Rovers 19 – 50 Bedok
YCK Saturday 23rd Nov 2019
A game of two halves
Rovers vs Bedok 3rds
23 November 2019
With limited prep time Rovers started the defence of their 2019 Bowl Title against a tried and tested Bedok 3rds outfit.
Striking a healthy balance between Old Age & Treachery and Youth & Energy an almost scratch team of returning Rovers, a smattering of vets (aka old ruggers whose wives tell them they should know better) and a healthy contingent of newly minted Wanderers, strapped on the boots, taped up the body parts and took to the field against a side that, if the rumours be true, had been training together for six weeks.
Special mention to Tiago who threw caution to the wind and disregarding all sensible advice, strapped on the boots, played a cracking game and retuned unscathed to his wife just in time for her surprise 40th birthday party: fortunately the surprise wasn’t a phone call to Filipa: ‘Er, sorry! I think we broke Tiago and he might be a tad late! He’s currently in….’
1st Half: A Strong Start…
Rovers got out of the gate quickly matching a more experienced Bedok outfit both in attach and defence and were looking very good. The Rovers backs, following the time tested tradition of “she’ll be right on the day” and after in some cases first introductions 30 minutes before kick-off, gelled and looked very dangerous as their patterns started to emerge.
Rovers pounded the Bedok defensive line with effective pod structures and strong ruck clearances, providing quick ball to release the back in attack. Rovers didn’t capitalise on possession and field position and a couple of turn overs in attacking position saw Bedok work the ball down the field and after a sustained period of pressure score the first try which was duly converted.
7-0 to Bedok
First blood to Bedok spurred the Rovers forwards to crank up the pressure with some storming carries, with Kenny yapping at their heels like a demented cattle dog, they maintained possession, provided quality ball, and our backs started to carve up the opposition with some scintillating runs from Fluffy, Ali and Rauf. Rovers worked their way down the paddock culminating in a try to Ifran “battering ram” Qureshi. Unfortunately the conversion was unsuccessful.
With the game opening up, defence and ball retention played a huge part in swinging the momentum to Rovers. The reward: a brace of tries scored in quick succession by Fluffy and Ralph. Both of which were duly converted. Rovers were in the ascendancy.
In imminent danger of going down another score, Bedok brought the biff and an off the ball incident saw Fluffy, after having skinned his opposite number for the 5th time, taken out for the remainder of the game through an ‘errant’ swinging arm. Big Tommy was heard of the sidelines muttering: “if you want old school I’ll show you old school… and you bastards won’t see it coming…”
A momentary lapse of concentration in the last five minutes saw Rovers concede two break down penalties in a row, allowing Bedok to work the ball into our red zone with a long kick for touch. In the ensuing line out on our five meter line, a well worked move produced a try for Bedok which they were unable to convert.
The scores were level after forty minutes of some high quality rugby and Rovers went into the break with confidence and all to play for in the 2nd half.
Half time: 19 All
2nd Half: Fate Made Other Plans…
Bedok had figured out at half time they weren’t going to beat us on the outside and started running their big centres straight over us. With this change in tactics, some strong line breaks saw Bedok scoring two tries, one converted before the 2nd Half water break.
Taking advantage of the rolling subs, tired legs were given a break with fresh legs introduced to step the pressure up on Bedok. Giving Sean Lim a rest at #8, super sub Saiful took the field, fresh off a win with the Gents, with fire in his eyes, legs pumping, he started to run through the opposition at will, the momentum was starting to turn our way until a particularly egregious head high tackle saw Saiful sidelined for the remainder of the game. Rovers were unfortunately not able to capitalise on the resulting yellow card to Bedok.
At the water break Fender rallied the troops, we were still in with a chance but needed the the next score to turn the momentum. Sadly this was not to be. With their tails up, some defensive lapses and a number of breakdown penalties, Bedok were able to run in another 3 un-answered tries, converting two of them.
Full Time: 50-19 Bedok
Best and Fairest
3 points to Irfan
2 points to Faris
1 point to Fluffy
In the grand scheme of the cosmos, Rovers played some great rugby and looked the better of the sides with ball in hand. Crispy and I know we have a talented group of players and a strong foundation to build from. That being said in the true tradition of Rovers, there are players in the squad who will definitely be pushing for spots in Gents and Prems sooner rather than later.
Congrats to the following for their 1st Game for Wanderers / Rovers