On Sunday last following the Grenfell Junior Rugby Union Gala day, Grenfell’s own Pickled Panthers (plus a few ring-ins from Wyalong) took on the mighty Cootamundra Longhorns (supported by some Temora blokes) in a fierce game of Golden Oldies rugby.
Right from the kick off it was evident that any previous form was long forgotten and the game quickly deteriorated into a series of dropped balls, missed tackles and rule infringements the like of which has never been seen before.
The first half (of three) started with the non-traditional red wine sip, and finished with a can of refreshing amber liquid to restore the depleted fluid levels. There was some rugby played, a lot of heavy panting and forwards running out wide. The weather was kind to us. A mini dust storm followed by a rain shower called us to action. What followed were perfect rugby conditions.
Peter Eastaway and Trevor “The Rock” Woods played hard and slow, and served well as the bookends in the front row. Pete “Sneaky” Seymour won all the uncontested scrums from some very dodgy feeds by halfback Kye Smith. Kye had the opposition so bamboozled, some of the opposition didn’t even know we had a woman playing for us, and then they didn’t know where to grab her in the tackles.
Mark “Nutsy” Crutcher didn’t have a happy game. After being dragged onto the field from a pleasant spectator position, the grippo let him down and a number of balls were dropped, one unfortunately led to a Coota try. Maybe he was unable to concentrate with Greg “Dooley” Oliver in his ear all game. Peter Brown gave Mark a catching lesson, picking one out of mid air without his glasses on.
Dunc Lander was all over the paddock showing no sign of age, and Trevor Mawhinney showed us rugby boys how to tackle. You’re on your own there Trevor… Reluctant participant “Mr” Robinson had a fine game. His jumper was so clean at the end we put it straight away for next game. He was popular with the young spectators from the high school and put in an all round performance. Rob Taylor is still showing signs of fitness from his Kokoda walk, and while not in the spirit of Golden Oldies we let him have his run. Mas played a frenetic game, running into touch, illegally kicking the ball, but he did score a try so all was forgiven.
Three halves complete and the final score, as always, 9 all. Rugby was the winner on the day, and a great time was had after the match in the Panthers Clubhouse.
If you missed this match, don’t miss the next one. This Saturday 11th August at 2pm, the Pickled Panthers take on the Tuggeranong Thorheads in a rematch of the game we played when the new rugby clubhouse was opened 2 years ago.
This game precedes the final home game for the Panthers First XV against competition leaders Blayney. It promises to be a fantastic day of rugby.
WHEN THE BATTLE SCARS HAVE FADED
When the battle scars have faded and the truth becomes a lie and the weekend smell of liniment could almost make you cry.
When the last rucks well behind you and the man that ran now walks it doesn’t matter who you are, the mirror sometimes talks.
Have a good hard look old son!
The melons not that great.
The snoz that takes a sharp turn sideways used to be dead straight.
You’re an advert for arthritis.
You’re a thoroughbred gone lame.
Then you ask yourself the question, why the hell you played the game?
Was there logic in the head knocks, in the corks and in the cuts?
Did common sense get pushed aside, by manliness and guts?
Do you sometimes sit and wonder why your time would often pass in a tangled mess of bodies
with your head up someone’s arse?
With a thumb hooked up your nostril scratching gently on your brain and an overgrown
Neanderthal rejoicing in your pain!
Mate - you must recall the jersey that was shredded into rags then the soothing sting of Dettol on a back engraved with tags!
It’s almost worth admitting though with some degree of shame that your wife was right in asking why the hell you played the game.
Why you’d always rock home legless like a cow on roller skates after drinking at the clubhouse
with your low down drunken mates.
Then you’d wake up - check your wallet,not a solitary coin.
Drink Berocca by the bucket, throw an ice pack on your groin.
Copping Sunday morning sermons about boozers being losers while you limped like Quasimodo
with a half a thousand bruises!
Yes - an urge to hug the porcelain and curse sambuccas name would always pose the question
why the hell you played the game!
And yet with every wound re-opened as you grimly reminisce it, comes the most compelling feeling yet; God, you bloody miss it!
From the first time that you laced a boot and tightened every stud.
That virus known as rugby has been living in your blood.
When you dreamt it when you played it all the rest took second fiddle.
Now you’re standing on the sideline But your hearts still in the middle.
And no matter where you travel you can take it as expected.
There will always be a breed of people
If there’s a teammate, then you’ll find him like a gravitating force.
With a common understanding and a beer or three, of course.
And as you stand there telling lies like it was yesterday old friend
You’ll know that if you had the chance you’d do it all again
You see - that’s the thing with rugby it will always be the same.
And that, I guarantee is why the hell you played the game!!