by Frank Saffery

We will fight them on the beaches; we will fight them in the…bogs? I’m sure Winston Churchill never had an issue raising an army, although he did have the luxury of conscription. After turning up in the middle of nowhere to play our friendly, we noticed a lack of many things – among which were water bottles (well done Sparrow) and players. Another issue is that, of these brave 13, about 10.4 were forwards. It seems backs don’t like to get their hair wet.

After our small but hardened team had slogged it to the ground, we were delighted to notice the opposition already running lines like a well-oiled Messerschmitt, waiting to down our lumbering B52 bomber. We also took note that the field was under three feet of water and resembled the Somme, and thus we decided to borrow a Japanese spy (big thanks to Jin-san from Toda Over The Top for stepping in and playing an excellent game). At 14 men, we were looking like we would need to borrow one of the oppo, but our very own Lance Corporal Lim – fully equipped in body armour – stepped into the fray (Has anybody seen him since the game? Did he drown in a trench?).

As battle commenced, our heads truly in the water, we noticed that our simple game plan was holding fast in the more-than-horrid conditions. We may have been fatter, older and certainly less fit but we were showing our grit and determination. Th one option line-out being fed by our centre-turned-fly-half-turned-eight-turned-hooker was a magnificent sight to behold, and the oppo didn’t stand a chance against our superior war machine. With lines being run and tackles being made, we were rewarded with an excellent try by Taku and the faithful boot of Mr Hitchman to take it to seven ahead. Then the onslaught and bombardment began, so we dug ourselves deeper into our trenches determined not to let a point slip. Our scrums were as sturdy as a rock, and with a splendid turnover the whistle went for a spot of no-man’s-land respite.

At half time reinforcements arrived, stinking of booze and looking worse for wear. You guessed it: the Auzzies had blessed us with their presence in the form of Logan ‘the Drunken Destroyer’ Melville.

We were now chomping at the bit to get back out to the battlefield, with the resolve to not let the oppo cross that chalk line and cause damage where it hurt the most, right between the posts. The whistle went and instantly the Drunken Destroyer took the ball in hard and fast, dicing through barriers and mines like a hot knife through butter. He was followed closely by our own Boris Johnson lookalike who, when given the ball, exploded from half mark hurtling so fast both teams stopped and watched in awe as this behemoth of a man ran like a steroid-abusing gazelle. This culminated in one of the best try moments I have ever seen, and was followed by salt-to-the-wounds in the form of Mr Hitchman: conversion slotted.

Once again, the cannons started and the bombardment began. We had to keep our heads down, scrums strong, line-outs simple and our defence had to take a battering to hold out, waiting for our opportunity to counterattack. Runner after runner, minute after minute passed and we stood strong. Particularly, Sgt. Sparrow, who had a brilliant try saving tackle to make sure that the scoreboard favoured us. After what seemed like an eternity, an opening was spotted by our very own Argentine frat boy Sebastian, and with a final try and conversion to boot the whistle went. We were tired and wounded but we were victorious – to the bar with us, to drink and be merry.

One final point: the American Military were a no show. It turned out that they had gotten lost, ended up at the wrong side of the wrong river watching the wrong sport. Well, at least we avoided friendly fire!

Final score: 21-0
321s were….
5 points – Joe; 4 points – Logan; 3 points – Seb/Foster; 2 points – Reece; 1 point – Sparrow

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