Those of you who have read the match day reporters previous write up's will realise that he is about as impartial as Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhuf (See *) and accordingly just as the presence of American forces on the perimeter of Baghdad was, during the Gulf conflict, consigned to a brief mention after the weather update on the local evening news, so was the temptation to ditch the match report this week as well. However there was enough good points to craft something worth reporting about and lets face it, we didn’t get stuffed by a team that scored more than 60 points did we?
First of all, we had another fantastic squad of 23 players and we now have so many people down (which is awesome) that we have players with names that I have never heard of before some of which even rhyme with each other (see squad). Selection took place (Somehow pa kept his place) and following a decent warm up, we kicked off.
Although for some reason we came out the traps slowly. Old Streetonians (OS) during the warm up (you know that bit where you take a sneaky look at the oppo pre match to try and work out whether they are any good) were hard to fathom but it soon became apparently that they were fit, ran hard and wanted to play running rugby which was a dangerous combination in the warm conditions and quickly led to us being two tries down.
Credit to the team, we regrouped and 12-0 down kicked off again. The rest of the first half was a nail biter with both teams looking strong. Brando and Wally were busy tackling hard in the centres and Hugh (until his spontaneous combustion early on in the second half) played a great game in marshalling the forwards. The forwards ran hard through the middle of the park with the likes of Duncan T and Lister making good yards and the ever young Big Jim showing superb stamina. Our set piece also looked good (no I am not being Baghdad Bob here) led by Nogs, Karl and Matt which gave us a good platform. Backs also made yards with PA, Brando and Gus also combining to almost score a great try in full length pitch move. Eventually pressure told, Loisoz fed a delightful ball to Wally who sensibly decided to avoid passing to your match day reporter and skipped through a couple of tackles to make it 12 - 7 at the end of the first half.
During the half time oranges (we should sort those for the next home game), some fresh blood came on and we knew we’d be in for another tough battle and so it proved.
The highlight of the second half was welcoming back Gary McCarthy (who replaced PA at full back) after a year out following a serious injury (common assault) in a previous game and made a telling contribution. After a great line out by Dogs + 1, Dave S smoothly fed Loisoz who broke through and then fed Kirk who was loitering out in the backs who passed the ball onto Simon Morgan who made good yards and offloaded toGary to score another great team try in the corner.
Unfortunately that was our highlight of the second half, whilst our defence led by Bakes, Paul Marais and Neil Davies was fantastic eventually pressure told and they scored a try which gave them the game 19 - 14.
Credit to OS, they played well, both sides knew they had been in a close game, which could have gone either way and we wish them the best of luck in the final.
It was great to see such a large number of players down.
Those of you who either watched or played, will realise, I have omitted your match day reporters second half contribution of going off as a blood injury when they promptly scored the winning try and then being yellow carded immediately afterwards - I can confirm retribution in the form of currently looking like quasimodo’s ugly half cousin with a nasty case of leprosy.
Updated 15:56 - 23 May 2017 by David Love