Posted by: Monty on Monday, April 30th, 2012

VIVA LA VIDA, (love of life):

28TH APRIL 2012

“I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets that I used to own”

Coldplay, Viva La Vida, 2009.

Those art aficionados out there will recognise the title of this piece taken from Mexican artist, Frida Kaho’s 1954 painting of the same name. She was a tad unlucky in health matters throughout her life, but still found the courage and strength to portray her ‘love of life’, through her work, Coldplay are a damn fine band with a song of the same name inspired by Frida and magically produced by ex Roxy Music member, Brian Eno.

Art, inspiration and magic, the very things that came together Saturday on a day of triumph for the club both on and off the pitch. The art was the game of rugby union, the inspiration was the test of age versus the coming of age, and the magic was colt like with no mean effort from the grizzle faced veterans of the Kirk lower echelons of skill.

The first blow came from the colts with 3 well taken points from the boot of Bishop after the Vandals infringed at a ruck, but the old men of Kirk soon found their rhythm playing the jumper game all the way up to the youngsters line, but far from being overwhelmed by the size of the Vandals, the Colts knocked their counter-parts back stoutly and cleared their lines excellently. It was a telling passage of play, as from another attempted breakout by Taff’s men from the half-way; a wayward pass was snaffled by human Exocet, Aaron Cheung, and there was more chance of stopping the tides than this chap!
The subsequent conversion made it 10-0 to the kids; the writing was growing more pronounced on the wall!

But experience when pooled is a weapon of use, the Vandals regrouped and went on the forward rampage with good carrying by the forwards, notably Fogarty, Farley and Compton, and this paid dividends as the one and only Shafi James crashed over for a great try to bring it back to 10-7, game on we thought.

In a game of four quarters, numbers are great, but training and team-work are crucial factors, and to their credit, the Colts grew in confidence as the game progressed, realising they were not being slaughtered by their older counter-parts. These lads have been together since probably 8 years old, and any Vandal attacks were met with swarms of Colts putting in the big hits, getting up far quicker than the Ralgex crew, and pouncing on mistakes and turning them into points. Josh Williams scoring one from close range, taking out Taff and Shafi in the process was one such effort! (I actually stopped counting the scores at this point, as I was fighting for survival out there. I am a Lion, and my jungle was being destroyed!).

There was great endeavour from the Vandals to be fair but any mistakes were soon compounded into length of the field turnovers by recent senior successes, Baille, Cheung, (have you tried catching the wind?). But the old men of Kirk know how to last 80 minutes, and as the last 20 minutes came into being, the expected Vandal purple patch came into full tilt. Great forward play mingled with excellent options from the backs, saw 3 tries and two conversions from Richmond, Dowling and Williams, (Robertson getting the extras), just reward for sticking at it and playing in a Lions’ spirit.

Take away the Vandals mistakes that ‘gifted’ the Colts 3 tries, (from their own try line to be fair), it would have been a close affair but in all honesty, the better team by far won. They have a distinctive style of attacking rugby that can be defended against but wasn’t by us and that’s that as they say. It was however, a game I was very proud to have been in. The young men of Kirk matched us physically, (Young Kyle pushing my face into the dirt, though technically illegal, brought a smile of joy to my muddied face, good on you mate, big respect). Recent Lions, Josh, Dan, Adam and Cecil are much nicer to play alongside, especially Adam who knows all my tricks at breakdowns and basically had me bang to rights! The sight of Ray Allan being lifted in the tackle is not good for morale, but it teaches you to go in lower, and the sheer speed these lads get around the pitch is staggering, but be warned Colts, Taffy has a mantra, and it goes like this: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!, I’m looking forward to the re-match next year.

I must apologise to the Colts for being unable to mention you all by name, but I can assure you I will change that in the coming months, but consequently I give my man of the match award to you all, (apart from those 4 shambolic senior players you had who basically held you back), as it was a wonderful spectacle of rugby where an oldish man learned a lot from the young. Man of the match for the vandals was me old 2nd row mate, Tim Farley, great effort Tim with more great efforts from Beanie, Compton, Richmond and the rest of the Vandal crew, cheers lads.

Moments of the match, Cheungy running, Josh booming me, Beanie and Shafi! Glover’s boom de force of young ‘Colt’ Quirk, the try celebrations, (didn’t get the fish one myself), Baillie leaving a trail of would be tacklers prostrate all pointing him towards the try-line like a row of discarded dominos, the crowd cheering and laughing was much appreciated, (and Phil A for taking note of the Colt efforts, I believe one approach has already been made), good effort people, the great refereeing of Simon Kirk, many thanks mate, and generally the 1st minute to the 80th of the match, a humbling experience.

The Colts presentation evening was much fun afterwards with guest appearances from Elvis Jones, Scouser Povey, Danny Zucko James and Freddie Mercury, Austin Powers, (yeah baby!), a generic Hippy, (like, cool man), and a whole host of 60s and 70s people milling around. Aye, it was a good day for the club, the future beat the past so to speak, and the club came to life, and me and Mrs. Taff sat in the corner watching it unfold. I would like to come up with some profound saying to capture the atmosphere or the sense of excitement for the future that I feel is upon us, but I can’t so I leave you with this.



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