2004-2005 Match Results
Fort Worth vs. Dallas Harlequins - 3/26/2005
Fort Worth loses to Quins in the bog.
20 - 36
by Rob Smyth
Thanks to everyone who made the trip to Glencoe Park and braved the rain on Saturday, especially our small band of supporters. Your support was greatly appreciated. After some initial scratching around and several team sheet iterations later a strong, if somewhat unorthodox, starting line-up took the field of puddles against the Quins, with no less than 4 subs braving the elements on the sidelines, something of a record this season.
1. Charlie, 2. Lance, 3. Skip, 4. Via, 5. Fuen, 6. Reid, 7. Bots, 8. Me, 9. Shep, 10. Spencer, 11. Quirroga, 12. Rocco, 13. Corry, 14. John, 15. Peacock.
16. Calloway, 17. Adam, 18. Andy, 19. Jay’s mate from Dallas.
Apologies to anyone who feels left out because I didn’t mention them specifically, I can only remember so much and there were too many good things from everyone to remember and recount them all.
Some may say that it is foolish for 5 of your starting 8 forwards to be front row, with yet another waiting eagerly on the bench, but this seemed to have little effect on the packs’ abilities to win ball and dominate their opposite numbers in both the set piece and loose ball situations. It also enabled several reshuffles within the front row, which meant by the end of the game we’d played 3 different hookers and 4 different props.
All in all, the first half went reasonably well with Ft Worth scoring 3 tries, myself, Corry and Fuen. Unfortunately Spencer found that rugby can be a fickle game and kicking off a marker cone when you’re stood in a puddle ain’t as easy as it looks. That’s just the way it goes sometimes, just remember San Antonio!
It very quickly became apparent that the pack had the upper hand. The dominance enjoyed by the pack at set pieces allowed several great driving mauls from lineouts that resulted in a try during the first half. It also gave a solid scrum platform that allowed for good ball for the backs or the No 8, or to steal the Quins ball which we did on several occasions and on one occasion to trample all over the remnants of their scrum as it lay all over the floor.
A glorious team and first try for Corry, showed glimpses of what could have been this year. A series of rucks and mauls produced quick ball that was moved through the hands by the backs, and an interloper from the forwards, sucking in the remaining Quins defenders to allow Corry a diving/sliding score with an extra man still outside.
A scrum 15 meters out from the Quins’ line provided the opportunity for a second try which was duly snapped up by Fuen. A buoyant pack decided that this was an opportunity to leave a mark and set off on an uphill trundle towards the line with Jay shouting directions from the base of the scrum. As the scrum moved within meters of the line Quins decided their only option was to collapse it, ever alert Jay called for a No 8 pick-up, which I duly obliged. Having passed the Quins flanker, thoughts of a second try were shattered when the same flanker somehow managed to tackle me short of the line. From the depths of the second row Fuen appeared, collected the ball, and dived over to score whilst accurately kneeing me in the jaw. Nice job Fuen!
And so came to a close the first half, with Ft Worth trailing by only a few points (4 tries to 3) but still very much in the game. The effects of the surface water took their toll in the second half as the speed of play slowed somewhat from the first and resulted in the majority of the play being between the 22’s. This resulted in only another 3 tries being scored, 2 for Quins and 1 for us.
The lineouts continued to work well and from another near the Quins 22 a 2-ball fade started another marauding maul towards the try line. This would probably led to another score early in the second had it not been stopped in it’s tracks by the merry whistle blower in the middle, some 7 meters short of the line. The eagle-eyed official had seen a certain Ft Worth player, who shall remain nameless – Skip, throwing punches at the back of the maul some meters back from the real maul which had since moved the ball a couple of meters up field. Unfortunately this is where eyesight more usually associated with referees or every game reappeared and despite great protestations of his innocence Bots was sent from the field for a 10 minute rest under the posts. This didn’t seem to phase anyone and despite conceding a number of penalties we managed not to give up any points whilst a man down.
