The Exiles fail to organise effectively and Quintin level the score in the Exiles v Quintin 2009/2010 series: one game all! Nick Greenhalgh reports.
We took on the boys from Chiswick again and handed the laurels back to them this weekend. Despite being 5-0 up at half-time, we went on to concede four tries in the second half.
We did so in some style though, wearing our new strip with the "Exiles" team name embroidered into them. Having played for the Exiles for almost 15 years this is a first as we usually make do with hand-me-downs, like the poor younger sibling of a favoured elder brother. Just look how proud Steve R is in his shirt, and I am sure you will understand how happy we all are about this!
The Exiles were certainly not lacking numbers this Saturday, with 26 people turning up to play. As it happened, Quintin were a little short and so we were able to bolster them up with some willing Exiles. The front six at the line out (i.e. both front pods) were 100% Exiles!
This worked out well for us and better for the opposition. The reason for this is that having too many players leads to less consistency, so we were hindered in this respect by playing so many people in a rolling subs manner. I think that for league matches we will need to pull back on this as it can be detrimental for our form. It is nice for everyone to get half a game, but maybe we need to look at doing it differently and not switching in and out so frequently.
With Barry selflessly playing for the opposition, Paul T took on the duties of captaining the Exiles at centre. Instead of going through each playing position, in various places the backs also had James O’B, Gilles, Spike, Paul H (Evergreen), Dave B (Evergreen), Fabio, Alex A, Alun, Mark R (Evergreen), Ian T and Gabriel (Buffalo). The forwards had Steve R, Dave MacS, Ghassan, Peter R, Tom L, Michele (Buffalo), Bill M II (Evergreen), Rob W (Evergreen), Chandra, Phil, Dave M, James E and Malik.
Back to the business of the game. Man of the match must go to Phil for his two tries, the first of which was for the Exiles: a nice number 8 pickup to the open side where he bludgeoned his way to the line, finally getting the first points of the game on the board. His second try was for the opposition and was even more impressive. Five yards from the Quintin line the Exiles had a penalty. Steve R stepped up to run it in and managed to make some ground, but a cracking tackler flew into his legs, felling him forwards. Quintin’s oldest player (not sure how old, but suspecting not far from 60) [Quintin captain Ciaran has just informed me that Gordon is 69! – ed.] then stole the ball from the falling Steve R and passed it out left, ultimately getting the ball to Phil. Off he went, basically running all the way down the left wing, shrugging a few would-be tacklers and in general not being impeded much for the entire length of the pitch. Tactically giving Phil to the opposition at half-time may not have been the wisest move! But this is the Exiles way – sigh!
Earlier on during the first half, Quintin had a couple of chances to score after spinning the ball wide to their capable backs. However the Exiles cover tackling worked well, and then for the rest of that half the Quintin backs barely had a sniff of the ball: both sides went through a series of line outs and scrums with the ball being playing tightly by the forwards.
The referee’s whistle saw a great deal of action, perhaps too much really! Its most memorable blow was followed by the raising of a yellow card. Big Bad (and Bemused?) Tom L, playing for the opposition at the time, had committed some heinous crime against the Exiles in a ruck not far from the Quintin line, though I am not too sure what he actually did. However, his selfless act of getting a yellow card while playing for the opposition has to be applauded as great tactical play!
The Quintin backs having rested, literally rested, sometime erecting makeshift chairs with their own colleagues, as is shown below with the three-try scoring centre being sat on his mate, were more than ready for a run out. To be fair at this point these poor fellows had barely had a sniff of the ball.
I overheard one shout as yet another line-out was about to take place: "Next backs move is Suicide Ball! Suicide through boredom!". Later in the second half, run out they did. The previously seated centre scored three strong running tries from reasonable distances. His last try will probably be one that Alex A will not forget for a while as he was pretty much pummelled into the ground by the centre’s bouncing chest in his last ditch effort to stop him.
I’d like to give Ian T a special mention for dry humping one of the Quintin boys as an added bonus for scoring a try against us…
..and again for shortly afterwards saving a try by not allowing the Quintin player to ground the ball. Was this due to the Quintin player not appreciating his earlier amorous moves?
So overall, not a great performance from the Exiles, who lacked organisation and strong decision making, not helped by an ethos of having to play all who turn up. Still, all had a game, and then we settled down afterwards for the main event: watching England lose to New Zealand by a similar margin as we did to Quintin in a bustling club house with Guinness in hand!
Big thanks to Quintin for making the trip up to Ealing. Hopefully when we meet again in February we can address the problems of this particular Saturday and regain our lead in this local derby series!
Photos from the game can be found here.
|Ealing Exiles 5||Quintin 22|
|Tries:||Phil||Tries:||Phil (yes, one for each team), large northern centre (3)|