Today was the day to get re-acquainted with some old foes as the Sarries hosted Ynysowen RFC from Merthyr Vale.
Ever since ‘The Valleys’ was shown on MTV (Merthyr Tele-Vision like), Chidgey organises an annual pilgrimage to the City of Brains. And on the back of the yearly outing, Ynysowen RFC do come down to ‘Kairdiff’ like, and do play a game of the old rugby isn’it.
With the sideline crammed with tight t-shirts, red heads and crates of Strongbow, Ynysowen kicked off the game which promised to be a good one. With Jon-Paul ‘Have you seen my Dad Neil Lane?’ Blundell letting the ball slip through his hands like a greasy prune, an early scrum was awarded to Ynysowen. With the Ynysowen front eight looking like Orcs from Lord Of The Rings, this was always going to be a tough day at the office, but the Sarries boys were a match for the superhuman strength from these beasts, and the scrum was motionless. The ball was retrieved from the back of the snarling scrum and whipped out to the 10, who after getting a ‘How To Kick by Chris Parks’ book for Christmas the previous year, attempted an outrageous drop goal. Now those of you who have read the fore mentioned book, will obviously know how the attempted drop kick faired, but for those of you who haven’t, it ended up in the kiddies play area where it knocked a little one of the swing. After getting the ball back from an irate parent, the game commenced and Ynysowen found themselves attacking the Sarries backline, and with Joey ‘The Eel’ in at centre this week, they decided to try and go through him rather than around him. Now Joey has a face like that for a reason, and he soon got hold of his opposite number and unceremoniously dumped him into touch which brought cheers from one set of fans and booing from another. This led to the first of the days coming together to re-ignite old rivalries.
With Ynysowen showing some good strength, they seemed to break the Sarries line with ease, and it was only down to some tackling master classes from Messrs Ellis and Worthington, the scoreboard managed to be as redundant as Nigel Worthington. However, the pressure continued and a scrum was awarded to Ynysowen deep in the Sarries half. With the forwards locking horns again, and the scrum as crooked as Martin Gurrs new nose, the scrum half managed to feed it to himself at the back of the scrum. As both sets of forwards stood up before the ball was released, the referee, a maths teacher from Fiddlers Elbow, asked for the scrum to be reset. The Sarries offered to send someone to Tesco to get a new protractor for the ref as his was obviously faulty. The ref seemed to take umbrage to the remark, and as he was obviously upset by somebody questioning his geometric skills, decided to punish the home team for their insolence. Ynys opted to get some points on the board, and the ball was in the air before you knew it and the scoreboard ticked for the first time that day. Sarries 0 Ynysowen 3
The Valleys boys continued their dominance, and it wasn’t long before the pressure told once again. A good move by the backs saw them streak through the middle and cross under the posts un-opposed as full-back Worthington was truffle hunting under a nearby tree. The easiest of conversions was successful and the points rolled on.
With the game in full flow and a ruck in the middle of the park, a high pitched shrill was heard which can only be described as Waka screaming. With no dolphins in the vicinity, it was decided that it came from Adam ‘The Pig’ Worthington who was letting the other boys know that he wanted the ball out wide. With the ball delivered from the ruck to the backs, they showed the Sarries supporters what they are about and after some slick handling through the line; it was dropped by old Edward Trotterhands himself. The Sarries continued with confidence, and with the ball once again delivered from the forwards to the backs, it was Joey Ellis’s turn to turn villain as he ignored three men outside him and decided to step back inside and try to increase the gap in the top try scorer award table. With the move snuffed out, the game continued at a furious pace and Ynysowen managed to find themselves with ball in hand once again. A break through the centre again saw the visitors cross the line and with the conversion successful, the points starting to rack up.
The Sarries, resolute in their objective, continued to take the game to Ynysowen and through dogged floor work, they were soon awarded a penalty. With the ball given to Chris ‘Better to make sure!’ Parks, the Sarries were soon within striking distance once again. From the line out, the Sarries backs were away again, with Ynysowen not liking the way the boys started to open them up, they decided to re-enact the 2011 World Cup semi-final between Wales and France. With Joey ’Why always me?’ Ellis being Sam Warburtoned, the ensuing melee resulted in Ynysowen being reduced to 14 men. This was the chance for young Pig to answer his critics as he was awarded the chance to go for the posts. With the sideline, hiding their bacon sandwiches behind their backs, young Trotter struck the ball sweetly and the Sarries were on the board.
