Rugby is a good occasion for keeping thirty bullies far from the center of the city - Oscar Wilde

 

With a rare break in the rain and what you could call a pitch available the Gogs faced table topping Wasps. As tradition, the warm up was a little disjointed with players turning up late (author definitely included) or not at all (redacted due to author’s personal safety). All the while the oppo had turned up 3 hours before kick off and were running slick drills.

 

The slow warmup was perhaps the reason the Gogs made the naive tactical error of letting Wasps score 3 tries in the first 10 minutes. The opposition had a tricky 8 and trickier 15 and sadly the Gogs were too hungover/ drunk to deal with the hard running from the rampant opposition in the early stages.

 

The Gogs were doing well in the scrums - new prop Samdemolishing them until he had to go off early after clashing his head in what was a really good aggressive tackle. The scrum then had to switch to uncontested which (to begin with) only helped the GogsWest-London counterparts.

 

After a two contrasting pep talks from inspirational scouser Alex (think he was someone’s mate or cousin or something) and Adam Faulkner, the Gogs began to mount a comeback off a superbly read Rich Shorey (in)tercept. The comeback was on. The Gogs went close again before half time off a short run from utility back/hooker/second row/ “dead-eye” Reay, alas he went left instead of right and got held up.

 

Halftime chat included lines about work-rate and line-speed and the Gogs retrurned re-energised. Alex O’Hara saunted through their Defense in the 22 to bring the Gogs closer and momentum had definitely shifted to towards the home team. It wasn’t long before the Gogs had another try from a lovely backs move sent though debutant Faulkner Jr for a try on the wing.

 

His day was soon to turn for the worse after he inexplicably got thrown to the floor by an opposition forward, his older brother only to respond with windmilling arms and the acceptance of an early bath.

 

There was still life in the Gogs yet though with a final (dubious from my line of sight) try off of a chase from a Matt Hanton kick, put down by (maybe) Shorey.

 

All in all a very good performance let down by a slow start. All it takes is a few minor mainly organisational changesto turn these tight losses into wins.

 

 

Michael Waithe - 8 - the Gogs enforcer, strong in defence and a bouncer around the fringes, 1 out runners regularly finding their name not in the list.

 

Dave Bates - 8- hands like Sonny Bill, scrummaging like Carl Hayman, strong 80 minute display from the veteran.

 

Sam Spendlove- 8/10- got off to a storming start, dominating in the scrums. Sadly his day ended early after an egg took residence on his head after a tackle.

 

Tom Gluckenstein 8/10- a captains performance, kept the referee onside and bollocked his teammates for not taking scrums seriously enough.

 

Charlie Blagbrough- 8/10- classic Charlie blags, always at a ruck causing trouble and made the hard yards that we needed off of slow ball.

 

Rob Corr - 6.9/10 A display of aggressive ball carrying combined with relentless work rate from the converted half back. A true example of professionalism for the young kids coming through.

 

James Simpson- 8/10 moved from his usual position of a hard ball carrying center to that of a hard carrying back row. Made huge ground every time he had the ball in his hand.

 

Adam Faulkner- 8/10 standard Faulkner performance ,probably 50 carries before getting sent off for filling someone in.

 

Matt Fielden- 8/10- pulled the strings very well in a game that was one for 10 man rugby and organised in a calmer manner than some others might have. Didn’t put a foot wrong.

 

Alex O’Hara- 8/10- New to the club. Took an instant dislike to his opposite number and soothed his agro this by regularly running round him. Could possibly play for the 2’s if he carry’s on this form.

 

Rick Shorey- 8/10- feed the Shore and he will score. Intelligently read the oppo backline and saw his opportunity to run in the interception to give us the momentum to mount a challenge

 

Matt Hanton- 8/10-moved from his usual position as hooker to the midfield. Kicking game got us out of trouble on numerous occasions and probably would have kicked some worldly conversions if allowed.

 

Chris Reay- 7/10- strong performance in the centres, should have scored a try but stepped the wrong way. Managed to play about 10 positions during the 80 including hooker.

 

James Abbott -8/10- good game under the high ball and consistently made strong direct runs out of the back field.

 

Luke Faulkner - 8/10-  a very useful player and balanced runner. Got his brother sent off for a laugh by coaxing a wasps player to judo throw him.

 

Woody- 8/10- the veteran came on early and made some good tackles off the back of the lineout. Mostly onside