Renegades beat Bermuda Select
Coach wonders where are all the backs?
Following the two-week Rugby Classic hiatus, domestic rugby started its annual roadshow due to the National Stadium being unavailable until the perfectly fine grass grows back.
It is often a tricky proposition finding a suitable home for this pre-christmas period with the options being either a pitch covered in brambles or a pitch with a cricket square in the middle of it.
In the end, the BRFU decided on Somersfield. There was not cricket square or a bramble in sight but the width of the pitch was narrower than a pre-2010 Mikey Williams waistline.
With the Renegades taking on a Bermuda Select team for Renegades day, most coaches would identify that the narrow pitch would lend itself to a forwards game.
However, Coach Barry was less than impressed that his squad contained 15 forwards and 2 backs.
With the backs off island for a variety of reasons (teeth whitening, facial rejuvenation, hair tints, etc) the Renegades would either have to break the mould and come up with a ground breaking rugby formation yet to be envisaged by the rugby world, or they would have to play forwards out of position who would likely be exposed by a decent set of national team backs.
Developing a new rugby formation with a 13-2 forward-backs split is not as easy as it sound so they ended up going with the ‘out-of-position/exposed-by backs’ option.
In a scrappy first half Bermuda Select ran in two unanswered tries. With 10 minutes to go before half time Coach Barry made 2 substitutions bringing on 2 more forwards for 2 other forwards in attempt to up the work rate and it seemed to pay dividends.
Niall-ation (usually a back row) was playing reasonably well at scrum half and started to get a bit of quick ball allowing the forwards to put some phases together. Trae the Dog Whisperer went over in the corner after several minutes on the Bermuda Select’s try line.
Renegades continued to exert the pressure and managed to kick a penalty before half time with Renegades going in 8-14 down.
Not long after half time Champaign turned up allowing the Renegades to go back to their established halfback pairing of Healy and Champaign; increasing the number of backs on the pitch by 50%.
This marked the turning point of the game, as the Renegades were able to introduce some structure to their play and were on the front foot.
Brownie scored a converted try and another penalty that were the only points scored in the second half – this seemed to earn him man of the match, unilaterally decided by a 6-Magners-deep Des Nash.
It wasn’t a game for the spectators but the Renegades show grit and belief in themselves to come back against a good opposition with the final score 18-14 to Renegades.