A difficult day at the office for the Vets in their first game of the season, coming up against a battle hardened Thamesians “Vets” side, who like us were an MMT table topping team last season. The Evergreens found their backs (and forwards) against the wall conceding 4 tries in the first 20 minutes, with only poor conversion kicking from Thamesians allowing us a flattering 0-20 deficit.
Only then did Ealing begin to get themselves in the game with better first up tackling and exerting their dominance in the scrum. A quick break from Roberto, deputising for General Beck at 10, found himself in space deep in opposition territory but again we were guilty of throwing a loose pass instead of taking the contact to allow recycling of the ball. The gasmen from Thamesians were then able to exploit our poor defensive shape to run in three quick counter-attacking tries.
Just prior to halftime though free scoring BOF bundled over from close range for his third of the season when supporting a Pup drive from the back of another solid scrum. So, although 5-35 down we went into the huddle with a ray of sunshine to focus us on how we might pick up the momentum in the second half.
Sadly, our defensive frailties whilst identified had not been address sufficiently and the restart allowed the youthful opposition (do they have a picture of Dorian Grey in their loft or were they all just young?) to recycle professionally and score again. At this point your usually diligent reporter stopped taking notes when realising the score of 40 for 5 sounded more like Test Match Special than John Inverdale’s flagship Sunday afternoon BBC2 offering.
Fortunately, “Sweepstake” Terry kept us entertained with a moderately good impression of Anthony Joshua’s Dad and was rewarded with a ten-minute breather in the bin. Owen and Eddie went over for late consolation tries that once again fast-talking Alex Adibe failed to convert (“9 from 9 in the last 3 weeks” – yeah Pinocchio!).
Not a great start to the season lads but a few points to take away – defensive shape and line speed are essential to allow easier first up tackles, the A40 always has bad traffic on a Friday and Ash’s pizza and sausage rolls still taste mighty good. Finally, we wish Jake and his family all the best during a very challenging time that puts this loss into perspective.
Next games – Friday 9th November Chiswick away (MMT Cup) & Friday 23rd November Wasps home (League)