Old Yardleians RFC: Club News


Tue, 11 Dec 2012 11:12

Saturday 15th Dec

First XV       v      Atherstone   away    2.15   League
Dev  XV       v      Wednesbury  2nds home  2.15
Vandals  XV  v      Yardley and District 2nds  home   2.15    Merit table

Sunday   16th  Dec

Under 17       v     Alcester       away      11.00   (B49 5QF)

On a cold but bright saturday afternoon with a slightly moist pitch the spectators who came along to watch some good rugby were not disappointed.

First XV

In a league match, we played hosts to Coventrians for the first time at first team level.  Not to be confused with Old Coventrians who we have played many times over the years but you would think that a name change would be helpful.
Our opponents who are having a decent season offered an interesting contrast of rugby to our own.  They had one or two players of real potential but the team tactic seemed to be of a spoiling nature, hoping to play off of our mistakes and assisting the referee with his role.
Once the early confrontations were over the rugby skills of the Yards started to produce points on the board.  Our pack dominated the line outs and the set scrums saw the Cov pack under immense pressure. Luke, playing at Loose Head had a superb game in the tight and around the park. To keep the report brief, apart from one short spell in the second half, the Cov team didn't really get out of their own half and as the game went on the speed and fitness again told and the eventual score of 57 - 0 was a fairly accurate reflection of the game.  It was a shame that the Cov team were missing key players but that's when the depth of your squad is important.

RFU National Vase
I will avoid putting the 'kiss of death' on it so no prediction from me at this time.  But, the draw has been made for the Midlands Section semi - final which gives a home tie against Bedford Swifts. More details will follow.

With International standard referee, Mr Shannon Killarney in charge of affairs an open game of exciting rugby was expected from the crrowd (same crowd as the first team game but with a real choice of viewing.).  Claverdon are always spirited opponents and they did give us plenty to think about.  However, the experienced home team are very smart at slowing the pace of the game down when needed and again were clinical in their finishing. Big Roger just about avoided serious expenditure on a jug but scored two tries, Dave McGill and Ralph got one each and Ralph also got some kicks over to make the final score 26 - 5 to the Yards. Full match report below.

Under 10s
Due to clever fixture planning, we ended up with two teams coming along to play our young lads.  Aussie John, himself a great back row player in the era of Pricey and Saddlebags, informed me that it was a very good performance, particularly in a comfortable win against our local friends at Camp Hill.

Under 17s
With the same referee that our firsts had on the previous day, we were not sure what to expect.  But I now know what would be a suitable christmas present.
A very good evenly matched game at Aston Old Eds saw a lot of quality rugby from both sides with excellent defence from both teams making the score 0-0 until late in the second half.  A penalty gave Aston a 3 point lead with very little time remaining,  so we thought, as the first half was timed at 33 minutes.  As the clock reached 31 minutes, the deadly finishing of winger Tre'rail gave us a 5-3 lead and with Cam converting a 7-3 lead looked to be enough.  The try that Aston eventually scored to win the game 8 - 7 was very well taken but the angle of the sun etc. that indicated 45 minutes had been played meant that we didn't even get a final chance to score.
The boys were disappointed but showed the dignity expected and are determined to put matters right  at Alcester next sunday.  As for my Christmas shopping, a trip to Argos and a casio special looks like the ideal gift.  A big thank you to Aston for their hospitality and the usual close match.

