May 17, 2016 - From match "correspondent" Warren Clifford [edited by N. Harris]:
The 2016 season kicked off with the Captain vs. Coach game. Both the President (sleeping in the cells) and Past President ("cottaging" in the woods) were absent without leave, so they will be the first contributors to the "Beer Fund" – that will be a Toonie each. Our esteemed Coach will be providing the military-issue container in which to store the beer bounty.
We played 8-a-side, with Tom M, Gerry and Scott stepping up to “officiate”. They even had a French whistle, which JF provided - Tabernac! It quickly became apparent to all the "expert" referees on the field that a white cane would have been more appropriate. Thanks for your refereeing cameos, but you can each add a Loonie to the Beer Fund!
After 3 minutes of frenetic running and tackling, it was obvious that we were nowhere near match fitness. However, once the competitive juices started flowing the hits got harder and the rucking more intense. Barry, our first rookie, was constantly pushing the offside rule, but he needs to start working on his innocent-looking face for when a “proper” referee penalizes him! Adam, our other rookie, seemed to be smiling continually, proving that not all forwards are angry people. Both rookies can contribute a Toonie for the privilege of wearing the Senators jersey.
After each quarter we discussed what could be improved, and this seemed to help our quality of play. There was some good support play, and overall the handling was slick. Dave Christie scored his first try, albeit controversially, and he even allegedly added a second (according to what he told me on the pub crawl that night). For scoring your first try, Dave, you can add a Toonie to the fund.
The moment of the match was when Dave Connell picked up and went blind with Nathan in support. Dave threw a dummy, which confused Nathan, who subsequently drifted over the touch line. Simon was covering and also fell for Dave’s dummy, and tackled Nathan in touch without the ball. This stoked the Welsh fire, and Nathan demanded a yellow card from the referee. Unwilling to produce one, a line out was called instead as Dave did eventually pass to Nathan - when he was on the ground in touch! For your comedy act the three of you can each provide a Loonie.
There were a few bumps and bruises dished out, not in the least by our most senior player, Gerry - The Legend. There was nowhere to hide from him on the field, and as such, Gerry, you can add a Loonie to the fund. Scott Stevenson also gets a mention for using his hand for support when clearing out a ruck. This lead to the soft-tissue injury that he took great pride in displaying on facebook after the game. We will be practicing the proper rucking technique at training in future, Scott, and that will cost you a Toonie.
It was good to see Scott Mackenzie back on the field, and also for Mark Patterson to finish a game. Hopefully he can finish more this season. Given that it was a forward-dominated game, there was a lot of space out-wide, and Jamie utilized it with great effect. Clifford was accused by our Coach of avoiding contact, but as everyone knows, backline players prefer to attack the space, i.e. run around slow forwards! This is something that Patterson will need to master if he ever hopes to play stand-off! For attempting to verbally abuse your own backs, you can pay a Toonie.
The pub-crawl that followed was a relatively civilized affair. There was even a Geoff Lewis sighting – twice! Simon was caught drinking a miniature beer, and Nathan and Dave Christie did not end up wrestling on the floor as they usually do. Maybe they only do that for Hartigan's entertainment. Rumour has it that the crawlers even managed to stick it out past midnight....
Here's looking forward to the season!