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Gibraltar Rugby Club vs San Jeronimo

Gibraltar Rugby Club vs. San Jeronimo It was a crisp clear day sun shining bright with a cool wind blowing across the Guadiaro pitch in Pueblo Nuevo that saw the two teams at the top of the league square off against each other. Suspense was high in the two teams as they warmed up as there were no doubts that the match to follow would be an extremely physical one.

From the kick off San Jeronimo dominated the possession keeping the Gibraltar team in their own half of the field for majority of the half. Gibraltar took the pressure well and defended the sanctity of their try line like Spartans. The Gibraltar forwards held back wave after wave of attack from those of San Jeronimo and maintained pressure at the rucks turning over any slow ball and in turn attacking the San Jeronimo line brutally. The Gibraltar backline did an amazing job of shutting down any moves attempted by their opposing numbers and centre combination of Joey Garcia, with his characteristically surgical running, and Ross Eatwell, and his nifty boot, gave the supporters something to shout about in reply.

After 20 minutes, the brutality of the match became evident with John Bassadone picking up a foot injury and Joey Holiday gaining a stomping to the back of his head. With a bit of tape John soldiered on but Joey Holiday had to spend some time in the blood bin. 5 minutes later the San Jeronimo team put a man through on the wing and crossed the line for a try. However this was disallowed, the match referee’s keen eye picking up that the touch judge had surprisingly missed the San Jeronimo player stepping in to touch.

Despite a sterling effort in defence which was not aided by playing into the wind hampering the ability to clear the ball the John Smiths Gibraltar rugby team sponsored by Peninsula Petroleum were unable to keep San Jeronimo out of the try area and a Peter o’File did manage to put some point up for San Jeronimo in the form of a converted try in the 35th minute. The Gibraltar team did not let this get them down though and replied with the forwards smashing the ball into oppositions half straight from the kick off. Some tricky hands from the backline saw Chris Gillighan at fullback out pace the San Jeronimo backs to dot the ball down in the corner. With a difficult kick into the wind the conversion attempt sailed wide concluding the first half with a score of 7-5 to the visiting team.

The second half saw the tables turn with the home team holding more possession and playing with the wind which aided in keeping the ball in oppositions half. Soon into the half the educated boot of Chris Gillighan put the john Smiths Gibraltar rugby club sponsored by Peninsula Petroleum ahead with a penalty bringing the score 8-7. Despite the defensive efforts of the San Jeronimo team the Gibraltar team found themselves on the opposing teams try line driving hard for a try. In a spectacular American football style move Ross Eatwell super manned over the defence to get over the try line. Sadly, and contradictory to the rumour that Africans have sticky fingers, the ball was lost forward in his nose dive landing.

With the half drawing to a close the San Jeronimo team tried to hit back and came close to drawing ahead however a penalty in Gib’s half saw the Gibraltar team run the ball up the field. Winger Julian Leigh doing most of the work up the right side of the field, chipping it ahead just outside the try line he was held back by a San Jeronimo defender, the ref however allowed play to continue giving the john Smiths Gibraltar team sponsored by Peninsula Petroleum the advantage needed for John Dibb to get the try in the corner. Chris converted the try and the win went to Gibraltar with a final score of 15-7.

This brutal game saw some brilliant scrumming from the Gibraltar team with the wily hooking of Kevin Boulton (no relation to Michael) often stealing the ball from the opposing hooker. A strong front row of Rob Uphill, Kevin Boulton and Nick Ramagge also enabled the Gibraltar pack to shove the opposition pack right off the ball when the San Jeronimo hooker did manage to keep the ball. Precision jumping by locks John Bassadone and Joey Holiday also allowed the Gibraltar team to dominate in the lineout’s. The loose forwards Chris Lyons, Gary Evans, Owain Richards and Chad Thomson did a fantastic job in defence making some skull rattling tackles, getting to the breakdowns early and smashing the ball up in attack with the gusto that they so often show.

Despite ball that was at times very difficult James Russo did a solid job at scrum half providing Paul Howard at fly half with the ball he needed to bring the backline into play. Despite pressure which was not altogether legal at the best of times Paul kept his head and set up a number of backline moves that had the opposition on their back foot.

Gibraltar RFC did a stand up job of keeping their heads in a physical match against an opposition of reasonable skill and sadly a propensity for dangerous and violent play. In spite of this we hold our heads high in victory.

On Sunday 23rd of November sees John Smiths Gibraltar Rugby Club sponsored by Peninsula Petroleum play Marbella Rugby Club away in Marbella.

And on Thursday 27th November sees players from Gibraltar rugby club playing for Pillars of Hercules. Which will be traveling to New York to participate in their 50th Annual New York 7’s on the 29th November.

John Smiths Gibraltar squad sponsored Peninsula Petroleum: Rob Uphill, Kevin Boulton, Nick Ramagge, Chad Thomson, Joey Holiday, John Bassadone, Gary Evans, Chris Lyons, Owain Richards, James Russo, Paul Howard, Julian Leigh, Joey Garcia, John Dibb, Nick Muller, Ross Eatwell, Chris Gillighan,

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