Ealing Men’s section fielded four teams over this weekend. As such stretched was what we were, having 12 names on the team sheet on Friday. However, by hook or crook come slightly into game time we numbered 17. Bolstered by some friends from Old Actonian’s whose game was canceled and were in need of a game.
Quintin were under strength sadly, and at various time of the game had as few as 12 players. It was quite hard to keep count they seemed to come and go… We didn’t take as much advantage of this as we could have, and scored most of our tries through the forwards, who this day fancied a good old run at the oppo. Julian Sweeny managed to score three tries bringing him up to five tries from three games, and boy did he let us know, so bashful. James Hitchcock’s brother Tim almost got three from some great smashing runs, though was thwarted on his last attempt by a opportunistic last ditch tackle as Tim tried to help our kicker out by aiming to dot he ball between the posts, his foot touched the dead ball line just before the ball was grounded.
We played uncontested due to a lack of experienced props on both sides, this always takes a little of our power away, however, we were lacking in props, what can you do. Well one thing was to start grooming Gianni, who looks lout of place on the wing with 110kg+ and is three games into his rugby career. Gianni’s progressing nicely with his move to the pack, a welcome addition to the Exile hordes. Mentioning new players, we had Javi on the wing for his first ever game! He came on at half time and did a commendable job of sprinting back for a deeply kicked ball, he took it and took contact and managed to stave off two oppo players legally until the Exiles support crew ambled up to assist. The Neal and Sean 9/10 combo is working well, though sadly Sean got a stinger and had to take a rest shortly into the second half. Mark Rutherford played his second game in less than 24 hours with excellent presence, no idea how he manages that at 49 – he was duly nominated legend of the match in post game celebrations. Kean on the flank also played his socks off and won the man of the match title. Favourite moment of the game was being at no.8 in a scrum five yards out from our try line with it being a Quintin put in, thinking we could concede points. Their no.8 picked up, and before he knew what had hit him Kean and Neal had him marching back at a fair lick utterly consumed. Second favourite was the same no.8 going into contact holding the ball quite high, we ripped it and popped it to Richard Bull who ran it in from the half way line unhindered! Many other players were worth of note but sadly I have a job to do…. (players hint if you want longer match reports… please start writing them!)
Quintin as ever were great hosts and we hope they manage to get better numbers later in the season to even things up. But fair play to the lads, their heads never dipped and from the post match antics you’d think they’d beaten us!
Squad: Chandra Sekar, David MacSweeney, Giovanni Di Benedetto, James Hitchcock, Javi Tamayo, Julian Sweeny, Kean Marden, Mark Rutherford, Neal Craig, Nick Greenhalgh (skipper & report author), Sean Stevens, Kaimoor Khan, Afe Ogun, Tim Hitchcock