After a series of good if somewhat scrappy ball retention led to what must have been one of the most comical passages of play in the game. Jay passed the ball back to me; unfortunately I was stood motionless behind everyone else in our half. Given the situation I decided that my only option was to kick as high as possible and see what happened next. With strains of Bill McClaren’s “it’s a huge garry owen” drifting across Glencoe, a charge of Ft Worth players aimed at the unfortunate prop who had decided to try and catch the ball. He duly dropped it enabling Rocco to collect the ball and break before being tackled around the 22. Staying calm Rocco lay in a puddle looking for a supporting player to pop the ball to. Enter Big Daddy Burgess with a major head of steam behind him. Charlie took the ball on with a vengeance and at last count broke 8 Quins tackles before be felled just short of the line. This is where the story becomes a little vague; Al “6’5 – 240” Chrisitian maintains that he stood Charlie up short of the line in a try saving feat of strength. Charlie maintains that having broken 8 tackles he tripped over the last and fell at Al’s feet. I’ll leave it to the club to decide which they prefer. And so play continued in and around the Quins’ 22 for a while. A series of attacking thrusts by forwards and backs alike and some good ball retention led to our final try. A rolling maul near the line found “Buck” Calloway walking backwards towards his second try of the season, brushing Quins aside as he went, while fighting Charlie for the ball. The matter was resolved when Buck was tripped and fell backwards in to the try zone allowing Charlie to fall to the ground and score our final try between his legs.
Although the result didn’t go our way it was a great performance by everyone who played with no shortage of commitment or skill. Given the weather some of the ball handling skills and ball retention was great to see. Both forwards and backs looked dangerous in attack and solid in defence, the set pieces and loose play was great, scary considering we don’t practice! I was particularly pleased with the new guys who have recently joined the club. Lance had a great game in 2 different positions, and acted as a great ball carrier always going forward and recycling the ball. Spencer tried yet another position and showed a lot of potential as a fly half, with good kicking, some great runs and good ball handling. Corry showed a lot of skill playing out of position at outside center and well deserved his try. Andy and Adam both managed to get on towards the end and showed the same enthusiasm exhibited playing touch. Many thanks and I hope you’ll stick with us over the summer and next season.
Thanks to everyone who pulled on a jersey this season and to all the people who came out to watch. It’s been a pleasure playing for Ft Worth and being Captain this year.
Fort Worth vs. Woodlands - 1/22/2005
Fort Worth threatens to take the lead at 70 minutes, then Woodlands pulls away with 3 late tries.
13 - 41
by Rob Smyth
Thanks to everyone who made the trip down to Woodlands, especially those who just came to watch and support the 16 of us play!!
Despite the eventual result, 41-13 which fails to reflect the game itself, I think that this was probably the best performance yet and a significant improvement over the HARC game, for at least the first 70 minutes. Herein lies the problem; rugby is an 80-minute game!!! While I can’t say Woodlands played for the entire 80 minutes they did play the last 10 and as a result scored the 3 tries and a penalty that made the score line so flattering. Nothing emphasized this more than the kick-off, where John and Jeff both beat the Woodlands player to the ball, tapping back as we’ve practiced in the past only for another Woodlands player to pick it up and break up field for an eventual score!
That being said, there were many positives within the 70 minutes. We started well from the kick-off and put some good early pressure on them, unfortunately without converting it in to points, something we must try to remedy. Generally the defence and realignment communications were good, with it only really failing once close to our line, for a comparatively soft try through the middle. Apart from this one slip we managed to put what we’ve been practicing in to good effect. The ball retention and recycling was good from both rucks and mauls, although on occasions the runner was on his own for bangers which either slowed down the play or resulted in a turnover. The lineouts were effective both offensively and defensively, with good ball from both John and Jeff and a couple of great steals by Jeff at 4. The scrum continued to be solid with us going backwards on only one occasion. This resulted in 2 balls against the head and a great platform at the back of the scrum. Tackling was good from everyone with very few broken tackles, thanks to Thad for keeping tabs on Dennis throughout the game. The backs performed well particularly in defence although we struggled to get the ball wide throughout the entire game. The kicking both from hand and at the post was much improved over last week, thanks to Rocco and Ivan. The back 3 of Kevin, Peacock and Nick worked well together especially when returning kicks. The respect for the referee was good yet again, although we did give away a number of silly and unnecessary penalties. Recognition should go to Pedro “Sacrificial Lamb” Gutierrez for his selfless 10-minute rest during the first half.
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