Ealing Exiles embarked on their 2013-2014 season with win over a few old friends from SODAM and new comers who make up the newly formed Hanwell RFC. Nick Greenhalgh reports from the back of the scrum.
Having read a few Facebook posts and articles in the Ealing Gazette I was not sure what to expect from the new team. The Gazette reporter was claiming 80 people training sessions, and a team fresh from a victory over Whitton Lions.
The game started fast, as I’d hoped and pretty hard, as I expected. A great deal of running ensued.The Exiles had the edge over the new kids on the block but took a while to capitalize. When we did it came in the form of our new signing Pip Harrison in the centres breaking through from the 22 to dot the ball down between the posts ready for Eddie Beck to top up the points with the conversion.
We managed a few more good attacks, but either were pushed into touch or failed to cleanly ground the ball in a position the ref could see or even believe.
Finally the second try came in after a few waves of forward carries. Steve Richards bludgeoning up the guts brought about a ruck yards out, from which I managed to free the ball and get over the line without much opposition, a nice Red Sea moment. Eddie duly incremented the board by 2 more points.
This was our first game under the new scrum laws. This proved much to our heavy packs advantage. Also Fabio’s hooking was going well, and as a result we seemed to win most if not every scrums in the first half, perhaps except the one where Fab forgot which side the ball was coming in. We managed to get a scrum 5 yards out from their line and went for a push over, great forward momentum from the pack brought us close to the line, the scrum started to wheel so at no.8 I took my chances and broke for the line, in a one yard dive, taking us to 21 – 0 after the conversion. Pretty much after the conversion the oppo requested uncontested scrums, due to broken props, we accepted though clearly we’d lost a bit of our advantage, not much else we could have done though.
Second half got underway smoothly regardless, Jonathan McKeough put in some nice runs and finally broke through to get his name on the scorers list.
Eddie Beck(10) and Brathers(9) were working well together and doing a good job of directing the team. Justin Green(15) put in cracking cameo performance as full back.
Steve Richards the elders statesman showed he still has command at the front of the lineout, despite one unfortunate incident where he brought down their jumper illegally. Marco Orsi had several flying runs down the touch but sadly didn’t quite evade the opposition tacklers to get his reward
However, we then lost a bit of impetus and the oppo took advantage with a great break from I believe their winger, he fired up the touchline, brushed off my tackle, cut inside and when he was finally grounded it wasn’t before the ball had be lined up for their large number 8 to finish the job and score between the posts in a try that started probably on their 10 yard line!
We managed to pull ourselves back together and sturdy the defences. Eddie Beck adding a late try to our tally making it 31-7 as it was to remain. Last play of the game was Glaswegian newbie Martin Taylor who nicely employed his footballing skills to hoof the ball out from a pass back off a lineout on our 5 yard line..
Very enjoyable afternoon for the Exiles against a great new club. We look forward to our next encounter with Hanwell RFC.
Nick Greenalgh (2)
Eddie Beck (3)
- Greg Life
- Fabio Krasniqi
- Steve Richards
- Henry Gorard
- Stef Maillefaud
- Kean Marden
- Jonathan McKeogh
- Nick Greenhalgh (skipper)
- Dave Brathwaite
- Eddie Beck
- Adrian Hobbs
- Philip Harrison
- Marco Orsi
- Martin Taylor
- Justin Green
- Mark Rutherford (played 13)
- Chandra Sekar (played 11 and 3)