14 May 2018 / Team News

Cae edged out in incredible final!

Cae edged out in incredible final!

Caerleon 22-19 Cae 

Our first ever game against Caerleon and if this game is anything to go by let’s hope there are a few more in the future.
At the start of this season who would have thought we’d reach our first ever final?  So much has changed since September: Charlie isn’t my height anymore, Frankfurt locals now do a dance called the “Lewis Williams” on Saturday nights and a band of brothers (and sister) in green shirts have become a team that a touring all black side would hesitate to take on.

First half:  Caerleon 10-12 Cae

Conditions were perfect at the CCB centre for sporting excellence (what an appropriate name for a venue hosting a game like this) the sun was out, there was a packed crowd wearing green (well, Caerleon are the same colour) and Dan was being entertained by his mother...
Suddenly the boys were all wearing white to avoid the colour clash and the game was afoot. Jess set the tone for the game with a charging run and that seemed to lift the players as one and all set about the game with the vigour of a side that had been promised a new battle pack on fortnight if victory was secured.
Charlie, who had only been back in the country for a few hours, took the ball in his own half and galloped down the wing, beating half the Caerleon team, a remarkable try. Surely there wouldn’t be a better one scored today? Then again...
Tom converted with his usual studied elegance, he has the left foot of a genius, Kevin Sheedy and Diego Maradona would blush at his lefty skills...
Caerleon are a very strong team and they hit back after dominating us at scrum time to get us on the back foot.
Now, about me saying there wouldn’t be a better try....Little Ry who had quietly gone about his game of searing runs and crunching last ditch tackles now decided to bring a bit of ballet to proceedings, he jinked one way and then another and then another and then other and then cut back inside before hot stepping outside before swerving one way and then another and then casually finding himself over the line to score..Nijinsky eat your heat out.
The half closed with another try from Caerleon, annoyingly it looked like they weren’t prepared to go away...

Second half: Caerleon 22-19 Cae

Cae piled on the pressure at the start of this half and wave after wave of attacks saw us go close time and time again, finally after a string of penalties, a short pass saw Charlie ten yards out with five Caerleon defenders ahead of him, a moment later five defenders were on the seat of their pants and Charlie had smashed over for his second try.
Tom duly converted and we were 19-10 ahead with ten minutes to go.
All credit to Caerleon, they came right back at us and as the pressure increased so did our penalty count as we desperately defended our line, eventually the pressure told and they scored to close the gap.
From the kick off we knocked on and their dominant scrum saw them on the front foot again, phew a knock on..but no, the ref has missed it and the attack carries on, again the pressure tells and they score a converted try to edge ahead with only two minutes left.
Now, as usual, this is where the little green ones showed their mettle... a pin point kick off saw them knock on and we had a scrum in their half, this time we drove them back and had front foot ball. 
Caerleon desperately defended their line, they are a very pragmatic team, Tommy L is tripped as he is going through as Caerleon battle hard to keep us out, a penalty to us and a line out five metres out with time up. 
From the line out there is another penalty and as we are in the opposition 22, we could kick and level the game for a share of the trophy, no shame in that, but no, these boys play the game in the right way and kicked to touch again, it’s only the outright win we are after.
We get the ball back and put it through the hands but a knock on and it’s all over...Caerleon win.

So, the bar has been set pretty high now, this team of green clad warriors are a pretty special bunch. What will next season bring? Who knows...but if it  is anything like this one it’s going to be another rollercoaster journey, from all of us at match reporting national headquarters, have a great summer and we will see you on the other side...

Finally, to sign off, we heard it so often today, let’s hear it one more time, all after me...”United OOO!”

Player of the Match

Was Jess, who set the tone in this final with a charging run and didn’t stop after that, she is an absolute battler and always gives  her best, this is a much deserved accolade for such a committed team player.

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