Dursley Rugby Football Club
Registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club CASC since 2004
So nero so far!
20th January 2015
The faithful gathered on the reserve ‘top pitch’ for the visit of Spartans this Sunday, after the grounds man bent his fork trying to stifle some life out of the frozen clubhouse pitch earlier that morning. But despite the near zero Kelvin temperature the sunshine and bright light made for a pleasant wintry scene and the locals were in good spirits, many have upped their personal heat preservation status to Thermals-con 1.
Our visitors, Spartans, had travelled down from Gloucester where they have been camping since Kirk Douglas helped them escape Roman imprisonment around Christmas time as many will have witnessed live TV coverage of the escape on Boxing Day.
Coach Lloyd was in high spirits as he worked his boys through the warm up. Much of the chatter amongst the gathered masses was the new facial attire of their favourite coach. There was talk of him resembling an older ‘George Clooney’ but the poor soul in question who made the suggestions was quickly led away for medical attention. Hair styles were in much abundance though as thoroughbred winger Matty G also sported a new coif known as the ‘Gary Birtles’ in tribute to the Forest legend and our Ref joined into the spirit modelling the ‘Telly Savalas’ look to aplomb.
So to the game, with Dursley kicking off, but Spartans making good use of the ball early to run in two tries in the first five minutes and lead the game 0-10. Dursley were stung into action and responded well, setting up a number of attacks to eventually get themselves onto the scoreboard when Nathan slotted a penalty from 35 yards, 3-10. The rampant gladiator army responded and ran in two tries in response, this time converting both to open up a 3-24 lead. The score line was a poor reflection of the closeness of the game on display though, as Dursley repeatedly won lineout and scrum against the head, but the superior strength and tough tackling of the Spartan opposition, as well as the odd handling error, meant the home team were unable to capitalise. Half time came, coffees were bought, frostbite was compared etc.
The second half began in similar fashion with Spartans running in a further two tries despite some strong tackling, with both James B and Tommy H involved in try-saving tackles, and led to a comfortable 3-36 lead for the visitors. Dursley had their strongest period in the game with a number of well worked back moves built on strong forwards pressure and were unlucky not to add to their only score. One or two handling errors at critical moments as well as a strong defensive line were largely to blame, but the spirit and energy were high. The Spartan coaches continued to press their team for more, as well as challenge Emmanuelle II for the ‘most moaning in a one hour period’ Guinness world record. They were ultimately rewarded when Spartans ran in their final try to close out the game 3-43.
So a disappointing morning for the Dursley boys but they left the pitch with heads held high. They matched or beat their opposition in every technical element of the game winning lineout and scrum repeatedly but were ultimately outgunned by a stronger 15 and key moments. On top of that the spirit within the Dursley ranks and the sense of camaraderie was all too plain to see and enjoyable to boot. Coach Lloyd may feel frustrated by the score line and he has every right too, but let’s hope he dwells on the bigger picture. Perhaps not winners in rugby on this occasion, but definitely winners in life.
Score line: Dursley 3 Spartans 43
Spartacus: Kirk Douglas
Best Emperor in a quashing slave gladiator revolt role: Nero
Coach Lloyd: George Clooney’s Dad