Sat 26 Nov
Week Nine of league action saw we Lions travel to Barkers Butts securing yet another bonus point albeit damp squib win to remain unbeaten and six points clear, writes Player Coach Rob Dignum.
Huddled up on the pitch as a squad after each game we always try and put a positive spin on events, “We are winning, so it is not the end of the world,” but reporting on it is akin to Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, stuck in a time loop conveying the same events each week.
The short version is, we were poor, Barkers were passionate and the official unpromising. I have said it before, I will say it again, opposing Lions engenders a feeling of aversion; indeed sides give that wee bit more to get one over on us; Barkers were upbeat, crikey they even whooped as their ten put up a high ball, such was their enthusiasm to unsettle. Barkers had a large crowd of ex players in attendance at their well attended pre match dinner and therefore played with added heart in front of an expectant home crowd, putting in their strongest performance of the season, evidenced by their coaching staff and supporters in the bar afterwards. Similarly they were buoyed on by the arrival of their new rugby league centre pairing that will cause sides problems throughout the season. Add to this, we as a ‘team’ made every mistake possible then this all conspired to add to an all round uninspiring game. I say team, because we are one and collectively we take the blame. Clichéd I know, but in a rugby side there are teams within teams, one group being the forwards, fatties or piano makers; the other group being the backs, girls or piano players; sadly the tune we backs are playing is not a very sweet one currently. It is no secret, the forwards held up their end of the bargain; sadly we as a backline misfired and the guilt for such an underwhelming performance lies firmly with us girls.
Against the run of play, Lions quickly took a 0-7 lead as Sam Herrington gratefully intercepted a loose pass five minutes in. For the remainder of the half, we backs took turns in dropping the ball, kicking away possession, missing tackles and generally giving Barkers a foothold in the game. Playing their ‘cup final,’ moreover doing the basics well, they were the better side for chunks of the first half; the score board in turn rewarding this. 3-7 on 20 minutes after the referee penalised for offside; an interesting call given that our line speed was non existent. Barkers then took a deserved lead on 35 minutes as their stocky centre broke three feeble tackles; mine being the worst of them, to crash under the posts. Thankfully, shortly before the interval Tansley crossed to spare Lions blushes and regain the lead; half time score: Barkers 10-14 Lions.
The second forty was much the same as the first, error strewn, low on quality and a scrap in the middle of the field. Lions scored on 70 minutes, Tansley grabbing his second from close range and the bonus point secured with five minutes remaining courtesy of a rare decision awarded in our favour; a penalty try for dragging down a driving maul inches short of the line; final score: Barkers 10-26 Lions.
All in all, not great… could/might/should of won by more; alas, you have heard it all before. Bonus win secured and no icing on a pretty grim cake this time. The greatest thing about sport however, you get a chance to rectify a poor showing every seven days! This might just be the timely kick up the rear end needed before we travel to Oval Park, Tigers training ground and home to Oadby Wygg’s this weekend to contest the quarter final of the Midlands Cup. Rest assured, we piano players will find our tune and will not misfire as spectacularly as we did last weekend, ever again. Collectively, despite a bonus point win, we as a squad will be all the more stout and determined to get things right for the weekend.
Woe betide, Wygg’s.