Ex Cleckheaton RUFC star winger Ian Thynne reports…
Exiles 5 – 31 GWR Sat 16th October 2010 away game played at home…
Saturdays game saw the the Exiles either have a home game or travel away to their own ground where GWR also play. It was all a little confusing. It was a balmy autumnal day with the sun out, just waiting to embrace a game of fluid running rugby.
Then the Exiles turned up.
In fairness though, things got off to a fairly good start. Mark (winger) slicing through the defence to score, followed by Noel (centre / 10) who showed Jason Robinson-esque feet and cantered through to score under the posts. The best effort came from Spike (10) and Ian T. Spike drew in the defence and a beautiful pop pass saw Ian T run in a simple score. However, the rest of the game of Touch to warm up was a mixture of dropped passes, aimless running and silence.
Sadly the actual game was more akin to shambles than Mark’s arcing, slicing defence splitting run.
The conditions turned just as GWR kicked off with their enormous pack in hot pursuit.It was a bit of a shambles from the start with with no one putting a name on it and GWR coming up with the ball. That just about set the scene for the rest of the game for the Exiles. The Exiles had a decent team out, but the backs and forwards were not gelling. GWR were throwing their big runners at the Exiles but thankfully Ritchie (prop) seemed to be enjoying bringing them down. It was a bit chess like to start with but it looked more like GWR would make the break through. Any ball the Exiles had was stuttering and lacked rhythm summed up in one phase of play when after a good series of phases and plenty of yardage, the ball was kicked ahead by one of the forwards for a throw in to them – forwards should never kick – simples. They cleared and the Exiles had to start again.
GWR were a well organised machine benefiting from their weekly training sessions. At most break downs they would pack the backs with forwards whilst the Exiles were drawn to the mass of bodies like a fly to dung. This left plenty of men over which they exploited at leisure.
GWR scored their try from such a position, nailing an overlap on the right which the Exiles could do nothing to defend. This was after about 10minutes but the Exiles were confident it was just a lapse.
Then came a devastating blow for the Exiles when Ritchie was taken out by friendly fire. Alex A (flanker) trod on the calf of the big (he has lost weight though) prop, the scrum went backwards, and their number 8 scooted over for a try. Ritchie goes off, they score a converted try and things just go downhill.
Their third try came very shortly afterwards following good Ealing play in the GWR 22, but the ball was turned over and moments later, they kicked ahead and the ball was soon bouncing around on the Ealing 5 metre line. Afe (Fullback) did well to defend the ball, but in the wet conditions the ball squirmed out and their 9 jumped on the ball to score.
Their fourth try was not long in the making. A break from their 9 who simply switched direction ran around the defence and offloaded to the winger for an easy score. Too easy.
It was disheartening. The Exiles didn’t lack effort but the organisation of the opposition were killing them, combined with some panicked decision making when taking penalties and the loss of Ritchie meant they were always making headway.
From the fourth try Ealing kicked off and Fab (hooker) mistimed his tackle on the jumper. There was no malice, but one of their props reacted like someone had just stolen his favourite sandwich. He managed to get the penalty reversed. And then out of nowhere Neil (centre) strode about 20 yards to mouth off at the GWR prop and managed to talk himself into a Yellow card. Not wise.
Half time came round and encouraging words were given but they were not received.
The second half started in much of the same vein as the first did summed up by one phase of play. Alistair (winger) held on to a chip kick in the 22, called mark; tapped it; ran forward 5 yards and offloaded to Stef (9) with half their pack in his face – Hospital pass, turn over and lost ball. Moments later they scored.
31 – 0. Enough said.
As they started to tire the Exiles got into the game more with Spike playing the sensible kicking game. Michael (winger – who was definitely at work and not playing Rugby like his missus thinks) showed some excellent pace and made good inroads. With more ball the Exiles were looking good again, but there was still a distinct lack of cohesion.
Often tap penalties were taken by Stef and it was only after the tap did the discussion occur about who was going to take it. It was a little bit of shambles.
However, the Exiles did have the last word though. A penalty 5 metres out was taken by Eff (lock, second row, the engine) who shimmied like Gavin Henson (rugby Henson not dancing orange muppet) and drove home for a quality score. The celebrations were immense and were just reward for not giving up.
All in all it was a fairly disjointed show. GWR were a well organised team, aggressive and solid; but the Exiles made it too easy. Not enough talking, not enough understanding of the game, and lack of awareness of the opposition and what they were up to.
On the plus side, the scrum was solid throughout, Ritchie was imperious until injured, T was hard working and superb (they did only manage 1 try in the second half when he was on) and Michael (who didn’t play due to work commitments) looks like he will do some damage on the wing – although it would help if he was passed the ball.
Some key players were missing, there was a new 10,12,13 axis yet again, some GWR lads knew our line out calls, and the ball was slightly wet all conspired against the Exiles.
Well done to GWR, and thanks to the Ref who had a really good game and controlled it well – except when Ian T (winger) was adjudged not to have caught the ball on the full having called mark – I bloody well did catch it!
1 Richie Melia
2 Fabio Krasniqi
3 Gautier Henry
4 Antony Lynch
5 Tom Laishley
6 Mark Davies
7 Andy Madden
8 Jareth Keenan
9 Stef McCabe
10 Noel Lavery
11 Mark Rutherford
12 Paul Toolan
13 Neal Craig
14 Ian Thynne
15 Alex Adide
16 Ghassan Matta
17 Gautam Tamang
18 Alister Barnston
19 Afe Ogun
20 Michael – T’s mate