Island Air flying high in Division 1

| 17/07/2013

(CRFU): Round 2 of the KRyS GLOBAL Summer Mixed Touch Rugby League gave teams a chance to continue the job of blowing away the cobwebs from a rugby-less winter, finding their mojo, and then reaching for the stars on the path to glory. DIVISION 1: Island Air won their second successive game in the top flight with a convincing 6-2 win over Maples2. It took a while for the game to really take-off but with this bunch of flying aces Island Air could really hit the stratosphere. An early score from Maples2’s Marc Randall was off set by a breakout from Marcus Cumber who gave it full throttle to break the sound barrier and crack the Maples2 defence wide open.

Ashley Waters served up a first class performance and with her two try haul and she showed that she has the wings to beat even the fastest opposition. Neal Ainscow, looking like a dashing RAF fighter, stiff of upper lip and upright in gait, began to carry out daring raids into enemy territory. After several sorties deep into the heart of the opposition he eventually broke through enemy lines and scored a try to create daylight on the scoreboard. Maples2’s Justin Colgan got one back but it was too little too late. Brandon Smith, the waspish little terrier, was always a threat with ball in hand and scored as did Cumber who got his second. The win leaves Island air flying high in this Division.

SteppingStones put together an emphatic performance to beat Harmonic 7-1. It was controlled, accurate and for the large part clinical. Like a snow ball rolling downhill, admittedly not that common in these parts, they started slowly but once they got going they became an unstoppable force that ended with an avalanche of tries. Harmonic looked lively in the early exchanges and it was Brad Cowdroy who caught the eye with a fine try, splitting the defence with a classic dummy pass and burst through a gap.

This guy has a fine pedigree in Cayman Rugby but this was by no means an “old dog, new tricks” scenario more like an “old dog, old tricks” type of thing. A few minutes later he was through a gap again with a similar move but he was too far out and was easily run down. Rob Aspinall put in a fine diving touch to save a certain try but such is the relentlessness of the ‘Stones attack that it was only a matter of time before they broke through. Squandering a few clear cut chances they butchered both a literal and metaphorically massive overlap in the shape of Steve Henshaw who was standing totally unmarked on several occasions. It was the increasingly effective Morgan Shelver who eventually did the damage with what is becoming a customary quick pick-and-go from dummy half. He set up several tries and the main beneficiary was Scott McCarty whose hat-trick of tries at regular intervals broke the spirit of Harmonic.

When Maples1 lined up against Genesis Five Nations the crowd could be forgiven for wallowing in a wave of nostalgia for great times gone by. These two, like an Eighties Revival Show with bands like Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet, may look a bit creaky around the edges and that their best days are behind them but they sure know how to put on a performance. Like a guilty pleasure, sometimes we just like to rock back and watch some good old fashioned touch rugby. They have fought many a final over the years and the rivalry is deep and strong. You might think that they’re living off past glories as there are new teams in town, firm of fetlock and with the cockiness of youth. But think againbecause, like Messrs. Le Bon, Taylor, Taylor, Taylor, Hadley, Kemp, Kemp and Norman, class is permanent.

They may have substituted some original members for young blood but the hits are the same. I doubt whether Maples1’s Marty Livingston has ever been compared to the slightly off-key Le Bon before but he still runs the show. When he’s on the pitch things happen for Maples1. In combination with players like Mike McGrath and Scott MacDonald their moves have a fluidity of passing that rolls back the years. The combinations Maples1 put together were breathtaking at times and there was no better example than the try of Joan Murphy with the ball going through six pair of hands before she ran in for the score.

Genesis Five Nations may soon be eligible for their touch rugby pensions but they have gained a wisdom and enlightenment about the art of this simple game. Less is more. Theirs is an ascetic game plan, puritanical if you will. No fuss, no frills, just solid, well-drilled touch rugby. Every player understands their roles and even when found out of position they do not panic and inevitably do the right thing at the right time. Dan Andersen put in a real shift on the wing and found himself in space several times. Putting his body on the line he careered down the flanks as fast as his groaning knees would carry him and still had the presence of mind to find support when he needed it. In newbie Chris Brussow they have unearthed a real South African diamond. His three tries earned him the MVP award and his pace and trickery will be the beating of many a good defence this year.

And so it was fitting that the honours were even, a 5-5 draw the fair result in the end. Both teams will trouble anyone in this league so to write them off would be dangerous. Like an old warrior with one last fight in them both these teams can deliver a lethal blow and will certainly have a say in the outcome of this Division.

