Date: 3rd April, 2013
Game: City League – Quarter Final
Opponents: Wine Trade Wallabies
Venue: Wimbledon RFC
Following an unexpectedly poor response from the playing members of the club, Lloyd’s arrived at and very cold and blustery Wimbledon a touch apprehensive ahead of our City League Quarter Final versus the Wine Trade Wallabies. Indeed, Lloyd’s found themselves with several players out of position and in some cases debuting for the club which was not ideal preparation.
Any concerns were immediately dismissed as Lloyd’s demonstrated a ferocious ambition to get off to a good start and with enough strength and experience dotted around the park in the key positions, soon gained control of the ball. In doing so Guy “Wendy” House, playing in the 9 jersey, made a Danny Care style break and showed his pace to dot down after just 3 mins adding a conversion to top off his good work.
This was just the start Lloyd’s needed and they set about denying Wine Trade any opportunity to get into the game pinning them back in their own 22 with the help of a still breeze and some excellent line speed in defence. It was the this defensive effort that resulted in some good turn over ball in the middle of the park. 2 quick phases left and then a switch back down the right allowed James Excell – trying out life in the 2nd row – to out gun the Wine Trade wing for pace adding Lloyd’s second on 15 mins. Conversion missed.
Lloyd’s with the breeze and the slope in their favour continued to play rugby in the oppositions half and tries 3 & 4 followed soon followed. Prince Moyo dotting down on his first full cap for the side after a slick exchange with Hamish Greenwood who tip-toed down the touch line and put his team mate away in the 5m channel for the score. Oliveria crossed the white was shortly after some great control and recycling from the Lloyd’s pack and precision distribution from fly half Dale Taylor. Conversion from House.
With half time approaching and a decent lead established Lloyd’s perhaps became complacent and fancied a bit of a breather thus allowing Wine Trade to progress up field. They certainly weren’t going to let Lloyd’s have it all their own way and put together a solid period of possession forcing Lloyd’s to commit a number of penalties. The pressure was on and but for some poor handling and distribution, Wine Trade were sure to score, however, demonstrating all his experience and predatory instincts Prince Moyo plucked the ball out of the air as Wine Trade looked to go wide and ran the 70 metres or so untouched to dot down for the second of an impressive (if not a touch arrogant) brace on debut. Conversion added by house.
Some strong words from skipper Tom “Widowmaker” Wagstaff ensured that Lloyd’s would be switched on for the second half as they faced into the wind and up the hill at the turn around. Wine trade took immediate advantage of the elements and their stand out player at 10 used his kicking prowess to grab valuable territory for his side.
Lloyd’s worked hard to make progress up field and enjoyed a good deal of possession, however, upon being turned over they were forced back to their own 22 by the boot of the opposition 10. In the spirit of making a game of it the referee appeared to be more lenient to Wine Trade than Lloyd’s there was some uncharacteristic feedback from Lloyd’s. perhaps this distraction could explain how after breaking a few first up tackles and offloading with some skill that Wine Trade did finally cross the white wash – a well-deserved score for their hard work and perseverance. Conversion missed.
This shock Lloyd’s into life. Reverting to a more structured game and kicking well for territory, Lloyd’s found themselves once more entrenched in the oppositions half and this time with less turn over ball to feed the opposition. Again the referee came to the Wine Trades assistance with some marginal calls, causing some consternation in the Lloyd’s ranks. This continued for a few more phases and proved too much for Kieran Ashley Bowling, who duly picked up his obligatory yellow card for the season following some minor infringements and a little back chat too !
At this point Lloyd’s true character showed and the 14 left on the field worked tirelessly to retain possession and deny Wine trader any sniff of a revival. KAB was back on the field 10 mins later and Lloyd’s had held the ball for most of that time and even had the audacity to score a try of their own, House again demonstrating his pace off the mark and strength. Conversion added by the scorer.
With the game drawing to a close, tired legs in the Wine Trade defence meant more holes for Lloyd’s to exploit and after a couple of barnstorming runs from 15 Hamish Greenwood combined with winger Mark Oliveria to round out the scoring. Lloyd’s eventual winners 41 – 5.
A massive thanks is owed by the club to all those who made time to play and in particular to those who played out of position in the pack that enjoyed added weight, enthusiasm and energy and from Peter “PeeWee” Williams, James Excell and yours truly. I’ll leave you chaps to decide who us contributed what !
Onwards to the Semi-Final Vs. Herbert Smith !