By John Gorman It was the best of Halves… It was the worst of Halves….. The Cru was out on a lovely Sunday to play the venerable All France RFC (AF). Despite AF only having 14 guys, they valiantly did not go “Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey” on us and played a very lively 14 on 14 match. 1st Half The Cru opened with the match kick-off by Flyhalf “Fast Eddie” Downer. All France ( AF) scooped it up and after a few phases turned it over. The Cru won the scrum, ran a few well-moved phases, and then spun the ball wide to Jackie “Chan” Wilson, who went the length for the score. Unfortunately, he didn’t ground the ball DIRECTLY underneath the posts which gave the kicker a rough go of it in very windy conditions. In a theme you may see play out over the course of this write-up, the conversion was no good. AF gamely answered back not 3 minutes later with a well worked try down the sideline. 3 minutes after that the Cru fired back with another backline try where Shunsuke finished it off nicely. Conversion was no good. 17 minutes in, the Cru was once again knocking on their doorstep due to strong rucking from Sean “They call me Bruce Willis at the Porn conventions” Gibson and Captain Reece “I’m half Welsh, but mostly Scottish” Morgan. In addition Matt “My real calling in life is at Flyhalf” Foster was thundering through the defense with some strong runs. After several phases the backs swung to the weak side and John Gorman finished the move. This is when Ahmed “They call me NO-NO when it comes to conversions” YaYa took over goal kicking duties for the rest of the match. Conversion NO-NO good. A few minutes later the Cru kept to the game plan and after several successful Pods sucked in a few defenders, the backs quickly shipped it to Jackie who went in for his brace of the day. Conversion NO-NO good. With 5 minutes left in the half, Sebastian “I’m not keen on zee French” Forastiere broke for a nice try up the middle (Conversion… you guessed it NO-NO good). AF kicked off with just 2 mins left in the half. After some initial sloppiness off the kick, the Cru was rewarded with a penalty on their 22, which went straight through the hands, across the field to a waiting Sebastian who made a fantastic tip-toeing run down the sideline. Conversion was…. Well let’s just move on to the second half. Half time Score : 30 – 7 **A quick halftime note: it has to be noted that Tooley went above and beyond this particular Game Day. One of the French kicked the ball into the river 3 minutes before halftime. Vowing to “not lose a Cru match ball”, Tooley dropped his pants and dove in to get the ball. (Jerry has the You tube clip of it. It’s a great watch. The ref was filming on Jerry’s go pro and all you hear over and over is “Very Dangerous!!”)* 2nd Half The second half was a much sloppier affair. Aside from a shoulder-charge penalty in the first half, both teams were penalized 5 times each in the second half. Despite the penalties and some sloppy handling, there were many bright spots. AF kicked off and managed to somehow steal the ball in the first ruck, quickly taking it in for a score which went unconverted. It was a needed wake-up call and our second favorite Flyhalf Matt Foster took the rock straight to the house and righted the ship. Not to be outdone by himself, 7 minutes later he did it again. Into the fray on both instances, stepped our picture of consistency, Ahmed…….and missed both conversions. After a quick water break, something, which I have never seen on the rugby field, happened. A try was scored and it broke the hearts of BOTH teams. In one of his many bruising runs of the day Jon “I will be very sad if I don’t get the” Ball powered through the defense and over the try line only to cough the (no pun intended) Ball up. However he did it while turning towards the middle of the field to get close to the posts. In doing so he dropped it backwards, then fell on it. The ref said it wasn’t a knock on in goal, Try awarded. It broke AF’s hearts because they knew that that was the nail in the coffin. It broke the Cru’s hearts because 16 guys thought they had free pints at the chippy after the game. You’ll never guess what happened with the conversion.. ..In fact, Ahmed swears it went over the posts. The rest of the planet assured him it went under… With 3 minutes to go Matt Foster slotted in at Flyhalf and proceeded to not touch the ball once. With the game winding down Big Jon Ball blasted one more over just to clear the air and make himself feel better about going on leave this week and abandoning his mates for next week’s game.. but no, we’re not bitter. OH, and Ahmed missed that one too. Final Score: Cru 50- All France 22 Our vote for the opposition MVP went to their No. 4 – Mr. Paul Bertier – presented with a Cru MVP T-shirt Their vote went to our No. 2 – Ahmed Yahye 321s were…. 5 points – Sebastian F, 4 points – Jackie W and Reece M, 3 points – X, 2 points – John G, 1 point – Ahmed Y.