Observing The Preponderance Of Vennards On Display, It’s Fairly Obvious Who’s Not Getting To Eat All The Pies.
It's always nice to arrive at an away fixture to be greeted by the words "we've only got eleven and no referee, best we call it off". Fortunately, some gentle negotiation, persuasion and downright lying encouraged Rugby St. Andrews RFC IIIs to take the field against the mighty, well we did have sixteen Broadstreet IVs, the Badgers. Having told them we had fourteen and would supply a ref out of that we had a game. Realising they might spot we actually had fifteen as we took the field, we loaned them a very sporting Joe Dimarco and feeling suitably strengthened Rugby St Andrews began to warm up writes John Warne.
A lively contest, the extra room available on the pitch encouraged a free flowing game of end-to-end rugby - far too much for the majority of the senior players on display. Dave Winterburn was a live wire at Scrum Half, chirping away all game like a Minor bird with Torrets - he harassed both his own team and the opposition alike, taking control and acting as the conduit to the free flowing Backs.
The Badgers were suitably honoured by the presence of celebrities in the form of the '90s pop duo PJ and Duncan. Appearing smaller in real life, they both made a real impact on the game and certainly several of the opposition appeared star struck.
Ben Dalton and Will Vennard both volunteered to combine with stalwart Dean Pointon to make up the Front Row and did admirably. The venerable father Bill Vennard was in the Second Row with Will 'Danny' Boyle, supported by Craig ‘Fozzy’ Foster and Simon Skene in the Back Row. Together this Pack of seven held the might of the considerably heavier, if one man fewer, Rugby St Andrews Pack.
Early in the first half, Fozzy's groin finally wore out and he was only able to partake of the game as it approached him, but still the boys did good. Some nice interchange play, some good off the ball running as well as a good amount of rucking and mauling saw 'Street reach half time comfortably ahead.
Changing Dimarco for Boyle saw a resurgence in the Rugby St Andrews performance, and a drop off of the 'Street's intensity and focus. Fortunately, for the Badgers the 'Street's youth policy does not filter this far down and we were able to fall back on the experience of Gaz 'Mr Eternal Youth' Watts and Steve ‘Stay Strong’ Allen to steady the ship. A shining example of how to slow the game down was exhibited allowing ‘Street to reclaim some initiative and finish off the challenge of Rugby St Andrews.
Andy Vennard played a fine game at Full Back, kicking numerous goals and looking far too young for this side. Making up a triumvirate of Vennards, some questions must surely be asked in this house of who dishes out the portions because Andy is clearly not getting his fair share...
Tribute to Dave Cummins who volunteered to ref the game, without whom none of these joys would have been possible. Well done Cumbo.