Friday, 31 October 2008

Keep warm this weekend

It is going to be FREEZING on Sunday, so please wrap up warm.
1. Bobble hats
2. Gloves (like goalie gloves)
3. Plenty of layers under the shirts
4. Tracksuit bottoms under shorts
5. Lots of socks
Stay indoors at Bishopston until you are required outside. Hot thermoses of coffee, hot chocolate and other such bevvies.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Gowerton Match

The match on Sunday will be played at Bishopston School playing fields. This is due to a crowded fixture list at Underhill. Just drive over the common towards Bishopston, go past the garage on the right, and turn left into The Glebe, just before the hill that takes you down into Bishopston valley. The School is at the end of The Glebe, and the playing fields in front of you.

All players please meet at Bishopston at 10:30. Depending on the numbers that Gowerton bring, The Matrix will generate a match squad, with the rest having a training session at the same time.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Match report from Penclawdd

Report just in from Penclawdd.

In brief: we won, the boys played well, the welcome was excellent.

At length, please refer to Mike "I swallowed Roget's Theasurus, Bacon's Shorter Latin Primer and the Oxford English Dictionary" Morgan's piece below.

Tuesday 28th October 2008

Penclawdd 6 Mumbles 7

In another momentous and era defining week in the annuls of Welsh Rugby history in which we witnessed, after a three year absence, an away win for Llandovery and the return of the great antipodean migratory species Vulturaris Dribredduss Australis to continue in his critically acclaimed role of Principal Boy in the Tri-Enniall W.R.U. Christmas Pantomime.

Amongst this maelstrom of mistrust and malcontent, the mighty Crusaders and the good people of Penclawdd rose majestically above the carnage that lay below them and unreservedly allowed the unconditional release of all players selected for their half term holiday commitments, whilst at the same time, maintaining the integrity of their domestic league by honouring this evening's fixture.

After an earlier fatwa against two leading dignitaries of Mumbles RFC was overturned for reasons known only to them, we travelled with great anticipation for a floodlight challenge in near freezing conditions against a very well organised and highly disciplined Penclawdd team. In all, we took a squad of 11 players, with John Hynes and John Marsden mastering the rolling substitution system to perfection, thus ensuring each player got the requisite 17 minutes and 34 seconds each.

The game itself was a highly entertaining spectacle, refereed by the superbly impartial Darryl in which both sides played with great skill levels, enthusiasm and commitment. Tries flowed at either end as both sides adopted a fluid approach to the game in which the simple mantra of bang pop whoosh paid great dividends to both teams.

For Mumbles, tries were scored by Rhys C (3) , Sam (2), and especially pleasing for the team were the ones scored by the elusive Cian and, after great support work, Liam's efforts were finally rewarded with him crossing the line somewhere in Lougher!!!!! Instrumental in this victory was the contributions of captain for the day Lloyd and Keiran in their attempt to outdo one another in the bonecrunching tackle department. Also worthy to note the barnstorming runs of both Ben Hynes and Harry, the industrious efforts of James P, who really got stuck in, the fleet footed and deceptive running of Ben M and the selfless, unseen but never unsung work of the ever improving Alex. This collective effort signifies what this simple game is all about and it was especially pleasing to see the players operate as a single entity, especially in the second half, where some of our collective teamwork was amongst the best we have seen. Well done to one and all.

In summary, it was an excellent evening's rugby which was played in a fantastic spirit and in a superbly resourced environment that we can only envy. Team Crusaders would again like to thank the players and parents of both sides for their continued and appreciative support to all players, and a special thanks to Nic and Phil Davies of Penclawdd RFC for proving to be the most accommodating of hosts. It is a fixture and relationship that we are fortunate to be able to build upon.

I would also like to thank the dear old lady who on my way out, traded in a spinning wheel in return for a felt tip pen and half a box of tic tacs.

Best Wishes

Mike M

Penclawdd adventure training team

Team is, by the way:

Ben H
Ben M
James P
Rhys C

Game still on at Penclawdd

Meet at the ground (where we played the tournament) at 5.45pm.

The ground is the same one we played the tournament on, by the seaside. Graig-y-coed

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Message from the yacht

I have just received this message via the communication known as semaphore from Mike Morgan's yacht in the bay:

Could you reprogramme the matrix //2468-ar lan y mor-90// as from the original selection. We need to check who is available.

