by Reece Morgan

Although their loss to AllJinJan should have provoked a melancholy reaction, the Crusaders were nothing but elated. It had been, after all, a horrendously long season, and many were wracked with injuries from the lack of recovery time: even the Braveheart Bash had been sidelined to make way for more fixtures. As the final ringo-hai was seen away, the Crusaders returned to their hovels and began their hibernation until next season.

The rugby gods are fickle beasts, however, and commanded the Crusaders to go forth and conquer. Gorman’s Toilet sounded the horn to battle, and the boys set to war, brandishing golf balls and the cheapest tickets that Vanilla Air could offer. Commissioner Passepartout rallied some mercenaries of his own and, with the kit miraculously appearing on time, the warriors converged on Narita Airport. Well, except for Air Force pilot RBF, whose military precision took him to the wrong one

After a glass of milk and an early bedtime, the Cru felt surprisingly refreshed and ready for the big game ahead. The mood was set by the arrival of the big, pink, furry love bus that the Baboons had organised: a short while later, the boys in blue arrived at the pitch and set about doing bugger all in such miserably hot conditions. In due course, the Baboons arrived and quickly embarrassed the Crusaders by actually doing a warm-up, while Sir BLM stared on at certain opponents in glee, stroking his tumescent member. Porridge was unanimously elected captain – solely to pad out his later court charges – and after an opening haka(?), the game started in earnest.

The Baboons quickly began their offensive, but the Panzer division shut them down, and the Cru gained an early ascendancy in the scrum. The Number 1 Prop raged in the centres, making consistent breaks supported by Second Coming and Gorman’s Toilet. Of course, this was a tour fixture, which meant that constant substitutions were the norm: shortly after kick-off, Apollo 11 and Goutside Centre entered the field, hoping to add some spring to the Cru’s step. Unsurprisingly, the opposition scored almost straight after the substitution, rounding out the first quarter.

On the restart, Porridge’s attempt to steal the kick-off made for scrappy ball, giving Sticky Fingers time to smash the receiver like they were Ali’s back doors. Slick Willy’s phenomenal break was then overturned due to a complete lack of support, and the Cru were again on the back foot. Realising that it was time to use their trump card, Wedding Crasher stepped off the pitch…and on came Waldo himself. Instantly offering nothing of value, the opposition centre brushed him off and ran in their second try. Another attempt was shut down by RBF – his first ever tackle, and it was a monster – and Man Friday soon joined proceedings to block off the channel. After several pushes from Charity Case and Rock Strongo, the angels began to sing and Second Coming barreled through for a try.

At this point, Up Periscope stepped off for a rest, exhausted by being carried for the last forty minutes, and after some re-jigging, the Cru were ready to kick in once more. As the Cru found itself with thirty-six men and no subs, the defence started to grow a bit more panicked, and the Baboons looked to exploit that weakness. What they hadn’t counted on, though, was Road Rage, who delivered a Clothesline from Hell that drew gasps from the one bloke watching in the stands. Although he was lucky to avoid a red, let alone a yellow, the Baboons were happy to sneak a third try in around the fringes, getting another soon after. Easter Island fought his way back to the opposition half, and some slick play between Ahab and Snowman set up Second Coming for his second try.

Entering the final stretch, the Baboons brought on a girl – a girl – who was quickly broken in half by a furious Gaz Lim. The Cru then unveiled their doomsday device: Jerusalem Ball, a.k.a the 13-man lineout. With a papal bull and a lingering ‘deus vult’ in their ears, the boys prepared for the greatest rolling maul of all time…but it wasn’t straight, and all the power was completely lost. Even so, some incredible play and a chip-and-chase by Number 1 Prop saw him run to glory, only for Charity Case – true to form – to cash in on the generosity of others and steal the try for himself.

The final score was 29-19 to the Baboons, and in lieu of MVP points, Slick Willy, Number 1 Prop, Second Coming, Charity Case and Porridge were punished for their arrogance.

The second stage of the match, Black Lives Matter vs. a homeless man in the slam poetry contest, was another resounding failure for the Cru, but the deciding boat race left the Baboons in the dust. Although the remainder of the evening cannot be discussed on such a public forum, it’s perhaps enough to say that the Danger Chop legend was passed on (with added ginger flavour); pockets were stolen; the Shot Chicken was reloaded, and the local burns unit found itself one person short.

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