The first game of any season is a tense affair. Neither side wants to start off with a loss and especially since we hold the Challenge Shield, a first up defeat is never pretty.
Luckily, we had Old Coves and Keiths and New Boys to prevent just that.
A welcome back to Simon GIFFORD and Bevan WEBB after many games away. And a special welcome to New Boys Sam LEMON, Adam MILNE, Mark VAN GROENEDAAL, Callum BOWMAN and from Japan Motomu YOSHIHARA. Great to see New Boys enjoying themselves and having fun. Also great to see Motomu scoring on debut. I'm not sure, however, he read the Charter first.
The day didn't start that well for Phil who had a major motoring failure, which left Trouty to get the beers, Boydy to get the jerseys and no one to get the keys for the changing sheds. Not the first time we've changed out in the open.
As is often the case with volunteer referees, you never know which way they will swing their whistle arm and we had one of those back and forward swinging types today, but we'd like to thank him anyway for taking the time to referee us.
Belfast came out wanting to win and oftentimes, they looked like they might. But the steady as you go attitude gave us the win and the beers afterwards.
The win was made possible by Freds captaincy, the forwards resolve and whatever it is backs do. Plus comments from the sideline, which included Mum, Unit, Doug, the Gibbs and the Johnstons.
Tries: Brendyn LAWSON (2), Greg BROWN, Gary RICHARDS, George PHILIP, Phil HUGHES
Conv: Nick BROWN (2)
Player of the Day: Ian COWAN
IS IT A TROPHY? IS IT A PLAQUE? IS IT A PLATE? WHATEVER IT IS, WE'VE WON IT.
Six years, eleven months and three weeks ago Keith did beat Merivale / Lincoln University to win the Division Six Championship Trophy. I cried.
Today, that countdown clock was reset after the closest sewsawiest nervewrackingest game of rugby I've ever witnessed.
Finals rugby is all about selecting the right team, which can mean some team members don't get to start or come on as a reserve, and giving your all and leaving it totally spent on the paddock. Trouty and Lars selected their starting team, leaving 14 Keiths on the sideline. But both Trout and Lars will tell you all of the 14 were fully capable of taking the positions of the starting 15.
With a slightly changed New Brighton side from earlier in the season putting their stamp on procedings early, we knew that there was a fight on our hands to come out on top. Not an actual fight, just a tough uncomprimising battle between two teams deserving to be there.
The graph below will show you exactly how the score changed from behind to in front to equal to in front behind in front. But as Unit said after the game, when New Brighton moved in front with two minutes to go, they all thought they'd won the game. We knew that there was still two minutes remaining and that we had not yet lost. Not until the ref blew his whistle.
Unit, much to Uli's chargrin, continued his scoring run, with Gaz, followed by Lars making the halftime break close, but us ahead by 7 points. The first half was a half of attrition with gaps in the defences of both teams providing the space to score. We seemed to have them in the scrums, but our lineouts and our ability to clean up loose ball was not up to par and consequently we suffered and often were penalised for it. At the break, we were remined that it still wasn't over and wouldn't be for another 40 minutes so every single one us would have to step up a notch and bust our guts or break a leg.
Second half was almost a repeat of the first, except during the course of the half, there were a few personnel changes. Each one proving equal to the task.
The closeness between the teams became even more apparant with each try being matched by an opposition try. The sideline of reserves and supporters alike at times couldn't watch but then like a car crash, couldn't turn away.
This game was literally a cliffhanger of a match with the lead changing four times in the final 10 minutes.
I've said it before, that I don't mind losing to a team that deserves to win as long as we've given our all, but even with the closeness and the changing lead, I never thought we'd loose. A whole season's effort was being portrayed out on the field and that effort was too much to waste. The outcome was inevitable. We would triumph. We just didn't know how.
And then, 104 games later, Sonny Phil Hughes had nothing else to do except hold on to the pass and fall over the line. And avoid being tackled and pushed into the sideline. And he did, becoming a genuine Keith Hero.
Tries:Rob FOLEY, John LUXTON, Paul CRICHTON, Brendyn LAWSON, Barrie GIBBS, Greg BROWN
Conv: Rob FOLEY (3)
Player of the Day: Isaac ARAPAI
SI VOUS VOULEZ DANSER, VOUS FAIRE?
Par la puissance qui me sont conférés par la CRFU je prononce le finaliste a été trouvé.
Bien sûr, les équipes de l'opposition de nombreux démenti nos chances de gagner, même un jeu, mais notre croyance en l'autre comme une équipe et la croyance en des joueurs par le personnel d'entraîneurs nous a donné toute l'impulsion de quitter à 100% sur le terrain.