Anyone who can't make 6pm from the original team please contact Dan and if others are, also please tell Dan.

Looking forward to our adventure to Penclawdd

Ave Daniares! Morituri te Salutant.

Mike M

No training on Sunday

Here is a picture of the sun so you can tell your children about something that seems to rarely visit Wales.

It is not be confused with our oligarch's, Mikael Ivanastyich Morganov, morning read.
He is currently on his yacht fishing with Peter Mandelsson and George Osbourne, but will be with us on Tuesday night to go to the tax haven Penclawdd. (It is a tax haven, because everything is traded by barter, so bring a cow or some beans for a cup of tea afterwards).
Training at 10am on Tuesday for everyone and then the original matrix squad for Sunday will play against Penclawdd.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Penclawdd game moved to Tuesday

Penclawdd cannot play on Sunday, but can play on Tuesday in the evening. There will be training for anyone who can make it at 10am (that is 11am real time remember) on Sunday.

The same team will play on Tuesday night and all can train on Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Penclawdd Directions, 10:30 Meeting time.

When the matrix has spoken, the plan is for the team to meet at Penclawdd (Graig-y-Coed playing fields) at 10:30 for an 11:00 kick off. Directions here.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Jersey Teaser

Think Stade Francais...

The new jersey will be unveiled at training down Underhill Park tomorrow. 4:30 as usual.

As most of the boys are finding their old jerseys a bit tight, we would really appreciate it if you could recycle your old jersey into the club. The 7s have about half a squad worth in the old style and are swapping jerseys at half time of matches. The 8s also play in these style jerseys and are short of a few for new players. If we pool our old ones, then these teams won't need to pay for a set of the (expensive) old style replacements. If you can, bring your jersey to training this week or next week. Mike or Dan will collect them in. We also have some new socks, and any (good condition!) smaller socks can also be recycled.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

From our foreign correspondent in El Les Que Ven
Mikalodious Morganopolous

19th October 2008 Match report
Final score: Skewen 1 Mumbles 9

The late withdrawal of Ben Hynes due to excessive vinegar on his bolognaise and chips after watching the Ospreys ( who grassed him up?) tested the matrix to its true working capacity and also enabled the team mascot, Staffordshire bull terrier Floyd Morgan to a glimpse of Mrs Hynes in her nightdress at the unearthly hour of 8 am. After reprogramming all the specific data available, the admirable Rhys Davies stepped into the fold and enabled us to travel with the full complement of 12 players.

After watching the under 10's secure their Heineken Cup qualification by virtue of the number of tries scored, we eventually kicked off at 11:35 am.

Emphasis of the day was to ensure we worked as a team and that the success of this ethos would be the number of different names on the scoresheet and to work collectively to prevent the opposition from scoring. All players embraced this philosophy in the true Corinthian spirit and tries were scored by Max (4) Dom (2) Jack P, Tom G. Particularly satisfying for the team was the try scored by the ever improving and totally selfless Nathan - well done.

A big mention must also go to the commitment to the team and the endeavours of "TEAM SHUT OUT" consisting of Alex, Tom P, Connor, Keiran, Sam, Rhys D and Aled whose contribution to setting up the try scorers and their collective efforts and enthusiasm in a great defensive effort prevented the opposition from adding to their scores - high fives to all.

My thanks yet again goes to all parents and players of both sides who continue to support the players in a correct and appropriate manner both on and off the field.

Thanks also goes to Yvonne and Richard of the Skewen Junior Section who made us all feel very welcome and who also aim to instil the correct virtues in their players. Also the players of Skewen U9's are worthy of praise in the fact that despite playing better opposition on the day, they stuck at their task diligently and with good humour and a smile on their face. It is a fixture we look forward to honouring again in the future.

In summary, an excellent morning was had by all. The way in which the players gelled and played as a team under the principal command of the ever improving tactical genius that is Brett Jones, who rightfully ignored the rolling substitutions tactic employed last week, is a credit to all whose inputs have enabled this to happen.

