Sunday, 23 November 2008

Matches v South Gower

We played split our teams in half to play approximately two seven-a-side teams.

Team DC was made up of:
Rhys C, Tom G, Sam, Connor, Lloyd, Cian, Dom, Ben H. John Hinds ran behind the team and sorted out the substitutions expertly.

Team won the first game 5-3 and the second game 7-1. Again the tries we shared out. What was impressive was the passing before contact and the passing out of contact. The team spirit was excellent, with lots of positive energy between the players.

Here is Mike's report!

First Period Mumbles 3 - South Gower 2 (Captain Ben Marsden)

Second Period Mumbles 4 - South Gower 8 (Captain Keiran Morgan)

Having thrown the sacred bones of Diablo at the holy shrines of power that oversee our every move and appeasing the spirits therein, we were able to continue to play out of our adopted home at Bishopston. Having avoided the potential threat of being taken hostage by a gang of rebel Somaliland Pirates en route, the majority of the Mighty Crusaders safely reached port just before the 10 30 high tide, thus enabling us to field two strong and well balanced teams for an 11 AM kick off against our good friends from South of the Gower.

Team MM consisted of Tom P, Jack P, Liam, Harry, Tom L, Alex, Ben M, Max and Keiran.

In the two games the players from both teams tried to play an open and expansive game and demonstrated a high skill level with their ability to run and pass coupled with some neat little offloads which allowed the games to develop some continuity. Given the heavy conditions and the biting northerly wind, a lot of credit goes to all the players for the manner and spirit in which they played the game and the esprit de corps of the Crusaders players and parents. Particularly pleasing in today's "Abbreviated Games" was the amount of ball and tackle time given to each of the players and the distribution of tries amongst the team (not sure who scored in total, but yet again Gaynor's conversation got into 3rd gear causing her to miss her sons moment in the sun). Also it was nice to see the majority of players looking for the open spaces and not running back to where the pass had come from and the system introduced at the first line of defence being fully embraced with considerable enthusiasm by all.

Team Crusaders would like to thank South Gower for providing us with the opportunity for fielding two teams thereby ensuring everybody from both sides got plenty of rugby, irrespective of the scorelines. Thanks to the South Gower coaches, Gareth and Rob who continue to do excellent work with their players and aim to instil the correct values into their teams and for their support towards the sympathetic refereeing decisions that allowed the game to be played in the spirit of the law rather than to the letter of the law. In the difficult conditions such an approach was required and welcomed as the majority of players today made the odd yet unpunished mistake and they all seemed to thrive upon finding mud in various orifices of their body.

My thanks goes to Joanne and Vicky for masterminding the substitutions, which, as the cold set in, the players enthusiasm to seek the sanctuary of a cuddle on the touchline and a bit of TLC grew ever more appealing. Also thanks to the tactical guru that is John Marsden, who after a relatively successful start of his tenure suffered his first defeat as Director of Performing Arts and Science and whose record in this role is now only marginally better than Martin Johnson's - Beware of the Fleet Street Scribes and the personal backlash that may accompany this - welcome to the real world of Junior Rugby.

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