Sunday, 9 November 2008

Cowbridge Match Report 1



On a blustery and squally morning we welcomed our venerable guests from Cowbridge. With our visitors having beaten the ancient drovers' paths West to arrive by 10.30, and thanks to the excellent facilities at Bishopston, we were able to kick off at 11.00 prompt. Despite some coaches not feeling mentally and physically up to the demands of cross regional championship rugby after playing to much table top football on a dodgy surface, the needs of the team, as always, came first and there were no 11th hour panic changes to our matrix formation or Wendy Boy excuses. Consequently we were able to field two sides for what we knew would be a formidable challenge in front of us.

Team MM consisted of Captain Tom P, Jack P, James P, Liam, Lloyd, Max, Vice Captain Aled, Sam, Cameron and Keiran. In an enthralling game, it was quickly apparent that today's guests were slick proponents of the game, where their all round game had few weaknesses. Their ability to play as a team was important in all of this as they quickly looked to offload and pass to any member of the team in space or better positioning and not worrying about who scored or who scored the most tries. For Mumbles, yet again, all the players are worthy of credit for the way they stuck to their task and resilience in adversity. The solitary try was scored by Max, who worked energetically throughout. Particular mention for today's game goes to the superb Sam, the total commitment shown by Aled and the outstanding and belligerent efforts of Keiran.

Today's game was an excellent learning curve for the players development as they played a team they knew little about beforehand and therefore takes them out of the "Comfort Zone" of playing local teams where the players know each other either from school or other contexts. Games like this require the players to adapt to the regional variations and styles of the game found throughout Wales, and in this respect, especially in the second period, all the boys seemed to front up well to the challenge and play some confident and controlled rugby.

Our thanks goes to our gracious visitors and their outstanding team of players who were worthy winners on the day. Thanks to our old friends Stuart "The Punch From Hell" Roy, Chris "Babbling" Bradshaw and Big Paul, who after distinguished first class playing careers are coaching the correct virtues of rugby both on and off the field to their players and supporters. It is a return fixture we look forward to soon to see if we are developing as a team and to use the old adage, learning lessons . Thanks again to all parents and supporters of Team Crusaders who continue to show their appreciation and good humour to both sets of players in all conditions.

Also thanks to Mark "Skinny" Jones and Julie for the hospitality offered to the players, parents and supporters of all age groups and especially for the rarity of being pleased to welcome a slightly embarrassed Mike M in the rugby club the day after a Welsh International Game.

To quote a line from the film Support Your Local Sherriff when Jason McCullough (James Garner) says: "Why do these jaspers always have to hit town at meal times?" Mark and Julie warmly welcome all players and parents after the game and sometimes it is important to support your local club as it serves an important part of team bonding for players and parents alike.

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