Another Gannets masterclass....
By Matt Clarke
In how not to tackle and give away penalties!
After a layoff of nearly a month,you could be forgiving the Gannets a little ring rusty but todays performance,the second half especially,showed a lacking in the basic fundamentals of the game;tackling low and keeping onside.
With yet another week with five teams out,Captain Woottons selection headaches were eased with the pulling of the twos game allowing Chris Harris to bolster the front row and 18 year old Gvidas Kuzminskas in for his first taste of Gannets rugby....poor sod.Also we had Sargey coming into the front row.Now those keen followers of the housewives faves know that Sargey is a long time Gannets stalwart that has somehow wormed his way into the second team squad.No one is quite sure how or knows what tricks he turned to gain such a position and all the flashy BLK leisurewear that comes along with it but it's surely only a matter time before this fraud is unmasked and he is returned to whence he came.
Anyway,things started off well enough,in fact dare I say it,extremely promising right from the off with patient forward play and great handling in the wet and windy conditions drawing the Vigo defence in allowing Gvidas in to score under the sticks,quickly followed up by the obligatory Jamie Feighery try and two excellent Vid conversions.Suddenly Gravesend has two decent Lithuanian rugby players!
The bump in the first half road then came with the first of numerous penalties given against Gravesend for offside and the defence allowing home 8 Dan Couchman the freedom of Swanswood on numerous occasions allowing them two quick (unconverted) scores to close to 10-14.
A talking to later and the Gannets were back on the offensive and so they thought,normal service was resumed with Jamie and Gvidas adding another try each and Vid nailing the conversions which wasn't bad going seeing as no one had ever seen him place kick before.
So with a seemingly healthy 10-28 lead going into the second period,the Gannets were cautiously optimistic.I say that as they had both slope and wind to contend with as well as some fresh legged home subs....and the Gees have lost from this position before.
Yes,you guessed it,Vigo scored pretty much from the kickoff with the visitors losing their own ball after farting around for far too long in the ruck and the home side working it down the line to exploit the overlap and score.Another soon followed with a bus sized gap between forwards and 10 being exploited and suddenly the game had a rather different look to it.
A yellow card for each side came in quick succession,in Vigos case it was for possibly giving a nasty look or maybe even growling menacingly at the oppo,who knows but he was in the bin and in Gravesend's case it was for persistent offsides.Of course,it was Mayhem that was carded well,just because it's Mayhem.
Skipping briefly over the absolute cluster that was the remainder of this game we had Gannets colliding with each other at the back of their own scrum on their own tryline,gifting a score to Vigo,more trying to run it out from under their own posts shenanigans ending in disaster and gifting the ball to the hosts and Vids kick for touch after a steady period of Gannets pressure which had the home team on the backfoot.
'Make it safe,Vid' came the shout as he put the laces through it and hoofed the ball the length of the pitch.....'oh sheet!'
Oh sheet indeed...it was a sheet day all round as the hosts crashed over for a final time after being denied a perfectly legit try (from the author of this pieces view) and it was no more than they deserved.
Special mention goes to Wootton Jr for doing a sterling job in running the line today in the god awful weather and correctly giving the last conversion as under the bar much to the chagrin of the kicker.To be fair,he had no choice as even five foot three inch Lloydy ducked.I'm also told that that social services are en route to the Wootton house as making your child run touch at a Gannets game is tantamount to child abuse.
This game is one of those where it's best we draw a line under it and say 'that's never happening again'.It's just a shame that no one was there to video the thing as it could be shown to the kids that several of the team coach and used as a coaching tool....and then they could all be put into stocks and have the kids throw various sharp and heavy objects at them as punishment.
Legs! Legs! Legs!!!!!
Until next time....