DIVISION 2
When asked to solve the conundrum “Village blank” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Village Fete? Village People? Village Idiot? Well there’s a new team to touch rugby that puts a new epithet to that name. Step forward the Village Greenies.

A side put together from the cricket team of the same name, this is a tight unit and it shows on the pitch. Backing each other up on plays both physically and verbally, they put in a convincing 6-1 win over Deloitte. MVP Nick Quin was outstanding with his two-try haul and Dicky Sawle-Thomas and Marc Randall weighed in with tries too. The opening try was a belter from Rhian Minty – the first crack in the dam-like defence of Deloitte.  It would be fair to say that Minty is not famous for scoring although all would agree she puts in the effort. So this try will be celebrated in the streets of Pontypridd, Aberystwyth, Haverfordwest and Llandudno just like her last one in 2011.

It foreshadowed a good week for all things Welsh as not only did a large number of their players prove pivotal in the British and Irish Lions series win down in Australia but also Mrs. Myfanwy Davies-Jones of Prestatyn won the UK’s Largest Leek competition with an eye-watering 12” beauty.

PwC had their first run out with a nice win Rick Pooley and Iain Robertson doing the damage, ably supported by a cast of characters including Delphi Scheepers, Jonny Lewis and Rebecca Palmer.

The best try of the day was scored by Travel Pros Ticklers’ Kevin Ashworth in their 2-1 win over DART. Intercepting the ball 40 metres out he pegged his ears back and began scuttling for the line. Eating up the ground behind him were two gargantuan DART defenders. It looked all odds-on that Ashworth would be touched just a few metres from the try-line. He then performed a manoeuvre that can only be described in superlatives. Doubters in the crowd may believe that he just fell over but I am firmly of the opinion that the dive/fall 5 metres from the try-line was perfectly timed so that ashe hit the deck his pursuers could do little more than overrun him missing the important touch as he fell. He then rolled across the turf as if a giant cheese had been launched down a hill until he ended up with ball in hand over the whitewash to touchdown for a decisive score.

Amazing. In all my years of sports journalism I have never seen such a well-planned and well-executed play. Anyone hereafter seen doing a dive-roll-score combination will be cited as “doing an Ashworth”!

Last season Broadhurst were the darlings of catwalk, the Versace, Louis Vitton, and Dolce & Gabbana of touch rugby. They brought a sartorial elegance to the game resplendent in purple with purple accessories. This year’s fashion is a much more minimalist approach. Gone are the gawdy mauve headbands. Away with the vermillion sweat bands. This team turns heads not with haute couture but with haute-touch rugby.

Dave Acutt was outstanding (again) with a notable hat-trick and the trio of Scarff, Lewis and Hardcastle also put notches on their scorecard. However, it was the tireless performance of Captain Kate McClymont that got the vote for MVP. Tenacious in the touch she exemplifies the old adage that success is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. No team wins anything without people doing the hard yards and she leads from the front – final score 8-2 to Broadhurst.

KPMG1 recorded their first win of the season with a notable 6-0 victory over Walkers. Paul Ramsbottom was the stand-out player as he sheared through the Walkers defence leaving them to ruminate on what was a poor day at the office.

Division 3
In Division 3, LIME TV gave the rest something to think about with an 8-0 drubbing of BDO. MVP Jonny Hillyard got four tries and was buzzing like a bee around the pitch.
James Waters and Brad Conolly did most of the damage for Ogier in the win over Trident Titans. Titans find themselves in Division 3 this year as they try to develop new talent from the workplace. This was a salutary lesson in the benefits of having great pace in this Division, however I am sure that week on week Trident will improve as they start to learn the game.

Appleby can thank Stuart Geddes for his four try haul to claim all three points against EFG Bank. Gal Anziska and Akil Hutchinson scored for EFG. Desiree Jacob caught the eye with a fine defensive performance that stifled many of EFG’s best moves. Final score Appleby 5 EFG 2.

There was little reward for all the effort put in by DMS as they lost 0-3 to Rawlinson & Hunter. Michael Anderson continued his rehabilitation back into rugby with a fine solo try. Emma Santiago was like a dervish on the pitch with some fine spins and turns and runs to break through the defensive line.

GCM continued their perfect start to the season with a 6-2 win over Ernst & Young, Shane Delaney and Niall O’Sullivan, two strapping Irish fellows doing the bulk of the damage. Queensgate Grizz’s Old Fellas had to default in their game against KPMG2 handed them the three points for the win.

 

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