Vandals vs Claverdon 2nds - full match report

With Woodrush 2nds dropping out of the Greater Birmingham merit table in order to go South, Woodrush suggested we kept the scheduled fixture and play their 3rds instead, yes you heard 3rds, but with Slow not holding his breath and it being confirmed mid week that they were unable to field a side Gethin dipped our collective toes in the Pool and came out with Claverdon 2nds for last Saturday's encounter on a bitterly cold December afternoon.
With the laundry foremost in my mind given the conditions we took to the field in our green change strip, Claverdon in their usual red & white hoops, and you know you have reached legendary status when the first thing the opposition say "Is the Horse playing?" ....soon he tells me by the way. And with Gethin also unable to source a referee Shannon stepped into the breach and without whom we wouldn't have had a game so big thanks to the big man; similarly with Claverdon with only bringing a hooker big thanks also to Luke Griffiths & Tim Russell for stepping into their even larger breach and making a competitive game possible.
The starting eight  then, a very late call up for Shane "Shazza" Rowlands alongside Mark "Gethin" Baldwin & Peter "Fudge" Butler in the front row, John "Casper" Lonie partnering  Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn in the boiler room; with a back row of  Marcus "Shark" Hope, Chris "Golfball" Rowe & Roger "the Dodger" Lazenby at No.8. 
The  Glory boys, at scrum half  Phil "the General" Evans and with both of our fly halves otherwise engaged (look out for Nev's tan this week) paired alongside multi-functional Dave "Ralph" Rollins, in midfield ex Solihull pairing of Jace "the Ace" Goodwin & Dave "the Blade" McGill with a back three of Sean "Squealer" Byrne, Simon "Sideways" Singleton and Mike "Nearly" Neary at full back.
With holidays, injuries and a bout of norovirus taking its' toll a very small bench this week in Nick "the Assassin" Levey and Iain "Johnno" Johnson, it would have been a bit bigger had Chicken managed to get out of bed following his works Xmas party on Friday night.
Anyway this was not one of our best performances as we continue to grind out wins the hard way, and against probably the most organised lineout we've faced for a very long while, so today I'll mainly be sticking to the good bits.
We open the scoring about five minutes in when Claverdon are penalised for not releasing in the tackle, and Ralph fires one into the corner. Having already seen in the early exchanges how effective the Claverdon lineout is we opt for a shortened line with just the five men in; Gethin's throw evades Shark's marigolds but it's taken by BMT instead, we set and then drive towards the line with the ball safely at the back with Fridge. We start to crab across field and the General calls for it and Marcus takes the short pop but he's held up by their big fly half and the ball doesn't come out so Claverdon get the scrum. We put them under pressure and the fly half has to take the scrum half's pass at full stretch and he knocks on for a scrum to Yards five metres or so out. We get the nudge and they go backwards pretty quickly and it's an easy one in the end for big Rog 5-0. The conversion is missed bouncing off the post.
The following fifteen minutes was pretty forgettable, with more dropped balls, knock ons & missed tackles than I'm used to seeing in a whole game as we struggled to put any meaningful phases together; though in fairness partly due to Claverdon's efforts with some quality youngsters in their midst with a big strong running fly half & centre giving us a few problems as well as their well funtioning lineout. Things are made worse when Simon's defensive efforts in the far corner result in him breaking his arm high up close to the shoulder, which still may require corrective surgery in the coming weeks. Golfball (his mates on the touchline tell me a winger in a previous life) switches out wide and Nick Levey comes onto the flank.
Claverdon spend the the next few minutes camped on our line and their big fly half is unlucky not to go over following a bullocking run only to meet big Rog on the line where he's mugged, Rog flips to the General, who finds Blade who kicks ahead for Sean to chase after. The Claverdon wing just evades Sean but Blade brings him down, they try to get the ball away but Sean does enough to get a hand in and the ball goes loose, BMT gets his hands on it, but they look to have turned it over before Casper somehow comes away with it and sets off on one of his increasingly trademark lon(i)e breaks upfield, before offloading to Shark in support who looks to go one on one with the Claverdon fullback. Despite Shark's inside pass inside failing to find anyone in support the immediate seige has been lifted. 