Training 4:30 Wednesday

Editor's note: My thanks to the mighty Morganopolous, whose pen is mightier than the sword and good humour carries him to many a far flung outpost of the Welsh Rugby Empire. He will be pleased to know that following my fact finding mission to North Wales that I have secured him a fixture with Wrexham RFC. Gaynor will be pleased to hear there is no motorway at all between Swansea and this redoutable northern fortress. In the meantime the matrix works towards Penclawdd: anomalies to me as soon as possible (that is, who can't play this coming weekend)

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Team for Skewen

Matrix number //asoy87.88s.ooahcantona//

Jack P
Tom P
Tom G
Ben H

Non travelling reserves:
Lloyd, Tom L, Rhys D (they will be called if someone is not available)

Many thanks to Mike the Morgan for taking the team this weekend.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Skewen - early warning

Once the Matrix has spoken, we will have a squad to take up Skewen's invitation for a match next Sunday. They have a thriving junior section so it should be a great morning out.

It is a bit of a trek, but if we could aim to get there for about 10:00 they have promised an early kick off (10:30) so we'll be back in good time. The Mumbles 7s, 8, 9, 10, and 11s are going, so there should be plenty of opportunity for car share and lifts.

It takes about 25 minutes to get there from Mumbles. Directions to Skewen rugby club can be found by clicking here. The ground is at Tennant Park (SA10 6HU) on the way to Neath. I think the best way to is all the way along Oystermouth Road and cross the river turning up towards Llansamlet (A217). Carry on to Llansamlet and turn right onto the A48 (towards the M4). When you get to the roundabout for the M4, take the exit to Skewen (4th exit A4230), after about a mile, take a right turn into Christopher Road, take the second right into Coombes road and then straightish on towards Charles Street. The club and playing fields will be in front of you. The club website is here.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

South Gower 4 Crusaders 5

Report from our man in Sagauwa: Michael Morgan (aged 43 and half)

On a glorious morning, Mumbles u9 matrix code ///90pl88as6.22/// team were hosted by South Gower. Thanks to all the parents whose continued support is invaluable, and who ensured that all the players arrived on time and properly attired, therefore allowing a prompt 10:35 start. In total 11 players were involved, each of which was given equal game time over the two 14 minute halves.

In an evenly matched contest, both sides tried to play in the true spirit of the game, running, tackling and sometimes passing with great enthusiasm. Mumbles employed a rolling substitution tactic, which was superbly orchestrated by John "don't ask me onto countdown" Hynes. This strategy paid early dividends when Brett Jones was replaced as principal support to the team by the enigmatic Lyndon after 3 minutes.

After gifting South Gower with an early score, the boys regathered their focus and captain for the day Max Jones, showing no ill effects from the Exocet he took on Wednesday, ran in for the first of his two tries.

In a game of nip and tuck, South Gower replied in kind and matched us score for score. Further tries followed from Sam, who continues to impress, and two for Lloyd John, one of which was a barnstorming bust through from fully 3 metres, which once introduced to the vagaries of cider when he's 18 (Editor's note: is this when you first drank cider Mike?) will surely increase to 30 metres. For good measure he also scored the winning try in the tense final few minutes when the scores were locked at 4-4 and the draw appeared the fair and inevitable result.

In summary, it was an excellent morning's rugby where all Mumbles and South Gower players should be commended for the way in which they played the game and conducted themselves both on and off the field. Many thanks to South Gower for proving to be excellent hosts with a very supportive and appreciative crowd and an excellent line in healthy eating hot dogs.

My thanks goes to Rob Griffiths who coaches the South Gower U9 for the way he approaches the game and standards he expects from his and other players - it is a fixture we look forward to reciprocating down at Underhill later on in the season.

Remember training 4:30 Wednesday when we will continue to work on the things we do well, such as breaking through tackles, popping the ball out of contact, defending and also the things we need to improve on such as passing to a player in space or a better position than the ball carrier, as remember it is the team name on the scoreboard, not any one individuals. In today's game if we had got that part of the game right the winning margin may have been slightly different.

The girls' night out

I have had a call from Chutney's Curry House about a rowdy party on Friday night in their fine emporium.

It can't of course have been our team's mothers who were, by all accounts, very quiet and well behaved. A cracking turn out and a good time was had by all. The next trip has already been mooted, with ideas ranging from a trip to Oceania, a night away in Cardiff and a week away with the kids to Porthcawl Lido.

Thanks to Kay and Donna for organising the night out and to Gaynor for getting the brood down to the rugby club as well.

