BANGERS HARDEN NEW YOUNG MEMBERS
By Coach Tom
The pre-match hype proved to be entirely justified even before the Southerners (a Thailand League side) and the Bangers (a bunch of aging pissheads) took to the pitch last Sunday. Impetuous impishness pitted against geriatric guile. Big questions would be asked of the young pretenders……can they match the Bangers pack, who would mark John Perry, would a win by less than 10 tries be an embarrassment, would they shower with older men?
Both teams warmed up at opposite ends of the Patana sports ground in a tactic clearly designed to rob the other team of any opportunity for eavesdropping on game plans and calls. The Banger lineout call "I throw, you catch, David" was hopelessly devoid of the Da Vincian complexity of the Southerners "16, banana, g-string, love gel, tiddly squat". (It’s doesn’t auger well for the Southerners that they didn’t work out the Bangers call all game……apparently Ultan is the man to do that). Anyway, the warm-ups over the coaches consulted on old boys rules which we always adhere to ……no pushing in scrum, half back must pass, no kicking outside the 22, no running more than 20 metres without off-loading, depravity lowers cholesterol, old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.
Tom addressed both teams about the golden oldies spirit of fun, fraternity and friendship in which the game would be played. He then called the Bangers to one side, put on his balaclava and left his ‘Wild Geese’ in no doubt as to how the game was really to be played…………
"We’re not farkin’ UNICEF or Save the Children! Think of them as your own kids and leather them, these Southerner colonials took all our potatoes in 1845 and left us to starve! They don’t need Viagra, they don’t dribble for 5 minutes after a piss! Remember the Bangers motto …………sorry forgotten it."
All fired up the game kicked off for the first of three 20 minute halves.
Bangers put up stiff resistance while the Southerners tried to get in behind looking for holes to penetrate. (Typical of young bucks in Bangkok) But the old guys are experts at holding their own. (Typical of old gits in Bangkok) The Bangers then pinned the Southerners up their own end for much of the half with teasing runs by Paul Bawden, a master baiter at number 10. The Bangers’ pack dominated all the early exchanges and with the Southerners not making their tackles the wily old Bangers were only too happy to jump on their youthful misses every opportunity they could get. The Southerners were punished for fumbling in the rucks, ball turned over by a crouching David Kennedy who looked between his legs and liked what he saw. Ball flicked out, Bangers launched an attack only to have their passage blocked by the Southerners equivalent of a paw paw with teeth, Andy Redmond. Josh (who looked just a shade under the 35 year vet limit) continually found a lot of space created by Tom and Trevor who are old hands at finding gaping holes.
The first half ended all square with nobody leading or behind as astutely pointed out by ref David Viccars.
Team talks at half time were totally ignored as soon as the second half started. Tom pulled off some of his tired old players during the break while Brendon got stuck into some of his young squad to try and improve their performance. The Southerners were more enthusiastic than a necrophiliac in a graveyard in the second half. The Bangers rhythm was upset by a mixture of substitutions, rostitutions and institutions and the Southerners started to gain the upper hand. Wagga jinked and squirmed like an eel on a barbeque. He caught the ball well and with his lovely soft hands just tossed it off. He’s a man who loves his rugby and can play anywhere in the backs, as he says…"I have four or five dreams every night about coming from different positions”. Tries were scored and the game went up another notch. Eddie Evans went off like a rampaging soufflé and Richy missed his tackle. AGAIN. In fact his misses gave the Bangers a second go on a couple of occasions. Perry exploited the mistake and passed to Trevor on a searing run inside. John loves it when Trevor comes inside him. Trevor, shaking off earlier injuries, was back at his bulky best. His gym work is paying off because his female fitness trainer pushes him hard. She can actually lift heavier weights than him and he just loves to watch her snatch and jerk. Second half over and now the game s really on.
The pre third half second half-time team talk from both coaches must have been similar. ‘There’s no way I’m going to lose to those bunch of young (old) pups (dogs) so get out there and take them by the balls (prolapses), get in their face (lift) and put it hard (soft) up them.’
The intensity stepped up and the Bangers really began to exert themselves. The 20 metre rule was almost breached on a couple of occasions and tempers flared as Inspect Her Bush kneeled to pray at the side of a ruck. As the Southerners felt the Bangers heat (well…..glow) they finally broke after a good rucking stretched their flanks and Tom spotted young Josh free on the wing. Gathering an awkward pass and in one flowing movement unleashed an exocet like pass 20 metres to give Josh an easy run in. The Southerners kept coming (lucky gits) and the game reached its climax with another totally forgettable try by somebody. Game over and a draw was indeed a fair result.
Post match court saw Bangers and Southerners dish out their respective fines. Paul Bawden was Banger player of the day and some young pup Southerner player of the day. Dog of the day went to Inspect Her Bush for praying on a Southerner. Mike accepted his handbag with glee, as it is a much sought after Kiwi war charm and he didn’t have that particular colour in his collection. Quote of the day came from Jim ‘Killer’ Carroll……
"I suppose you all noticed last Sunday that when I was in for the Bangers, the Southerners could not get past their own 22". He forgot to add "……. for laughing".
A good day’s rugby so let’s do it all again soon.