2023Mar12 @ NOBs

Playing the Nobs in Seattle is never the easiest game. In the past, wins were very difficult to come by. The last game prior to COVID ended in a 2-2 draw. Our chances of doing well were a bit like the weather, cloudy at best. This is due partly to the 3 hour drive south and their large of NOBs at their home game. Close to 30 Nobs showed up for the game. Our excursion south was delayed by 23 minutes as we were missing some paperwork. Not only that, only 17 players were able to make the trip. Fortunately, Dirk met us in Seattle just as we were about to kick off. Finally, Coach Peewee was also unable to make the trip and would not be our sideline.

We won the toss and kicked off to the NOBs. Due to some quick-thinking and NOB miscues, we were able to recover the ball and marched down the field. Luke made a brilliant 30m run, passed it to Jamie L. who then flipped it to Al just outside the 5m line. Al would not be denied as he bowled over the last defender and touched the ball down for our first try. Our euphoria did not last long as we made miscues of our own. We fumbled the ball at centre field and they scoped it up and ran it in before we knew what had happened. The score was tied 1-1 only after 5 minutes of play. Our defence picked up and we were able to hold them off the scoreboard for the rest of the first quarter.

The second quarter started with Ted carrying the ball in a maul. This tactic allowed us to push them back for 15 m to their 5 m line. At that point the ball was flipped out and Luke had our second try. For the rest of the half, our practice sessions paid off. We were able to control the line outs and take advantage of the rucks by being patient and not forcing the play. Jeke scored his first try off a ruck and picked off an errant pass moments later for his second try. Not to be outdone Luke made another of his brilliant runs from 40 m out for his second try. The half ended when Jeke scored his third try by breaking arm tackles from 50 m out. The score at the half was 6 -1.

The second half was a different story. Maybe it was the long trip south, breakfast at MacDonald’s or the fact that we just had 18 players, but we were unable to score any further tries. The NOBs hemmed us in our own end of the field for most of the third quarter. They kept pounding the ball at us and even made to our 10m on several occasions, but disciplined flat defensive line play led by Al and TJ kept them out of the endzone. A scary moment in the game occurred when Al and TJ both tried to make a crushing tackle and ended up with cuts on their foreheads. It looked like a triage scene from M.AS.H with all that flowing blood. (Commentary from Lukas, trainee athletic trainer — “This is the most blood I’ve seen in all my life playing soccer, and 60mins of working with Rugby”) Even though they held us in our own end for most of the second half, Luke and Jeke were able make a 30 m run each. Unfortunately, they were both caught from behind and couldn’t score. Moose made a play that drew the most cheers. He successfully caught the ball on a kick-off after several unsuccessful attempts.

Half way through the 4th quarter, the NOB’s speeding winger race down the side line toward the promised land. With 10 m to go and his entire team cheering him on, he was sure to score. But, out of nowhere, Rick ran him down and silenced the crowd much to their disappointment. The Nobs never gave up and to their credit they scored 2 quick tries at end of the game. They were going for their fourth try by attempting to catch us off guard by kicking the ball into the corner of the field. Even though the ball was bouncing erratically, Rick calmly secured the ball and punted it our of bounds to end the game. Final score: 6-3.

It was a great trip south made better by coming home with a W. Jeke was named MOM by the Nobs and he handily won the boat race as well. Mark was given the Twit Belt for his stellar play as hooker in the scrum and his play on the line outs. The entire team played well and should be congratulated on their fine effort.

MOM Mark