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Touch Rugby: London Gib succumb to yet another defeat.

Game played: 5th MArch 2006

The start to the day was promising, clear blue skies and a full team i.e. six players. What was surprising was to turn up at the station to hear that we in fact were going to have two subs, so desperately needed since our two previous games had depended on all of our unhealthy players being able to hold out for the 40 minutes.

It was great to see a couple of new faces down including two of Mark Lafferty’s friends who had hailed all the way from St Albans. One of these being our stand in coach and the other proving to be a very apt player, unlike the rest of us. Another volunteer was Andy Samm a regular player for his club in Cambridge at the 15s game but useless at touch rugby, not surprising since his only skill at playing the game is to cheat.

A certain amount of surprise was registered on a lot of faces, when a ball was seen being passed around, before the start of the match. The day having now registered two amazing events: a full squad with reserves and a warm up? Perhaps of more significance was the arrival of another Gibraltarian Justin Phillips, whose locks of hair made most guys do a double take. He was however, to be one of the main protagonists in the match. His first attempt at a game of touch seemed to be sapping every bit of his life as the 1st minute elapsed. This was a bad omen and the Gibraltarian soon found himself taking over Philip Valarino’s previous week’s endeavour of revealing last night’s dinner to a horrified crowd. Luckily enough the subs were quickly on to relieve Justin, however, Justin did make it back on and began to show an understanding of the game.

The game was marred with school boy errors, especially on the part of Robert Azopardi who deemed it necessary to make passes into spaces where there was no one to pass too. This coupled with the lack of penetrating runs contributed to London Gib being pegged to their try line, conceding tries with no reply.

There were moments of skill and flare but they were certainly not on London Gibraltar’s side. London Gib, however, continued with their attacking runs in an attempt to split the Flying Foxes who, at this stage, were certainly flying.

Funnily enough Rob Azopardi had been giving instructions before the game to ensure that no one was taking the ball in as the dummy half, which in touch rugby rules means that you lose possession. He instead decided to make two dives as dummy half over the line, rejoicing in getting the ball over, however being denied, on both occasions for not having passed the ball first. This, of course, being a crime which could only be punishable by death or downing a pint of Gibraltar’s best, a pint of snakebite.

As the game progressed, London Gib continued to improve and apply pressure on the Foxes defence. One particular effort came from a Tommy Norton drive, which saw him pirouette a la Flamenco style a metre in front of the line, only to be denied by a touch on his forehead giving all in view a real feel for Iberian flare.

Philip, Nick and Mark were all solid in defence and the back line was showing fewer signs of weakness. All of these making valuable yardage, with their use of the 6 tackles. Mark's silver boots however, did little to dazzle his opponents as did Nick's go faster blue boots, as for Philip's £10 pair of go slower boots, well....enough said. The game was finished on a high when the Foxes try line was in reach, only to be denied by the final blower.

The final score being 5-0 to the Flying Foxes who are now joint first in the league. London Gibraltar hope to meet slightly weaker opposition in order to give us the opportunity to break our duck and look good, both of these being highly unlikely.

It was a great day especially to see six Gibraltarians on the field at the same time, provided with invaluable support by London Gib’s two English players.

Perhaps London Gib could do better in the pub this week and so it appeared to be with drinking games and other misdemeanours revolving around the consumption of Gibraltar’s national drink, Lo Snakebites. The drinks flowed and unlike the rugby, headaches would resound in the office tomorrow. Pictured: Justin Phillips-->

Next week sees London Gibraltar vs SOAS WARRIORS at 13:20 Field 2, meet at 12:20 at Putney Bridge. SOAS being the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Team P W L D F A D B Pts
Flying Foxes 4 3 1 0 16 7 9 0 13
3 KG Legends 4 3 1 0 18 13 5 0 13
Caister RFC 4 3 1 0 13 9 4 0 13
3 KG Raynes Park 4 2 2 0 15 9 6 0 10
sharks 4 2 2 0 15 10 5 0 10
Rumpled foreskins 4 2 2 0 13 11 2 0 10
SOAS WARRIORS 4 1 3 0 7 21 -14 0 7
London Gibraltar 4 0 4 0 1 18 -17 0 4

Image: Left to right; Andy Samm, Justin Phillips, Philip Valarino, Mark Lafferty and friend, Nick Navas, Tommy Norton and Robert Azopardi

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  1. said...

    Good to see you guys enjoying the touch! What league is it you play in?

  2. Anonymous said...

    We played in the Putney London Winter league although that is now over. Unfortunately ourboyscouldnt commit to playing in the afternoons, on weekdays so we have had to opt out of the summer league.

    What's your interest?

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