The first friendly of the season saw the Roundheads motoring down the M62 for a game with the Coventry Corsairs. Both teams held a minutes silence for 9/11, remembering those lost to terrorism.
The Corsairs, in black and blue, stood staring down the lads from Hull like the skulls on their kit. The Roundheads, in shining yellow, prepared themselves for the match: quiet and contemplative.
Ships getting into position, the Roundheads set up to receive the ball, their colours flying high and proud. Like cannon fire, the ball shot from the Corsairs kick into the Roundhead ranks. A flurry of movement, an explosion of legs and long strides as Lloyd swept the up the pitch, dodging the defenders to score. With slightly less pace, the kicking tee was delivered to Mitch for the conversion…and it looks like the Roundheads brought a cannon of their own.
Corsairs reload. Roundheads reset. The ball flies high once more, dropping again amidst the forwards. The summer training showed as like a fleet at sea, a formation of forwards flew down the pitch. Support and options were there for every ball carrier. The Corsairs confusion showed in their hesitation, where were they supposed to commit? Steven an Ian exploiting their uncertainty, breaking through and scoring. Both boys finally gaining what they had fought so hard for.
Fast as the tries seemed to be coming, the Corsairs were fighting ferociously for every ball. Size was on their side, and they made the most of their forward pack. Due to support, due to the dedication of each player, due to the determination to play proudly: the Roundheads could cope, assess and respond to such a strategy. The game turned and whilst the forwards were invaluable in their efforts, taking tackles, striving to support; it was time for the backs to shine. Nath ducked and dived the defending Corsairs in blue and black to score, quickly followed by Nathan, in his match debut, who led a charge to steal more points from the home team.
It was a close call for Man of the Match, between Polly and Adam. Both players with pace, (fast for forwards) and brawn to back it up. Neither scoring a try in the game, but upholding the rugby tradition of finding joy in contributing to the win as a team. Every Roundhead proved his worth that day in Coventry.
The Corsairs conceded the game at half time, before turning shirts inside out and mixing in with the Roundhead ranks. We would be hard pressed to name a more welcoming team. Looking at the smiles on players’ faces when the game was over, you would not know who lost and who won. The Corsairs courage to keep playing, their resilience, their struggle and opposition are admirable. Friendlies are about finding friends and the Roundheads feel they have. A beautiful game of rugby was played, and the players pride in themselves, in their teams and in their oppositions was extremely well earned.
The same day was also the day of our Touch Team’s first outing of the season, and though unsure and tentative to start, the players soon found their footing. Each team member making tackles, making passes, making perfect use of the space. Try after try was hard earned, but triumphantly achieved, with the game finishing 6-10. Every player using the skills practised at training and using them well.
Gemma was named MVP for her phenomenal performance on the pitch. Her confidence and skill shone through and the honour was merited. A brilliant first game for everyone involved.