Wild Stallions start excellent touch adventure

| 23/07/2014

(CTA): The first round of the Miller Lite Men’s Touch League started with a high octane round of games at the Camana Bay field. The four teams (Stallions, Raptors, Samurais and Wolverines) may sound like made-up street gangs that never made the final edit of “West Side Story” but make no mistake – these guys mean business and can cut through any defence like a switchblade between the ribs. It was a good night for the STALLIONS, captained by Ian Smith, who started their campaign with two wins out of two. In their first gamethey took on and defeated the RAPTORS 5-4.

The tries were spread around the team with one a-piece for Nic Swartz, Ian Smith, Jason Scarff, Kent Pearce, and Shaun Hardcastle. The STALLIONS are a mix of experience and novice and Smith was particularly pleased with his newbies contributions. Whilst one knows what you get from those who have lived and loved in the Touch sporting arena it is the performances those who are treading on virgin territory that are often the most pleasing.

Nathan Stubing played well and should have scored with his first touch of the ball only to put it down just shy of the try-line. No score – a tough start but a valuable lesson. In this league there are no soft decisions for inexperience. Kent Pearce, another newbie, never stopped running all night. Like a cross between the Duracell Bunny and a kitten chasing a laser-pointer he hunted the ball down all over the pitch. At one point he collided into teammate Swartz with the equivalent of a “Glaswegian Kiss” and had to leave the field seeing stars. It was a tough night too for Smith who, whilst diving to score his try past the despairing lunge of Riley Mullen, popped his shoulder on landing and the dislocation was there for all to see. Smith however, like a biscuit that has been left in the tin too long, is a tough cookie and played on in spite of the pain.

The RAPTORS kept the game alive and will be disappointed not to have got something out of the match. Their scores came through the marauding Caledonian hordes of Iain Currie, Scott MacDonald and Robbie True. Ransacking the STALLIONS try-line like dodgy extras from the movie Braveheart, Robbie “So” True delivered two hefty blows, with Currie and MacDonald one each.

The SAMURAIS played out an excellent 3-3 draw with WOLVERINES. The SAMURAIS have a couple of early season injuries, notably to Captain Neal Ainscow, and the fleet-footed Andy Childe but, led by Morgan Shelver they delivered on the day. Charles Moore showed great experience, especially in defence, and with Andrew Barker providing some genuine gas and Tom Berry being strong in the wing position they proved very hard to score against.

For WOLVERINES, the relentless Neil Montgomery led from the front with his signature jack-knifing switch play and coupled with Rudolf Weder and Dave Acutt they were always threatening in attack. These three are more in harmony than The Bee Gees and judging by Acutt’s new beard he sees himself as the Barry Gibb of the trio! Special mention must go to Dave White who showed fantastic hands on the wing to score; and to Dan Fitton who was like an un-circumnavigable colossus on the wing.

In the second round of matches, RAPTORS proved too strong for WOLVERINES with a standout performance by Nick Ebanks. His two tries have announced his entry into the Touch world and other teams better take note that this guy has some serious moves. Riley Mullen added two excellent scores, whilst Marc Randall and Robbie True added one each. Montgomery and Acutt (2) kept WOLVERINES hopeful but ultimately it was a stretch too far losing 6-3.

In the final game STALLIONS edged a tough contest against SAMURAIS 6-5. Jason Scarff was outstanding in defence and also nicked a try. Nathan Stubing scored his first Touch try and Ian Smith, Shaun Hardcastle and Nic Swartz (2) also scored. For SAMURAIS Andrew “Kanye” West put in a real shift scoring three important tries, with Andrew Barker and Morgan Shelver getting the extras.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Awesome sports writing. Really adds to the sport.