A solid win
By Dan Jenner
A one man side show
As a new day dawns (Sunday) in the Gaffer, sits pondering life, the universe and everything and contrary to popular opinion does NOT arrive at the standard 42, it’s far more important than that. It’s the realisation that ‘Karma’s a bitch’ and it will bite you on the arse given half the chance..... but more of that later.
After a few unforced cry-offs The Mavs arrived at the temporary for the day home ground at Belvedere Road our ‘hosts’ Oldershaw out on the pitch warming up, as we were arriving bleary eyed anticipating the battle to come. At the start of the day Oldershaw were one place above us in the league sitting confidently in 3rd with The Mavs propping them up in 4th. A squad of 18 arrived in buoyant mood with another great mix of youth and experience to challenge our hosts. A welcome return to Nev, back for a start on the bench, the immense front row of Tyler Brookes , Eddie Brown and Joe Thomas promised to make it a torrid day in the front row for anyone going tête-à-tête with them. The massive second row presence of Stocky promised to provide some real ‘punch’ and another welcome return in the rather large shape of Chris Wildman into the other second row berth. Once again a mobile back row of Christian, Steve Hearn and Matt Thornton had the potential to tear and team apart.
Into the backs and with the ever youthful Neil Brooks feeding the ‘mercurial’ Andy Thompson there was always going to be opportunities in the backs. The blossoming centre partnership of Captain Fantastic and Sam ‘Cotty’ Cotgrave was temporarily suspended this week as Dan Jenner started in the back line and a tackle fest was in the cards.
The simpleh Marvellous !!!! back three of Chris McIvor, Sam ‘Cotty’ Cotgrave and Dion Elwell provided real gas where it counted.
Oldershaw provided a real positive start to the day and thanks to them for the kit swop as the colour clash was identified by the ref early on as a cause for concern. Oldershaw changed into their yellow kit and the game commenced.
Once again the Gaffers account of the minute by minute breakdown of the game doesn’t do justice to what occurred as he gets far too excited at times to keep a rational handle on proceedings.
Once again pre-match fears were smashed on the rocks of The Mavs defensive line with the Oldershaw pack getting repeatedly knocked back and the dominance of the Maverick pack was showing through.
The first try came from the indomitable Stocky crashing over from close range and another successful conversion from Mr reliable Andy T.
Oldershaw were struggling to get a foothold in the pack early on and we’re forced to rely upon their excellent kicker who converted the next two penalties to bring the score to 7-6.
The Mavs continues to apply pressure through their pack and were completely dominating the scrums and on several occasions the Oldershaw front and second row were forced to break binds and pop up . Fortunately for Oldershaw the referee appeared a little ‘unsure’ of how to police forward play and allowed these many infringements to go un-penalised. His grasp of Ruck’s and mauls was little better and as a result some great play from Christian Elwell, Steve Hearn and Andy Smith in the ‘jackal’ role went unrewarded and even penalised. Despite the frustration the forwards still dominated and a further two converted tries came from Steve Hearn and a second from Stocky.
A constant irritation to the days activities was the Oldershaw full back who’s main function of the day appeared to be as the wind-up operative. Persistently trying to wind up, challenge and generally extract the urine out of both The Mavericks team and supporters on the touchline. Banter is one thing but this was way out of line. The purpose of this little prelude was as an introduction to the moment of the day . With the score at 24-23 to The Mavs the pill is kicked through to the full back who gathers and is chased down by Dion ‘the wheels’ Elwell, full back decides to showboat and starts to challenge Dion. The full back doesn’t realise he is completely out skilled and out paced by our Shane Williams-esque welsh fly boy and Dion proceeds to duck underneath steal the ball and run 10 meters and with the most eloquent of dives scored under the post. A real karma moment and one of my personal moments of the season. The testy fullback was immediately substituted by the Oldershaw coaches and was never seen again as he made a hasty exit which was disappointing as he missed the awards ceremony in the clubhouse after the game where he was awarded the Oldershaw ‘Dick of the Day’ award. Moral of the story being ......
“If you’re going to take the Mick make sure you have the cajonas to back it up.......”
Significant moments of the day included the Dan’s tackle..... always a great conversation starter. Lined up his opposition perfectly, hit him and sent him back 10 yards. Text book stuff. Once again special mention to the immense second row partnership . Chris Wildman, winning ball in the lineout, powering the engine room, hitting rucks and tackling well, it was a real pleasure having you back with us. Stocky with two typically stocky tries and constant front foot attack proved the difference between the two packs and was constantly causing havoc. But this weeks man of the match was the sniper Neil Brookes who, although not on the try list, was consistent in both attack and defence with quick ball to a waiting back line and always thinking when the calls were made. Immense in defence and a constant threat on the attack.
As we approach the final games of the season the Gaffer starts to take stock of the season for the end of season report. One of the constants that was visible today was the spirit and determination of the team to play the best possible rugby they are capable of, to enjoy it and to welcome everyone into the team. We take great pride in both The Maverick name and in the notion of ‘Social Rugby’ . Here’s to many more to come .
Semel a Mavericus, Semper a Mavericus