Ealing Exiles put on a strong display against London French and crashed their way to a 34 point over 13 victory. A great win, blighted only by the embarrassment of Scott’s drop goal. This was our first second round league game against the French, yet oddly our second home game against them, which confused several people! The first home game against the French was actually our away game, we just played it at home, glad that confusion has now been quashed.
The Exiles showed up with a strong squad, including a couple of new players. Notably Jareth’s monstrous brother Callum whom I made the mistake of letting play hooker for the opposition for the first half, and Ciaran Doyle who last tied his boots running out the Leinster Under 20s. Not a bad pair to add to your team sheet. Though Callum almost broke several Exiles in the first half, and Ciaran gave away an easily kick able penalty on his first touch of the ball their efforts were well appreciated.
The penally count was very high again against the Exiles, several persistent offenders need naming and shaming. Steve "I should know better" Richards had his number called a few times by the ref for coming in from the side, and Tom Tom Tom "over enthusiastic" Laishley built up a personal count of eight penalties for similar excitements. This has to stop, against a well booted oppo we’d have a hard time recovering from this point scoring potential.
Scott showed he still has it, with his relentless smashing runs, and show no mercy tackles, though clearly he let the Exiles down with the nonsense of a drop goal. Though if an Exile were to drop a goal, Scotts swipe and almost fumble which put the ball just over the uprights would have been the way to do it.
Malik did some great smashing runs also, though perhaps could get involved a little more in the less dramatic parts of the game, ie the hum drum of clearing folk out of rucks etc.
Dave Mac did what he does best, straight line charges. The whole pack performed well here we had serval good rolling mauls, culminating in good ground progress and a couple of tries.
Paul Toolan scored a nice centre’s try as the seas parted for his darting run in the second half.
Ciaran proved pretty elusive with the ball in the loose also, making good ground, and also getting himself on the points board!
Neal Craig may need to go to Dave Morgan’s anger management classes.
Dave Morgan played valiantly in the backs and then for a spell on the flank, despite suffering a couple of boots to the face in one of the rucks, mine was one of the boots, but I just nuzzled his cheek with my boot, well that’s my story.
Manus may have had his last run out before fatherhood takes it’s grasp, it was also a good one, catching several high balls and firing straight in and often through the French defence.
Legend McGabe ripped his mark into the match as usual with good delivery to the backs and also great cover tackling on their scrum put ins.
(Nick G) put in a great run from a penalty, smashing the would be tacklers to smithereens before the ref blew up and said time was still off, I would almost certainly have scored probably the best try of the match, honest!
Fabio had a good run about too, also making yards and most notably not giving away any penalties, no arguing with the ref or engaging in any scuffling! For this I was truly thankful. Fabio has now become an example of a reformed player who should be seen as an exemplar.
All in all a good show for the Exiles. Defence held well, and we maintained much of the possession. Thanks to all those, including myself, who played just half games.
Big thanks to the French who are always a pleasure to play against, and always a pleasure to drink with after the match. We will try and sort out a friendly against these chaps in the new year, perhaps play them at their ground for a change.
Scott(2), Paul Toolan, Ciaran Doyle, Dave MacSweeny
Conversions: Spike (1), Scott (2)
Drop goals!: Scott
- Gautier Henry
- Fabio Krasniqi
- Steve Richards
- John Moore
- Callum Keenan
- Tom Laishley
- Ciaran Doyle
- Nick Greenhalgh
- Malik Abu
- Stef McCabe
- Spike Davies
- Paul Toolan
- Neal Craig
- Alistair Barnston
- Ed Moores
- Jareth Keenan
- Dave Morgan
- Afe Ogun
- Manus Stapleton
- Dave MacSweeny
- Ghassan Mattras