Manor roll on in the mud
This weeks match report
Our first league fixture of the new year saw us travel to Rochford, where we hoped to replicate some of the magic that saw us win 72-0 in the home fixture. Knowing that their 2s game had been called off, we didn’t think the scoreline would be repeated but a good performance was expected all the same. We welcomed back some stalwarts this week, sadly the skipper decided to return from Spain and Mark Le Vallee had finished his filming commitments for the deadliest catch.
I decided to put my contact lenses in this week so a) I could see the ball and b) more importantly log down all the tries and their scorers. This meant I missed the first one by Klaus who went under the posts and converted it too (shame he couldn’t do that for the rest of them!). The game ebbed and flowed for the next fifteen minutes scoreless, but being shouted at constantly by Ugo on the sideline (fours tradition dictates that you have to have at least one Norcaro brother doing this every game) until Klaus dropkicked the ball through the posts for three points after being fed the ball from a scrum in their half (yes, you do hear correctly, a dropgoal in a fours game).
We were knocking on the door constantly now, and if it wasn’t for a forward pass we would have scored again before the half hour mark. Shortly after this though, the ball was shipped out and Mark showed good strength (must be all that tuna he’s been hauling) to go over for our second try, and we were now 15-0 up.
Rochford got one back about five minutes later and converted to almost halve the deficit, before we managed to get one on the stroke of half time via one of the longest and slowest trundling mauls you are likely to see, Mike pounced on the ball once it was over the line, the difficult conversion was missed and we went in to the interval 13 points up knowing more of the same would be sufficient to win the game.
The second half was scoreless until young Jack scored for his third try in two weeks, and had another good showing both out on the wing and at fullback. Ten minutes later, another one of our promising young players, Jacob scored after excellent covering by Jack from a long kick by the oppo and the ball was worked down the sideline.
We did get another one in the ensuing period but as I was on the pitch panting and sweating I can’t remember who got it. I did pose the question on the team group chat and that didn’t prove much use either, it seems like the only good thing that’s for is sharing rather questionable videos (ask Mike for details.)
We were beginning to tire now and Rochford got another converted try back but we stayed steady and won a scrum when the ref called last play. They (both Rochford and the Manor forwards) were expecting us to kick it out but the mythical play known only as the DSP which can inflict devastating damage was called. The ball was fed in, won and shipped out and then dropped (if you were expecting anything else you’re deluded). We fell on the ball, pants dug it out and then kicked it out to save us any further embarrassment and ended the game.
Thanks to Rochford for hosting us and the delicious post match meal (anyone who thinks that both undercooking and overcooking rice at the same time isn't culinary talent clearly doesn't know cooking). Thanks also to Luigi's pal Dan Donovan for braving the cold and taking some great pictures of us, although some of the boys wish you were a bit more generous with the Photoshop. Next week we travel to Harlow for an exhibition match as the centrepiece on their give ladies rugby a try day.