From here we manage to claw our way deeper into the Claverdon half and following a good tackle on their fly half by Nick we are awarded a scrum midway between their ten and twenty two metre lines. Rog picks up and it's not the most sympathetic of passes to the General and he's forced to go old skool with a diving pass onward to Ralph who chips one ahead into their twenty two for us to chase. They look to have things under control but Mike manages to get to the attempted clearance and it ricochets forwards and then off some more hands & feet before Claverdon manage to scramble it into touch about five metres out from their line. Shannon decides to go back though for a Claverdon scrum at the site of the original charge down, the first one's reset, and we turn the second one but Claverdon's shaven headed skipper aptly named Wiggy manages to get the ball away to his fly half who bumps into one of his own, but gets away with it and gets to about ten metres from his line before offloading to one of their big units but he's driven backwards by big Phil and the ball goes loose and we turn it over. Quick ball from the General, to Ralph to Jase who puts Blade into a bit of space, he shuns Sqealer and goes it alone & over wide out 10-0. Now with the conversion between the tramlines Slow remarks to himself given Ralphy's recent "form" he'll probably get this and he doesn't disappoint as it sails between the uprights 12-0 and that's the last of the "action" of the first half.
Halftime 12-0 and a pale imitation of the Wyvern first half the other week but we're still winning, the sign of a good side they say. No changes at half time.
We start fairly brightly and increase our lead about five minutes into the second half when a Claverdon clearance goes out a metre or so inside their twenty two,  "Spearchucker" Baldwin's throw sails over the five man line and the ball goes loose, a defender fly hacks the ball across field where it's fielded by Blade who chips it back from whence it came, and in the ensuing mellee we contrive to knock it on. So it's a Claverdon scrum with Roger's feet just on their twenty two, we put them under pressure but the scrum half gets it away to the fly half whose forward progress is halted by Marcus and Nick acting in concert, it's a wild pass backwards as a result but they steady the ship and try to clear but the kick's charged down and it's a bit of a scramble and the ball's adjudged to have been nudged forward by a Yards hand, scrum Claverdon. Our Eight put the squeeze on and the Claverdon scrum half is under pressure and it's another Hail Mary pass which this time has to be grounded touch in goal. Attacking scrum then five metres out, back they go the General urging his troops forward and Roger burrows over for his second of the game 17-0 and Ralph makes it two from three 19-0
Johnno comes on for the General and about a minute later we have another short break when one of the Claverdon forwards dislocates a finger, he wanders off into the crowd looking for someone to give it a tug and then comes back on, and then minutes later it's Roger's turn to have a short lie down before Jace the Ace is forced to limp off with a thigh injury, and with that Johnno switches to centre and the General comes back on.
Claverdon finally get on the board late on and probably deservedly so when they are awarded a penalty centre field a metre or so outside our twenty two; to their credit they opt to kick to the corner, but with their fly half coming off immediately prior with concussion it's not a great kick by the replacement kicker as the lineout takes place only a few metres inside our twenty two. Still they take comfortably at four, and drive it on a yard or two before releasing it, their skipper now at fly half gives a well timed pass to their tall young centre who goes over untroubled beneath the posts 19-5 Somehow they manage to miss the conversion.
The restart just about limps over the ten, and we all pile in and get pinged for handling on the deck. They kick long for touch but the ball finds Golfball despite Mike's loud shout, and the Stourbridge Express sets off and steps two men, then spins to Ralph, to Sean (who finally gets a decent pass), he offloads to Blade who has to stand it up just on halfway. We recycle Johnno at scrum half to the General at fly half to Golfball who takes it into contact, and then to ground & Shane tidies it up and the General goes sniping on his own, he's tackled, Johnno's there and we spin short and drive but the ball's knocked on and Claverdon get the scrum midway between halfway and their ten metre line. Our Eight who've obviously keeping their powder dry drive them off their ball and the General goes blind with Ralph, who takes the pass and cuts back inside, offloads to Golfball who's tap tackled but who has the presence of mind to flip it off to deck to Ralph who sells some double glazing to go over to score 24-5 and he converts his own work 26-5 and that's it for the day.
Final Score 26-5 final age 664 that's an average of just over 44 even with young Shane.
We will HAVE to improve for this week's visit of Yardley & District 2nds in the league.
Finally spare a thought for our Symes who suffered his second major career threatening injury in just over twelve months, please donate a beer to him should she let him out down the Club again before Christmas!!



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