Well, we won. That’s the important bit. It was a struggle though and needed some real grit. Had 18 players. That dropped to 17 by the time we’d got to Atherstone. Starting centre was running late and so that was 16. Starting winger got a foot injury so another forced change. And this was before kick off. What could get any worse?
So, we lost our vice-captain, main line out jumper and pack leader Craig after about 5 minutes. Kneed in the head by our scrum-half who was clearing out. One of those things but concussion guidelines meant Craig’s match was over. 3 minutes later Gaz, our tight head prop went over backwards in a tackle. People heard the cracking of the ankle. Ambulance called for him. Turns out he’s broken his ankle and torn the ligaments. Being plated this morning. Great player, lost for the rest of the season. A real shame.
After that it just turned into a dogfight. Our defence was great – no real danger of them breaking through – but we were rushed and impatient. Kept spilling the ball. We were 3-0 down at half-time, struggling in the set piece and the backs couldn’t get going.we discussed things at half-time. We’re still in it, only 3 points down and they were tiring.
Started off the second half at a hell of a pace. We got into their 22 on a number of occasions but execution let us down. Our winger who’d gone on had a cracking run down the wing but their no. 8 made a try scoring tackle. They got another penalty with some poor discipline from us. Finally we made a break from halfway, some great handling with 9, 12, and 14 got us over the line and Sam, our scrum-half, touched down. Conversion from Ian our fullback and we were up.
We struggled through the rest of the match. Jay, our loosehead got sin-binned for a high tackle (which kicked off some handbags and got their scrum-half binned as well for punching) and we played the last 6 minutes with 14 on each side and uncontested scrums. Final result was a 6-7 win.
Team was buzzing and I was pleased. We showed some real grit and determination with what started off badly. We drank some well-deserved beers back at the clubhouse,