With only a few minutes of the half left, the pace of the game did not lapse with both sides continuing to string phases together. A break from Ynysowen saw them attack down the wing and after a great tackle by Jimmy ‘The Nail’ Carroll, the Sarries scooped up the ball and were away once again. Now lots of things go together like Cheese & Onion, Ant & Dec, and so on, but one thing that doesn’t go together is Charlie Porters hands and a rugby ball. With the backs flying, Ol’Charl decided to end the move by passing the ball to Joeys face. Although the pass did improve Joe’s looks, the move ended and some indiscipline by Ynysowen at the following ruck, resulted in the Sarries being offered the chance to improve their score. With Pig determined to make amends for going AWOL which resulted in the visitors first try, again he put his trotter through the ball and the Sarries finished the half by adding points to their tally.
Half Time. Sarries 6 Ynysowen 17
With Chris Parks popping pills half time like a teenager visiting Ayia Napa, he was determined to roll back the years for the second half. And that’s exactly what he did, I’m telling you, you couldn’t write it, Oh Wait! I have too. With a great break by Old Father Time himself, Ian ‘Can I just say?’ Dunne was released like a lunatic on a day out. After deciding to ignore the screams from his fellow centre Joey Ellis, Ian decided to try a cheeky little kick through. With Mr Dunne ignoring the gasps from the sideline, (Oi swear da Gods must’ve been smoiling dat day) the ball bounced up back into the hands of the pocket rocket and he was soon over the line chasing down Joey in the leading try scorer competition. With Piggy now on a roll, he was given a difficult conversion attempt to try and keep the scoreboard ticking over. But with confidence high, it eased over the posts with Pig returning the kicking tee and asking ‘Martin who?’.
With Ynysowen restarting the game, the Sarries continued with the game plan and the ball was collected by Gareth ‘I can’t drink I’m driving’ Lewis and then dispatched to touch by Cwissy. Unfortunately, touch wasn’t found (are you serious?), but some good chasing down by Fiery Dan the scrum half and the fat winger Charlie Porker stopped the returning move by Ynysowen. After some good initial line out defence by the Sarries, Ynysowen managed to open up the backs line like Moses parting the Red Sea. Through the middle they went again, and they scored their third try of the game.
With the Sarries refusing to be beaten, they continued to take the game to the visitors. Another break by the backs, saw them attack through the heart of the Ynysowen defence and with the ball under his wing, the rejuvenated Chris Parks tried to emulate his new hero Ian Dunne, but with his radar as good as the refs compass, the ball went straight into touch. With whimpering being heard from the warm up area, it could only mean one thing, Jon Phillips was about to come on. With the coaching staff making changes, for some reason Matt Morgan entered the arena semi clad like a skinny Ewok.
Some tough tackling by the Sarries in the middle of the park, resulted in Ynysowen having to make replacements of their own. The visitors brought on a fat Michael Flatley, who decided to show his footwork skills at every opportunity. After the referee dismissed the protestations by the Sarries forwards at the next breakdown, they decided enough was enough and when the protagonist decided to continue his little soft shoe shuffle at the next ruck, let’s say a little bit of fisticuffs broke out which resulted in a player from either side having a well-earned rest.
With the Sarries struggling with their now lighter pack, Ynysowen continued to show their dominance in the set piece. A break from the visitors saw a scrambling Sarries defence stretched out wide where the visitors crossed for try’s four and five.
With the Sarries battling to the bitter end, Ynysowen finished the game in my opinion as worthy winners. This was always going to be a tough game, and nobody was under any illusion from the start. But the Sarries boys continue to go from strength to strength and back to back wins are just around the corner.
Cardiff Saracens RFC 13 Ynysowen RFC 36.
Man of the Match Tom Falvey
Tw@ of the Match Chris Parks
Billy ‘Time to move onto Star Wars’Williams,
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