Confessions of a Rugby Amateur

Confessions of a Rugby Amateur

Friday, 8 April 2011

All roads lead to North Walsham

"If it doesn't matter who wins or loses, why do they keep score" - Vince Lombardi

There are just two league games left in a long and hard-fought campaign. With our league status already secured and the sun out, the temptation is to sit back on our laurels and just enjoy a light run in knowing we’d ‘done out bit’. But, to coin an American colloquialism, that’s not how we roll! A string of unexpected results have made this league very tight and we are keen to win our last two games to push further on up the table. North Walsham and Hertford stand in the way of our highest finish yet.

Tomorrow’s crusade to East Anglia will be eventful. Over the last two seasons, away trips to Walsham have been overshadowed by more other factors. In our first season in the league, we lost a tight game which was frustrating enough. But we were told we would have to replay the game as they didn’t have the required number of front row replacements.

Inexplicably, we weren’t given the points…nor were Walsham punished. In fact the game was rearranged…for Easter weekend. A three and half hour bus trip may seem like the ideal way of avoiding the family but, in all seriousness, the game caused an understandable amount of resentment. Now…there have been a lot of games and bumps on the head between then and now so the details are sketchy but we established a commanding lead only to see it slip away and lose in the last minute. These last ditch losses were heart-breakingly regular in this first season and made this particular trip all the more desperate.

Last season was a tough trip too. A bad tempered game resulted in a number of injuries and a comprehensive 22-0 loss. So it is not exactly a happy hunting ground for us. But we are determined to put this right. Buoyed by our run of four wins from five matches and knowing relegation has been safely navigated, the pressure is off and we can look to enjoy ourselves. This does not mean take it easy but means we can concentrate on us and getting the win and not worry about other results.

The plus side of these long away trips, win or lose, are the bus trips home. The extended coach journey is something of Rugby legend. A chance for the team to bond, sing a few obscene and offensive songs and drink a shed load of booze procured from the finest local establishment. There is also an occasional pit stop - a coach load of already well lubricated Neanderthals descending upon an unsuspecting local pub for an hour of chaos before disappearing as quickly as they arrived.

Resident rapper Chris Rose entertains the bus!

We had another week off last week so we are all champing at the bit to get out there tomorrow. We’ve had a excellent session on Tuesday which put is on the right track. Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I couldn’t make Thursday night but this has made me even more frantic to play. There are only so many highlight clips of Super XV you can watch without wanting to get out there and give it a go. So it might just be Sonny Bill Warren tomorrow!!
SBW shows us all how its done

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