REPORT: Ealing Exiles 77 – 0 Quintin IIs

Ealing Exiles have the most successful game of the season so far with too many tries to accurately acknowledge all the scorers. Jareth Keenan reports!

After the original team sheet had 23/24 players, 14 Exiles appeared in the changing room with 15 minutes to kick off (apparently due the change of kick off time). Quintin were down a front row, so a sporting Exile side offered to lend a hand which was politely declined.  Because of this Quintin had to play with 14 players in line with the league rules and an uncontested scrum. I personally am quite disappointed by this as I believe we had a very strong forward side in which we could have potentially turned over a lot of the ball.

For the first time, in a long time, the start of the game seemed very structured with a full team (near enough) out on the pitch a good 10/15 minutes before kick off.  Under the coaching of our new amateur professional scrum half Stef, the Exiles had time to practise defensive lines and rucking structure, followed by an inspiring pre-team talk by Eff. I think that this sort of start accounted greatly for fact there was 0 points conceived against us and allows all players to have to time to think about the game instead of the chaos and mayhem that sometimes occurs 10 seconds prior to kick off.
The start of the game worked very well in the Exiles favour with the opposition’s kick not making the 10 metres and therefore Ealing being awarded a scrum on the halfway line. With it being non-contested it gave Stef some time to pass it out to the backs and allow them to have a run about, generally I think of those kicks that made the 10metres (apart from 1) the ball was caught cleanly which is a vast improvement from some games.
I cant really comment on the scrums as due to the uncontestedness they  seemed quite boring, however from my days as a forward I imagine that they were a well deserved break for the front row players.  The forwards played a very fast game with lots of quick offloads and good support across the pitch. It was good to see that the structure in the rucks and mauls had vastly improved with Stef being able to see and release the ball when he needed, alongside not over committing too many players.  Sometimes it seems we expend a lot of energy in mauls fighting for a ball that we took in and  losing possession. I think it is important we take this structure forward and not over commit.
I estimate that we spent 75/80% of the game in the oppositions half however towards the end of the first half I seem to remember quite a few penalties/opposition scrums/line outs very near to our try line. The defensive line of the Exiles was very well organised this game and it was good to see and hear backs talking to forwards asking them to move out when an overlap had been spotted.  I think this communication and structure was a very big reason we didn’t concede any points. I was quite relieved when the whistle blew for halftime as they were still very near our try line.
A special mention to Marc H who had some cracking breaks and runs through the game, with some great determination in clearing out rucks and mauls. Shame about the cramp incident in the final run, maybe you’d have got a try, but not to worry Stef was on your shoulder to take the try on your behalf. Talking about stealing tries, I was asked a lot about why a very pleasant sportsman on the team gave his try away to Eff after crossing the try line. I don’t know if this is fact but when a 6ft 5, 120kg man shouts give me the ball, you tend not to argue with the reasoning behind it and do as you are told.
The penalty count seemed a little bit high for a game where we were the dominant team, however I believe this was due to a misunderstanding of the rules and some decisions may have been a little harsh.
The final 2 tries were the first time I have seen the ball go from one side of the pitch to the other cleanly with the Exiles so there has definitely been a vast improvement of ball handling and support (I think people are getting fitter with it being half way through the season and that.)
My closing thoughts and comments:
  •  T scored an improvement of 7/10 in the T-out of ten weekly rating. Maybe it would have been higher if he had arrived before kick off.
  • Stefs weasel moment of the week was stealing a try when Alistair (who had been supporting him from the halfway line) was begging for the ball. Maybe you should take a lesson from that kind man who gave Eff his try.
  • James had some very good kicks this week converting 7/8 tries I think :s
  • If anyone knows what the finger pointing was when Alex K was doing when going to score his first try, please inform me, maybe I just don’t understand but I did find it quite disturbing.
·        There seems to be some confusion with certain players believing that assist count for a half try or something, it doesn’t, however giving someone the ball over the try line does.
Finally, a couple of months ago I played in a few games that left me quite disheartened with the way some Rugby players conducted themselves on the pitch. I’m not massively fussed about winning or losing a game of rugby as long as we put up a good fight sometimes you just play a better team. I would like to like to thank Quintin for the game on Saturday, there was good spirits on both teams, with no arguing, no yellow cards and good sportsmanship between all.  Everyone had turned up just have a good solid game of Rugby which is the way it should always be. I have just completed my first year as an Exile and I would like to thank the team for the great games of rugby and team spirit you’ve shown in my first year!!!
Alex K (2)
Stef (1)
Eff (1)
James H (2)
Kean M (1)
Greg Holdsworth (1)
TBC…  email me if you scored…
James H (8)
Team – and estimated position played :
Alister Barnston 11
Bert (Tom C’s friend) 7/8
David Morgan 12/10
Ed Bloch 7
Greg Life 1
Tom Chambers 8
Alex Kruczkowski 14/13
Anthony Lynch 4
Fabio Krasniqi 2
Gautam Tamang 7
Ghassan Matta 1
Greg Holdsworth 13/12
James Hitchcock 15
Jareth Keenan 10/12
Jonathan McKeogh 6
Kean Marden 11
Marc Hubbard 5
Peter Rank 7
Stefan McCabe 9
Steve Richards 3