Copers Cope Rugby 25 Beccehamians 17
To call this a match of two halves is to underplay the remarkable nature of the fight back from 17-0 at half time. Most of those reading this report will have played or supported at Beccs' ground and will know the pitch with the Himalayan final 15 metres to the try line near the club house yet EVERY try was scored at that end!
We took to the pitch with a good 2s team as in balanced with a mix of returning students, flown in from working in Germany currently and mates we hope to integrate to the club as well as a posse
of regular 2s players and in the run through it felt pretty balanced. Despite choosing to play downhill first half to try to get ahead and defend it, we shipped a try due to a silly defensive error
ceding lots of ground off a kick and then poor last ditch tackling from their 5 metre scrum. Then we lost a prop to a yellow card incident and as so often happens went down one more try as we worked
hard to cope with only 14 of us against 15 of them - they stretched us wide and our cover just didn't stop the try which was frankly more poor tackling by me than anything else (and I'd made all that
effort to get over
there only to bounce off the winger rather than haul him down - DARN IT).
Discipline was proving an issue for both teams and we felt we were getting the raw end of the whistle, rather, but after the ref asked for both captains to have a word the next thing was a line
out at which there was much holding back and then a full round of fisticuffs and, guess what, another dose of ref asking both captains to calm things down or a card
(most probably red) was on its way. From that point, however, RBSRFC2s' play finally started to come together and we were unlucky not to score and still more unlucky to go down to a third try which came from a maul we felt had stopped numerous times, we know for sure touched the post protector (which should trigger a 5 metre attacking scrum) and
we know we had hands under when it was "scored". Still the club is awarded tries on occasion which we know were not deserved and when the ref says try it is a try AND the
adrenalin rush from that led to a phenomenal try saving effort by Albie when he
denied a winger the chance to get the ball down and did not merely hold him up
but carried him out into touch to get us a 22 drop out. (Albie did say a few times that his shoulder hurt and he hoped to go off for a rest but if he was going to stop tries in
that way, we needed him on the pitch!)
At half time, we told ourselves we were the best team, we asked ourselves if we wanted to win or lose, we did all the things one expects but I suspect a few talking or listening had a deep
suspicion that the match was beyond us. We made a couple of changes to get a flanker where he wanted to be (but, Perry, thanks for hooking first half) and a few minutes later to let one of our older
players catch his breath. From the restart kick, we seemed
more on the ball, we caught more cleanly, we rucked as the club knows it can,
we carried better - it started to click.Frostie grabbed us a well deserved try after much pressure and we had got some self respect. Ryan picked one up having to burst through a tackle or two and we were within a converted try of pulling even. Our defence was working
well too - and it had to work hard as they pressed our line on a few occasions giving us plenty of reason to worry about where the match was heading. We had a couple of sweet interchanges and runs and suddenly Si Moore was going to be in in the corner and we were calm and determined when given a 5 metre penalty when we knew the penalty try was
more logical in the circumstances. From that penalty, BigJack carried it up strongly to within 2 metres, was driven another one and Tom helped open the gap at the side of the ruck for Deano to dive majestically over for a try - we were a mere two points down with time for the match to go either way.
Plenty of defending later we were up against it, 5 metre scrum, Beccs ball attacking our try line, mid field so options both sides. Our pack chose this one to shift forward at the critical time,
Frostie hooked against the head cleanly, Wegs picked up from No8 and ran to a bit of space then put in a huge kick - pretty much to the half way line... but it missed touch by inches and bounced
infield; the groans from much of the pack at the need to chase it were soon converted to "back yourself" and "go for it" as our winger Aaron was first there kicked on, dribbled again, kicked once
more and flanked by two other RBSRFC2s in support and protection landed neatly on the ball for a score their end which found us 3 points up which several minutes on the clock to worry about snatching
defeat from the jaws of victory.
However, to round the game off, Phil Black got a well worked try after we used the width of the field against a tired home team and the missed conversion was irrelevant given final whistle went at that point and we looked at each other in disbelief. MATCH WON!
If you didn't score, you probably got close to doing so as the support throughout the second half on muddy, thick, energy-sapping ground was amazing. Our tackle rate
increased exponentially too. It was a match to be proud to say you played in but let's forget the nickname I was given in the bar by Beccs afterwards: Captain Punchy is not how I'd like to be remembered (and my head still hurts 3 days later, given the retaliation an
unknown opposition player dished me back in the heat of that battle)!