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Fighting Spirit Shown on a Long Day

Rolls-Royce 2nd XV 0 - 63 Long Eaton 3rd XV

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2013 05:24pm
Wilsthorpe, Erewash
By Robin Kennea
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On a beautiful sunny day, the team with a few new faces made the short trip up the road to play at Long Eaton, signalling the first time in several seasons that Rolls-Royce RFC put out 2 teams on the same weekend. 

Whereas the 1st XV gained revenged at East Leake for last seasons defeat, the 2nd XV bore the brunt of Long Eaton's wrath after they lost to Royce's in a pre-season friendly back in August...

On a beautiful sunny day, the team with a few new faces made the short trip up the road to play at Long Eaton. Pathetic Fallacy* was not the order of the day for Rolls-Royce as after a good dynamic warm up, the next 80 minutes proved to be tough. After winning the right to kick off, about five minutes passed before Long Eaton had a good attack in Rolls-Royce’s 22, with Mathieu Bastareaud, obviously deciding he wasn’t getting enough action in France, crashing over the line. This try was to be a theme of the rest of the match. Long Eaton utilised their massive centre, drawing both Marcus and LeRoy in to attempt to put him down with each attack, creating an overlap which was always well used to put the point down. Rolls-Royce did have one opportunity after a succession of quick penalties were taken by Kev and Marcus and ran at an encroaching Long Eaton defence. Had this not been a friendly then there could have easily only been 29 men on the field 15 minutes in. A few tries and a few questionable kick-offs from the Rolls-Royce Fly Half later, it was half time and Rolls-Royce were 46 points down and really facing down the barrel of Long Eaton’s gun.

Valiant play from Rolls-Royce meant that only 17 points were conceded in the second half, a vast improvement from the first. One of the tries saw Bastareaud running through the middle of the Fly Half and the inside centre, LeRoy put up a good chase, but almost ended up in outer space both physically and mentally after a big hand off, but still managed to fell the big centre.  The team had started to gel together as the new guys began to settle in, despite the injuries to Frankie and Duncan. Late in the 2nd half Rolls-Royce managed to win their first scrum of the game, leading to a rare attack with a maul created by Marcus going into contact; this offered a great positive to the day.

Marcus Hawes got man of the match, with debutants Alex Wilkinson, Jamie Kearney and Jake Branchett joining him in the post-match drinking race, Marcus polished his off in about 10 seconds, having to wait another couple of minutes before anyone else joined him in finishing theirs. The injury of BrainFreeze had spread across our newbies. Homework for all there, practice finishing your drink.

It was a learning experience for those guys that have been with us for a only short amount of time, with it being many players’, including my own, first defeat in Rolls-Royce colours this season. The guys that played should not be down heartened; some of the guys in the Long Eaton team would easily walk into the first team in any team in our league. The squad always held their heads high, dug deep, and carried on tackling Long Eaton’s battering rams.

*Pathetic Fallacy - The attribution of human feelings and responses to inanimate things, i.e. the weather, esp. in literature.

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