Pleasant Pinley pitch up at Webb Ellis RoadSat 22 Oct

Seconds out... round one

Pinley were the latest visitors to Webb Ellis Road in Round 5 of league fixtures, writes Player Coach Rob Dignum. You can lower your eyebrow again as what follows has been scrutinised by a team of legal experts for fear of condemnation from any committee members that might take offence.

Anyone read Jason Robinson’s autobiography? If not, I recommend it; some heart warming stuff in there mixed with good humour, none more poignant than when Billy Whizz refers to his first ever game of Union, against Coventry. The city being known for many things, the Cathedral bombing, Lady Godiva’s bum and that if you play rugby against a side from Cov, bring a crash helmet. I feel I can say this without alicadoo’s choking on their port and crying out, “Bloody Dignum’s at it again” as Lions head Coach Aggy played in that very game and likely dished out the biggest portion of ‘Welcome to Cov’ greeting upon Robinson. That in mind we had an inkling of what was looming. This of course is not to moan about it, I have played against Lions many times and know exactly the kind of emotions it engenders; now the shoe is on the other foot you pretty much know you are going to be treated with a degree of hostility… and why not, it’s a mans game after all, which is a real shame as I would of traded my wife for a part in such a game, alas a podgy ankle (in keeping with the rest of me) meant a turn to play Coach, frustrated from the touchline.

In games previous we had done our homework on the opposition and had a plan to combat their strengths, with Pinley we knew nothing of them, other than that they were not going to roll over.  Third from bottom with one win to their name, their league position likely belied their motivation to get one over on Lions. That said, Lions raced to an early 14-0 lead in the opening few minutes and never really looked back. The try bonus secured on the 20 minute mark and a half time lead of 33-3 as Lions scored at will through ineffective defence. The Lions pack were again dominant, Pinley’s scrum in reverse; similarly the home sides line out was again extremely efficient. A huge improvement at the breakdown meant oodles of front foot ball for backs and forwards alike to take advantage of. Not for the first time this season the message at half time was therefore quite simple, more of the same please.

Déjà vu? This did not happen quite as we hoped, Pinley upped their game, the official made his mark and an indifferent second forty ensued. Lions increased their lead and at one point 45-3 up; how a side so dominant can incur three yellow cards while at the same time Pinley infringed at will and keeping full compliment on the field is somewhat of a mystery therefore.

Pinley finished the stronger of the two sides, when they concentrated on the rugby, they were impressive and were deserving of their try bonus. Adding to Lions comparatively lesser of the two halves, Lions were unfortunate to lose debutant Dave Weston to a dislocated shoulder, we wish him well with his recovery. Lions did score another 24 points in the second half to run out convincing 57-27 victors. The fact we are picking the bones out of a victory by 30 points is fairly indicative of the current squad who again strive for that ‘complete’ performance.

Onwards and upwards. I reported at the start of the month that we would know where we are by the end of October with tough league and cup opponents in our path. They do not come any tougher than the visit of the leagues form side this weekend. Spartans have romped all before them to date and our Pinley guests (having played Spartans and ourselves in the last fortnight) were quick to point out that Spartans are definitely the stronger and that we will struggle to contain their pack and their lightening wingers. Well, no more motivation needed… we too are unbeaten to date and are improving week on week; the match up therefore certainly is a mouth watering one.

I think I will end it there, my wine glass is empty and I may or may not have completed a weekly warbling without anyone taking offence.

Role on a week of tough training in readiness for the clash colossal at the weekend; please, EVERYONE present and giving their all as always.       


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