Renegades Arrest Police Comeback in Semi-Final
Healy sees red in close game
Club rugby returned to Bermuda with the Nichol Shield first round/semi-finals being played at Warwick Academy. Noticeably Jimmy Bum turned up late, presumably to avoid having to help put up the posts and spend another $3.65 on gaffer tape. Renegades pre match chat focused on the need to keep their discipline at the breakdown, which geometric shape would best describe the pitch and who the f*** were all these guys playing for the police.
After a typical scrappy start, the Renegades were starting to gain the upper hand but good Police defence meant they were forced to take 3 points when the opportunity arose. It was a good day for running rugby and both teams looked to take advantage of the wide pitch. After some well worked phases, Tom Healy tripped and fell over the line for the try. Conversion gate (part 1/3) was to follow, the consistently unreliable PK had his attempt charged down after referee Miso Horny decided the police winger was allowed to choose for himself what line he chased from.
Renegades were playing with confidence and the backs, having been practising a stealthy backline move for the past 2 years decided that the Nichol Shield semi-final was the place to reveal the much vaunted “DSW” strike-play. From an attacking scrum just outside the Police 22, the move was called and the anticipation among the 4 Renegades fans was palpable. Healy delivered a superb initial pass off the scrum, lines were run, the police defence were dumbfounded and the ball…..well that ended up on the floor inside the renegades half. A complete and utter disaster.
More practise would be required to perfect that particular move but the basic “hands” move was working a treat and Brownie, a man of high birth but low morals, was freed down the left to touch down. Conversion gate part 2/3 was to follow, this time Mr Horny had decided the Police chase must be from the dead ball line, but only after PK placed the ball a further 10m out to avoid being charged down again. This meant the kick was now well outside Skippy’s 15m red zone and despite asking nicely, he wasn’t allowed to move it. The conversion was obviously missed.
Renegades led 13-0 at the break due in part to excellent discipline at the break down and for giving away very few penalties. It was also noted Conor McGlynn was not on the pitch.
Police started strongly in the second half, with Gibbler’s dad pulling the strings in their back line. Some last ditch tackles from Brownie and Healy kept the score 13-0. This was to be Tom’s last positive contribution. Determined to make up for the abnormally low penalty count in the absence of his shopping catalogue colleague, Tom decided to go full-on Hiroshima on the discipline stats and earn a red card. After his awful kick failed to threaten the touchline, he decided against tackling the charging police no 8 and instead very unsubtly tripped him, much to PK’s relief who could now keep his well thought out excuse for missing the tackle he was about to avoid until next week.
This energised the opposition and despite some good defence, 14 men Renegades could not keep the Police out, conceding two tries in quick succession. Missed Kicks were costing the Police and at 13-10 the Renegades were hanging on.
Accidental injuries to some key Police players halted their momentum and allowed Renegades to get back into the game. An utterly selfless running line from the Benito Mussolini created a gap for Heaney to dash through and dot down in front of the posts. The extras were added and Renegades were leading 20-10 with 10 minutes to go.
Failure to look after the ball at the restart gave possession back to Police. Great defence from the back row kept the Police out who asked Renegades players not to tackle too hard as they have work to go to on Monday morning. Stand in hooker Del-Boy, not satisfied with bleeding from only one orifice continued to use his face to stop the Police runners who eventually battled over for a 3rd try. The extra 2 points were missed but conversion gate then concluded when the Police were allowed to re-take their conversion after another member of the catalogue club was adjudged to have charged/ambled early.
Good game management was required to see out the last 5 minutes, and despite Mossy’s shouts of “vamos vamos” in an attempt to inject some urgency at the line out, despacito was the order of the day and the game finished 20-15.
Renegades will now play Teachers RFC in the final next week, with Teachers possibly going in as favourites having won the contest the last time these two teams met.
It’s hoped Fill ‘the cup’ Hall will be available to play some part in the cup run. Otherwise he will have to be known as just Phil Hall, which is very boring, but then, so is Phil.