1st XV 2013/14 Season

Hendon 19 22 Cuffley 1st

Cuffley travelled to Hendon to start the second half of our league campaign against a side we had put to the sword by 50 points in our first encounter, this was a very different affair. With both teams out on the pitch warming up there was no sign of the ref whether this was a ploy by the home team to gain some advantage over us we will never know, so 20 mins after we should have started out came our ref supplied by the home team.

We kicked off in the already failing light for an afternoon of total frustration. We started well with early pressure inside their 22 which they dealt with, assisted by the ref. From a lineout on half way we set our driving maul off towards the try line only to be stopped 5 meters out by Hendon being allowed to come into the maul from every angle to stop our progress. This was how the whole game would be played by Hendon.

Cuffley kept at the job in hand and had 3 scrums in a row 5 meters out all should have been given as penalty try but that was not how the ref saw it, we did score in the end from another scrum when Sam Voight powered his way over, Crabby added the conversion. We soon had them on their line again and after two attempts close to the line we moved it through our backs to Chilli Charlton who scored a fine try in the corner turning the clock back a few years to his glory days. The next 10 mins Hendon fought their way up the pitch and where camped on our line, their lively flanker ran through some poor Cuffley defence to score, this was followed by the ref giving them another try even with their player over the line on his back with the ball pinned to his chest.

Cuffley lost Tom Webb from the battle at this point but soon regrouped forcing Hendon back in their 22 the ref awarded us a rare penalty, Big Ross called for a kick to the corner and his bravery paid dividends with a clean take at the line out Beau Gamby put Crabby through a hole in Hendon's defence for a touchdown under the posts. Half time score Hendon 12 v Cuffley 19

The second half was a poor excuse for a rugby game with Hendon's players and supporters at times putting old father time or as he was on the day the ref under so much pressure with their comments and to be honest their aggressive abuse he turned this half into a joke. They did score an early try that was probably well deserved this made the score 19 points all. The rest of the half was so one sided due to the refs view on the game I could not see us winning at any time, but again this group of players stayed focused and fought to stay in the contest. With the refs help they attacked at will but we deafened our line time and again.

We had to get a break at some point and when we did Crabby slotted the penalty to put us in front by the smallest margin. We still had to see the game to the last whistle when it came it was dark and even the ref had to call time. Cuffley won, showing the character and resolve that proves what a great group of players we have at the club sometimes you just have to win ugly and never give up. Well done boys.

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