Touring Team tamed at the Pightle
A loud cheer to St Patrick on a weekend filled with rugby at home and home nations
There was much pride at stake, playing a touring Holmes Chapel team, who hosted PJFRFC last year in what was a weekend filled with "messy Midlands" memories, including a game of Kabadi in the Forecourt!! Special to those who could hold onto their pint glass-right Mander!!!
A wonderful afternoon of rugby ensued at the Pightle, with PJRFC folk volunteering to fill the boots for missing Holmes Chapel forwards. The game pitted youth against Pahnash in Mawer vs Milner, and Jules against O'Shea. The referee was determined to count the number of turns in the floor, much to the dismay of an aging PJFRFC pack!
The visitors scored first utilising their acquired PJRFC forwards and quick recycled ball out to the backs, with Milner and O'shea at their best, and without rousing the Referee's suspicion! A poor display of drift defence by PJFRFC was penalised again by the visitor's with a second try in the corner. PJFRFC kept to their game plan of few phases in the forwards and secure ball out to the back's, and their patience paid off with a well worked try starting from good support play starting with Bruck junior setting up a ruck cleared by Porno and Mawer, with Jules, Dan Wright adding yards before unleashing the backs through Will and Norm, and culminating in another try for Reem. PJFRFC employed this link between forwards and backs well, only this time, stand in number 8 Ben Tompkins did a Jonah Lomu and ran 40 yards to the try line- an ominous sign for English fans of things to come later that afternoon.
The game was close fought throughout with good competitive rugby by both sides. Though PJFRF looked to be edging out at half time, through another well worked try starting from the base of the scrum, with Ben Tompkins emulating Vunipola to make the hard yards and unleash open side flanker Dan Wright for his first try of the season. The visitors sprung into action in defence with excellent counter rucking to spoil any further scores. Mawer was unlucky when his try was disallowed for what the referee termed a "caterpillar move" on the floor. Half time team talk was all about tiring the Beer guzzling visitors.
PJFRFC started the second half in earnest, with Crumps making good use of the fringes to let loose Tompkins, Mole, Bruck and Mawer. One on looker remarked this was better use of Nick's skills. as opposed to those wayward passes to Norm!! His follow up support play in pursuit of the open side Dan Wright, was rewarded with a try under the post, and the conversion added a commanding lead to PJFRFC. This sprung the midland marauders into action, and the visitors came back with a try through the Itoju like work horse of a second row- Simon Cripps! who collected a wayward PJFRFC throw in and ran through a few tackles and friends, to begin the come back. Holmes Chapel were quick to pounce on the restart and again utilised their forwards to make hard yards into PJFRFC territory, largely through spoiler Milner and aggressive counter rucking to spoil PJFRFC's attacking rugby and leading to spilled ball, which at times was thrown away through poor discipline in contact. The poor defensive display by PJFRFC added further pressure, culminating in the fourth try to the visitors. PJFRFC were only ahead through conversions managed. A concerted effort in the following few minutes to score by PJFRFC was co-ordinated through Bilchy in midfield, who utilised his new found "Salsa" hips to shimmy his way through half the opposition to score PJFRFC's final try under the post. The game was not yet done, and O'Shea who had done well to evade any disciplinary comments, sprung into action, aided by their equally talented fly half to score the visitors final try out wide. Thus the Midlander's took home a bonus point loss, and PJRFC, taking the spoils in what continues to be a remarkable season for the combined Marlins and Vets team. PJFRFC 33-29 Holmes Chapel