Fleur de Lys RFC | 1st Team 15 - 20 Oakdale RFC | 1st Team
Simon Veall
2 Conversion
2 Penalty
2 Try

Match Report
05 September 2016 / Team News

We Like It Wet We Do

Living in a sub-tropical climate up in Oakdale it is always a novelty when we play away and experience a little rain. Saturday was different though. Going to Fleur for the first time for a competitive match in many a year saw the heavens not just open, at one point they nearly caved in such was the downpour we experienced, but the Dale started off with 37 knock-ons, twenty four dropped balls but the all-important four points and an away win to start the season off in the desired style.

The side didn’t look too much different from the one that ended last season but with new recruit in the second row, Jordan Hughes starting and Cripper away filming the latest series of Ex-on-the-Beach we were looking good for the season’s opener. With viewing on the near side hampered by a myriad of umbrellas I took up position at the end of the ground and what I saw was the Dale starting in the usual effective fashion taking on defenders with good bursts from the breakdown and generally taking the game to their hosts in the opening minutes.

There were only four minutes on the clock when Oakdale scored their first points of the season when Fleur knocked on from their own lineout deep in their own 22. From the resulting scrum, Rhys Vaughan slung the ball out to Simon Veall who dropped the shoulder, sailed past his opposite number and went over the line. He converted his own try and moved Oakdale into a 7-0 lead.

From the restart the home side got their game into gear and started to enjoy the better of both territory  and possession and it was with 10 minutes gone that their side of the scoreboard started to tick over. With a poor clearance from Oakdale not making much ground, Fleur had a lineout on the Oakdale 22 metre line. The intended recipient was missed by quite some distance but their lad at the back of the line was able to gather and ran straight at the heart of the Oakdale defence. With two more runs the distance to the line was getting shorter and when they went right for a third time there was a big overlap and Fleur crossed for their first score which went unconverted but brought them into the game at 7-5.

The rain started to take its toll on the game from there on and it was mistake after mistake (not intentional obviously) due to the horrendous conditions. It was slap bang on the 30 minute mark when the Dale had their next chance to extend their lead when Fleur were penalised at the breakdown. Veall struck a successful kick and extended the visitors lead to 10-5.

With six minutes of the first half left Fleur themselves were awarded a penalty but their effort missed the uprights. From the resulting drop-out the home side ran it back but Oakdale were aggressive in the tackle and managed to regain possession. Vaughan passed a very wet ball out to Veall which was aimed at his ankles and Veall did exceptionally well for a big man to swoop down and gather with one hand. What he didn’t do well though was complete his pass as he wasn’t looking at the Fleur player come steaming through the gap to intercept his weak pass and the lad gathered and ran in under the posts. Everyone from Oakdale pointed at Veall and tutted while Fleur converted their try and went into a 12-10 lead.




Fleur started off the second half really well and as a side were a committed unit and it a desperate Oakdale defence that managed to keep them from scoring their third try of the game. Unfortunately for the Dale though they were penalised at the ruck and Fleur kicked their three point attempt to extend their lead further to 15-10 with six minutes of the second half elapsed.

Straight from the kick off Fleur failed to regain possession and knocked the ball on but one of their players went to gather the ball in an offside position and he was penalised. Veall missed the penalty attempt and the scored stayed as it was.

On 52 minutes Oakdale were awarded a penalty and Veall kicked it to the corner. Cerrig Wilson gathered the ball neatly and the forwards trundled on but not too far when Vaughan took possession and fed Veall. The Fleur outside half didn’t learn from his mistake in the first to watch that inside shoulder of Veall and when it was dropped for a second time it took him over the try-line for his and Oakdale’s second try of the game. Veall converted his own try to take the Dale back into the lead at 17-15.

It was a tight and turgid affair from here on in with neither side able to exert any kind of dominance over the other. You felt that Oakdale had the players to get them the win but such was the team spirit and tenacity at the breakdown from Fleur that the game could have gone anyway.

Although seven minutes later it was Oakdale who extended their lead when one of the Fleur centres was yellow carded for hands in the ruck right in front of his own posts. Captain Scott did the sensible thing and passed it to Veall who struck it neatly over to make the score 20-15.

As the seconds and minutes ticked away it was the Dale who looked more likely to score again as the home side did try hard to close the gap but either dropped the ball or knocked it on. Wristwatches were cocked at regular intervals from the away supporters as time ebbed away and it was a big cheer from the visitors as the Ref finally blew for full time and an Oakdale win.




We’ll take that; we’ll definitely take that in such poor weather conditions. Surprisingly, the line-out went well but why we should be thinking about slinging passes behind our back is beyond me (backs not forwards). This gives us a good platform now for two home games in the next two weeks and the big red and white machine shunts into forward motion. Congratulations to Fleur for a decent performance on the day. Drier conditions would have made it a different game but their commitment and physicality could not be faulted and they will do okay in Division Three East ‘A’ this season

COST OF ENTRY TO THE GAME - £3.00 – What is it with these relegated teams? They think they can come down a league and still charge Billy Big Balls prices. Three East we are! Three, not Two but Three. £2.00 it should be, nothing more nothing less

QUALITY OF THRE MATCHDAY PROGRAMME – A big thanks to whoever did the programme and forgot to amend the cover to show the correct league that they are now playing in. It’s Division Three East ‘A’ we are not two but three. Inside was a cornucopia of adverts from local firms and a very friendly welcome from the Fleur Secretary. Only one issue and that was the lack of contact from them for a squad list. When you have Barber and Cripper (what a pairing) in the centre and Craig Owen playing second row you can only smile.

QUALITY OF AFTERMATCH MEAL – With ‘Our Cheryl’ cooking you are not going to get anything other than positive comments from me. Sausage, Mash and Beans was something that I hadn’t had since Junior School but with the bread buttered appropriately it was a right touch and it was great to see the lovely lady

Special mention must go to David Swein from Penarth who reffed the game very well in such poor conditions. What could have been an ugly and un-entertaining game was kept alive by his sensible approach, all credit to him


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