Leur emballage avant a pas de réponse à notre mêlée et le dos Shirley ne pouvait pas contrôler leurs mains. Cela inclut une grande tête de quelques plaqués sur les Webby et Rob, mais ils secouaient que hors de conduire avant et faire de l'entreprise.
Braconnier qu'elle a commencé avec un essai rapide, et un couple de intercepte échoué, mais Bravo et Toad a pris le relais pour nous donner un 3 essayer de plomb à la mi-temps.
Aucun changement à la mi-temps a montré les gars toujours sur le côté en ligne que tout est sur ??l'équipe et non pas le joueur individuel, mais à temps plein tout sauf quatre réserves obtenu sur le terrain.
Lars, Baz et Unit arrondi les essayez de notation dans la deuxième moitié, mais nous avons laissé nos gardes et a permis deux essais rapides à droite Shirley à la mort. Ce fut une déception, mais pas la fin du monde.
Il y avait une autre déception plus tard ce soir-là le nombre de garçons qui revint à Keastys pour une bière. Et quand je dis nombre de garçons, je veux dire l'absence de nombre de garçons. Il semblait que nous avions perdu le match sacrément au lieu d'entrer dans le final de la Cinquième Division Championship.
Eh bien, leur perte.
WHO LET THE KEITHS OUT? WOOF. WOOFWOOF. WOOF. WOOF.
This is it guys blah blah blah we can do it yeah yeah just keep it together and yeah righto Trouty cool story ,bro.
You guys don't need me to tell you how it all went. You were there. Playing or watching.
We all knew what the stakes were. We all knew what we had to do and how to get it.
Play our game at our pace using all our boys to our abilities. When you do that the maths add up and victory is ours. Simple.
Not saying it was easy. Burnside did put up a fight. Even the Ref got in on the act by mixing up his left and right arms. And we were lucky he didn't use it on Toad once or thrice, but Munchers exceptional captaincy on his 50th game calmed everyone down coughcoughbullshitcough and he wank wank wank fuck it I'm over this writing malarky.
All I can say is the biggest and best incentive to win is to look around you and and have faith and trust in the Keith next to you and have faith and trust in yourself. Can't go wrong.
WHO'S GOING TO WIN THE FINAL? KEITHS OR CRUSADERS. OH WAIT ...
Last weekend we stepped up to the plate to defeat our good friends Linwood. This week we stepped up to the plate, dusted it down and gave it a good hard shake to win against Belfast Div 4.
Everyone we had spoken to told us that the Freezingworkers would be knocking us off our top spot, but just quietly, we didn't believe them. Trouty and Lars believed in us instead and picked a team to do the job; with reserves to back everybody up.
And do the job we did.
The forwards soon found the Belfast front row weren't up to much and the backs soon realised that their backline was gaping full of holes.
But, and there always is one, we made an inordinate amount of basic handling mistakes worthy of an Under 12 side. If it was nerves or not enough weetbix this morning for breakfast, it lasted most of the 1st half and part of the 2nd. She wasn't all doom and gloom however. A.J., Toad and Rob provided excellent Keithly tackling and breaks, with Gulls, Kyle and Paddy doing it hard out in the deep.
Muncher and Rich provided good lineout ball with H, Rich, Baz, Kev and Colin making full use of their size and strength to control the loose ball.
Fred provided the mongrel in the front row with Unit, Piez and Matt putting in the hard work.
Mum was her usual vocal self, and spent quite a bit of time asking the ref if he needed his guide dog as he didn't always seem
to know what the offside rule looked like in practice. Trouty too seemed to be a bit perturbed by some decisions, but in the end, we don't need a ref to win a game for us. We just need to score more points than the opposition. Which we did.
Where everyone was after the game was a mystery, but you have to be there to see to hot police women and drink cold beer.
Incorporated Society 1499581 29th March 2004 Keith Inc Secretary - John McKEAGE
Affiliated with Christchurch High School Old Boys' RFC (Incorporated 219862 19th October 1960)
CLUBROOMS & PLAYING FIELDS
The H.S.O.B. RFC Clubrooms are located at 10 Riccarton Avenue with changing rooms at 5 Ayr Street. Playing and Training Fields at Bob Deans Fields, North Hagley Park and Training Fields at South Hagley Park
Manager - Peter HADDOCK Financial Controller - Phil HUGHES Back Coach - Rob FOLEY Forward Coach - Phil KEARNS Web Site Administrator - John McKEAGE