TIME – OAKDALE RFC 14 V 0 NEWPORT HSOB


Eight minutes into the second half Cripper had the opportunity to show his opposite number how to convert a penalty attempt when the away side were penalised at the ruck but he failed miserably and the other outside half gave him a comforting wink, to show Cripper that he felt his pain.

It just wasn’t going right in any department and the things we know we can do so well just weren’t either being tried or were inadequately executed. That man Yates, by far our best runner was kicking out of hand like a man with ten feet and with no idea which was his best one. Difficult passes were being attempted when there was an easy one in plain sight of everyone on the side of the field, maybe this just shows the confidence our lads have at the moment.

On 48 minutes HSOBs looked certain to close the gap on the Dale when their number seven cut through the home side’s defensive line like a knife through yoghurt and only had Yates to beat. Fortunately for the home side and sometime when none of us were looking they both must have swapped boots and his kick was crap and he completely fluffed up his side’s attacking opportunity. But two minutes later they got another attempt at goal after an indiscretion by the Oakdale players and this time they made good and got themselves into the game at 14-3.

Everyone just wanted the game to ‘liven’ up and it was the Dale who eventually got their act together although it didn’t materialise into points. With a second phase ball finding Cripper and a defensive line straight in front of him he showed dazzling technique to slip a grubber kick right through that defence for Josh Thomas to run onto and gather. Always looking for support he found Swffryd Social Sunday Side’s Substitute Striker, Gavin ‘Diego’ Hipkiss, who took Thomas’s pass and in a heartbeat showed his nifty footwork by slipping another grubber onwards for Morgan ‘The beard’ Wilson to chase with only one defender  chasing back. Unfortunately for the Dale, Wilson’s legs couldn’t carry him fast enough and the away side’s defender gathered the ball and cleared his lines.

No matter what the home side tried it didn’t turn into points and the game drifted away from them. HSOBs had one more chance and rather than go for the seven points they decided to go for three and were successful to close the score at 14-6. No other points were scored in the last quarter of the game and as the Referee had to get back for the X Factor that’s the way it stayed and the dale made it two wins from two matches.


FINAL SCORE – OAKDALE RFC 14 V 6 NEWPORT HSOB


We’ll take it. Eight points after two games puts us in second place in the league so we have to be happy. Our coaches won’t though as the phases and the structure was not quite there on the day. Plenty to work on and a week off next week with a bye in the Swalec Bowl. Good luck to HSOBs for the rest of the season, there are certainly not relegation material this season and should do ok. Looking forward to the return match in the New Year as their ladies certainly put on an impressive after-match meal.

 

COST OF ENTRY TO THE GAME - £2.00 – Yes, that’s right, £2.00. None of that Division Two shite with us. We know where we are and we know what to charge.

QUALITY OF MATCHDAY PROGRAMME – Well, the joke certainly could have been on us this week. After lambasting Fleur last week for getting their programme cover wrong with the wrong division we could have nearly done the same. With our printers letting us down at the last minute we had to scratch around for sixty of last year’s programme covers. A late night sticker exercise covered up the embarrassing faux pas and all was well come game time. Watch out for our spanking new cover next week (if our printers get their arses in gear)

QUALITY OF AFTERMATCH MEAL – After the success of Cheryl’s Sausage, mash and Beans last week we followed suit but we couldn’t be bothered to mash our potatoes so it was the ol’ dependable chips, beans and sausage. There were no complaints from anyone until we got downstairs when Tovey asked if he could have grated cheese next time we cooked it. Grated cheese?  What does he think we are? Ping Pong’s Poon Tang Takeaway?

And finally something new this season

THE VEALL WATCH

The week he was mainly walking back behind his own posts conceding six tries, 3 conversions and two penalties. Keep up the good work.

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