Bonymaen 2 v Crusaders 13

On a beautiful day on top of Bonymaen mountain, we played 8 a side game against a depleted Bony Under 9s.

This does not diminish the efforts of the boys who ran in 13 tries to 2.

The try scorers were Rhys C (4), Dom (2), Ben M. (2), Rhys D (2), Cian, Harry and one more to an unidentified player on our team (was it Dom?)

The tackling was excellent and Jack, James and Alex were prominent in the tight. Aled passed and ran well again. Tom Park had a strong second half in the tight too.

Great team spirit and a lovely day all round.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Teams for the weekend

Here are the teams for the weekend. We have 11 boys in each team, so we need to know very quickly if there may be any reason for your son to not be available.

Bonymaen (away meet 10.30am for 11am kick off)
Rhys C
Ben M
Rhys D
James P
Jack P
Tom P

South Gower (away meet 10am for 10.30 ko)
Tom G
Ben H
Tom L

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Subs and Registration Due

All Players - please make sure you have completed the standing order form for the team subs. If you haven't got a form, ask one of the coaches. You can take the form directly to your bank. Or bring it to Mike down the park. Better still, if you have internet banking you can set it up at home using our details from the form.

New Players - please make sure you have filled in the Registration form. Return it to your coach asap.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Wednesday and beyond

A busy week ahead!

1. Training

Training is due on Wednesday, but it might move to Thursday. It will be confirmed on the blog tomorrow evening.

2. Matrix 2

Having devised a player matrix that requires a electro magnetic hub the size of the Swansea Bay to energise, we are now construsting the Crusader hot phone matrix. In layman's terms this means on a wet Sunday, one call will trigger another and so on, like the beacons in Lord of the Rings. It won't require a hobbit to climb a watchtower and light the fire. Instead Mike G or myself will phone someone in the matrix who will then phone two to three others and the message will pass through the team like Brett's famous chilli.

If you have lost the will to live by this stage of this explanation, don't worry. Matrix 2 will be revealed soon.

3. Sunday's fixtures

This weekend, the Crusader matrix will split the team in two and send one to Bonymaen and one to South Gower. A fourth dimension to the matrix will be enacted because some people will have sons in U7s and U8s who will be doing the same! Don't panic. The hub is being warmed up by Mike Morgan who has plugged his rowing machine into the central power system to add the extra energy.

4. Girl's night out

Finally, the girls' night out is on Friday. No matrix needed here, nor electro magnetic hub and I am being very careful in what I say lest I receive more than a glancing blow from some hair straighteners.

Game off

Waterlogged pitches - see you Wednesday

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Sunday arrangements v Fall Bay (home)

We have a home game this weekend against Fall Bay. They only have a small squad so after asking around at training on Wednesday we have decided on the following policy:

1. If we have a chance we will aim to play all the players if the other team has a big squad. In other words play as two teams. Alternatively, we play two teams on the same day (round robin).

2. Against smaller teams, like Fall Bay and Bonymaen, we will play a smaller squad of 11-12 players, with the other players training on the Sunday 9.30am. Selection will be based purely on rotation. Illnesses and injuries might make this a little bit difficult to get exactly right over the period say of a month, but over the longer term we would expect about equal playing time for each player.

3. Sometimes we might split the squad and play one team in one venue and another in another place. This might be difficult if there are illnesses, injuries or holidays. Finding other teams is also a problem, but we are on the case.

4. The rotation works through a matrix. We have matched players in groups of four. This means we should have a balanced team in every match. It will also mean that we won't have cliques of players.

Our overall philosphy is: play to learn, improve skills, be a team and enjoy our game. Winning is a good, losing is learning.

For this weekend there has been some illness. However I will endeavour to put up a squad in the next 24 hours and then we can go from there.

Key timings:
Meet 9.30 for all.
Training for all those not playing.
Kick off for those playing: 10.30am

A couple of final notes:
1. Please take plenty of pictures at the matches and then send them to Dan (
2. If anyone wants to take a video of the match, then please send it on to Lyndon who can "code" the game with his professional software and we can produce a DVD of the highlights.
3. If you want some specific targets or reminders for your son, then drop me a line. Sometimes it helps their focus on match days if they have a one or two thoughts on what they want to acheive and they can share them with you. We want to see individual develop and not just team development.