Men

Report: Thamesian Spartans 29 – 0 Ealing Exiles

Ealing Exiles lost their unbeaten 2013-2014 league record to a strong, well trained Thamesian Spartan side. Nick Greenhalgh reports from hooker and no. 8 position

Saturday saw us congregate in Marble Hill Park to embark on our MMT4 campaign. Heading to the pitch behind big the towering likes of Eff and James O’connor we had a good feeling about this game. Our scrum was looking strong and tall. Great for line out and great for winning ball.

The game started at a very fast pace, though sadly stayed in our half through out much of the game. The new scrummaging laws were working well for us. The only scrums we didn’t win against the head were those that were heavily fed back to their second row. Justin at 9 was frequently conversing with the no.8 before their put ins to say what he wanted to happen when we won the ball…. This should have proven greatly to our benefit, and perhaps was the better than what may have happened if they did win ball. But their defense and attack on the ball was swift and relentless, unlike our composure and control in the interface between scrum and back line. We were not capitalising on our possession from the scrum instead they were on us and at best we lost 5 or 10 yards and had another scrum and lost another 5 or 10 yards and had another scrum until we were pressed back to our try line. But our defenses held well too protecting our line from wave after wave of attack. It took an age for them to finally cross our line. They were opting for kicking penalties instead of running in when 15 yards out. However, the pressure began to take its toll and tries started to slip in.

Good points could include Afe’s tackling and runs, he had a cracking game. Good also to see Matt Jones back on the wing also putting in some good runs including a rapid chase and subsequent catch of a long kick into the oppo territory. New recruit Mark Bannister played prop for us admirably. Dave Morgan put in some good darting runs. I managed a Bergamasco style pass from a line out to 15 feet above our no. 10, horrendous stuff.

The main between the teams was that they trained. They huddled proir to lineouts and were overheard by Bill talking about doing things they had done in training. We hand a handful of boys who have been to a handful of training sessions. Exiles as we know are hard to train, but if we want to get through to the finals this season we need train more, and those that can’t train need to at very least improve fitness, this being the other key factor in stemming our losses.

The game proved to be a brutal workout, which at the end of the day I really enjoyed. Looking fwd to our re-match versus these boys from Twickenham, and hope we can prove to be a better opposition when that time comes.

Team:

  • Adrian Hobbs (12)
  • Afe Ogun (15)
  • Antony Lynch (4)
  • Bill Miller (5)
  • Barry Cousins (2,3)
  • David Morgan (7)
  • Fabio Krasniqi (2)
  • Greg Life (3)
  • James O’Connor (8,5)
  • Jeremy Inson (10)
  • Jonathan McKeogh (6,12)
  • Justin Green (9)
  • Kean Marden (6)
  • Marco Orsi (11)
  • Mark Rutherford (14)
  • Matt Jones (14)
  • Nick Greenhalgh (2,8) – Skipper
  • Sean Stevens (13)
  • Mark Bannister (1)
  • Fabio’s mate Coco (14)
  • Afe’s mate Peter (4)