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A humbling experience for the Cru.

By Eric Wilkinson

On a warm and surprisingly – given the location of the pitch – windless Sunday afternoon, which started out in question due to a light rain that was threatening to put a halt to the game entirely, the Cru arrived at the Edogawa Rugbyjo ground expecting to come away with yet another win over a team that was perhaps taken far to lightly in the Swift RFC. The Swift proceeded to give the Cru an 80-minute education on the dangers of overconfidence, and outstanding defensive play (perhaps as an omen on how the following day’s Superbowl would play out).

To be completely fair to the Cru, the day started out badly with many of the regular starters dropping out due to reasons ranging from work to hangovers, so there was a noticeable lack of experience and size, especially among the forwards, which was felt all game long as many of the Cru’s newer players received a full-game’s worth of lessons on how to play a number of different positions, as injuries and inexperience caused position shifts throughout the day.

The opposition flew out of the gate, scoring the first try of the game within the first 2 minutes using the age-old tactic of not dropping passes, running with purpose, and attacking with their backs 5 against 3; a recurring problem that would rear its head throughout the course of the game.

Following the first score, the Swift certainly didn’t let off the gas scoring 3 more tries within the first half of play. It was at this point that the Cru decided to stop arguing amongst themselves and play a bit of defense, holding off the Swift for the final 16 minutes of the half.

By the second half, the Cru had already had a number of stingers force players into unfamiliar positions, which was leading to a lot of lost scrums and miscommunication. Neil “Why won’t these guys listen to me” Maclean, and Paul “The Gentleman (according to my Wife)” Skurr, was doing their best to get people into a proper defensive line all game but didn’t have much success in that regard until the major damage had already been done.

The second half started off with yet another mental error for the Cru, as within a minute from kickoff there was a scrum in the Swift’s favor which led to a score before the forwards could even finish disengaging from the scrum, leading to some rather colorful commentary amongst the group. The Cru’s scoreless drought was brought to an end however, thanks to Luis Hernendez at around the 4’ mark. This was followed by a beautiful bit of running on the parts of Jackie ”Which way is straight?” Wilson, and Cornelius “All I do is score” Smith.

At this point in the game however, the injuries started to pile up and the Cru had to go to uncontested scrums as both props and one lock were unable to continue playing at their positions, and other players were shuffled to the flanker positions. The Swift took advantage of this and some very poor tackling, to come away with 2 more tries to put an end to any hopes of a second half comeback.

The game ended on a positive however as the Cru demonstrated some effective forward play and (finally) some proper passing and ball control to push through and add one more try to the scoreboard via Cornelius.

The Cru can learn a lot from this game. The Swift RFC played an outstanding game and they kept the pace at their speed the whole day. They demonstrated great tackling and ball security, but most importantly they showed incredible discipline; they swarmed the Cru’s larger forwards whenever they carried the ball to ensure minimal penetration, but never so many players as to adversely affect their defensive line which was always on the spot, and they were quick to capitalize on the many mishandled passes provided for them.

The 3,2,1’s for the Cru ended with Cornelius Smith taking the top spot after some outstanding running…whenever the ball was actually able to reach him; Followed by a tie between Neil Maclean and Luke Bradley, both of whom helped keep the team together throughout the game; Last but not least there was Skurry, who did his best keeping the forwards under control as well as taking Evan Hitchman’s place as team captain in his absence.

Some good news to come out of this game however was the long awaited return of Koki, after months of being kidnapped and held hostage. He was finally able to ‘grow a pair’ and secretly sneak out of the house to play a game before surely being beaten later for disobedience. All joking aside, it’s great to have you back and everyone hopes to see you return on a regular basis.

At the end of the game a beaten and bloodied Cru returned to the usual watering hole to lick their wounds and try to figure out what, exactly, went wrong. Along with the players who attended was also Aiko, who expressed her own feelings of guilt on how she believes she caused the Cru to lose (Remember the red ones next time), and Mrs. Ada Wilkinson, who said that she really enjoys watching the games, and likes the camaraderie between the players during the after match festivities. She also claims that Skurry is a gentleman, and she is married to me, so her judgment is clearly in question.

A final thanks to the Swift RFC for coming out and showing the Cru that we aren’t invincible, we look forward to playing you again and wish you the best of luck in your future fixtures…unless of course you’re playing the Cru.

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