Gladiators To The End
By Chris Richardson
There's nothing like a game of Rugby under floodlight on a Friday night and Mellish RFC was always going to be an interesting match! They had a squad of 22 and we only had 16 and they decided to play all of them rather than trying to keep it equal but having said that they needed all of them to take us on!
We were short of some key players with others playing out of position, but I won't take anything away from the guys who all played like Gladiators. From the start Mellish came at us with everything they had piling up to 5 players into the rucks against our 2 but we still held them off defensively through a better style of rugby. It was very much even in the first 15 minutes with both teams breaking out and making runs, Alex playing outside centre was ready to power past them and made some significant runs from deep in our own half. Luke made a welcome return and constantly battered there forwards penetrating them time and time again with great support from Ebe and Danny. Mellish then got the first deserved try after quite a battle but failed to convert so went up for the first time ever against Moderns. It wasn't long though before we stepped up a gear and quickly turned the tables on them with some great work by Cian and Ameer who handed it off to Alex who left Mellish in his wake. Harry converted from a difficult angle but making it look so easy which put us ahead. Not long before half time Ameer made a spectacular run through middle to make his first try of his come-back which again was easily converted by Harry. Mellish were able to pull a try back so at half time we were up 14 - 10.
By the start of the 2nd half we had got our rhythm back and Mellish were clearly tired which marked the start of their squad change using all their 7 subs. With their fresh legs they started to slightly edge forward but we made them work hard for every single point and every single yard. We sustained some injuries with Luke straining his neck and had to retire which is not surprising how hard he worked, Danny took a bad blow to the head which needed hospitalisation as a precaution so by this time we were down to 14 men. By full time Mellish only managed to gain 24 points to our 14 from a squad of 22 against our 14 but that's how many it took to beat us.
The mood was good and there was some great Rugby from both sides and I want to thank the coaching staff at Mellish for holding the game and the great catering as well.
It was good to see the guys chatting with the Mellish team in the clubhouse afterwards and it was just a shame that our guys weren't old enough to share a pint with some of them!!!!
Unfortunately, I was attending to Danny at the final whistle and didn't get to talk to the guys, so man of the match goes to the whole team. Well done!!