Such was the strength of the Second XV on Saturday that it wasn’t until the 11th hour that the fixture
was confirmed. The original opponents withdrew for fear of serious embarrassment and no other
second teams were willing to take on the challenge. This forced the Colfes admin department to
start calling local First XVs in hope of a fixture and thankfully Old Gravesendians answered the call.
The hype behind this Second XV was so high that it was perhaps inevitable that it would fail to
instantly deliver. Whilst the team was full of talent it was not a team that had played together and
indeed many of its players hadn’t played for pushing 2 years due to the covid enforced break.
Weather, as ever, can also be a leveller.
The first half saw the Colfes give away 14 (alleged) penalties consecutively. Something wasn’t going
quite according to plan. Whilst the defence was firing well the team simply couldn’t get hold of the
ball and when they did they couldn’t keep it. It was only as a result of individual moments of
brilliance from Connor, who stepped his way over from 40 yards out, and Fred the Younger, who
stepped over from 5 yards out, that the Colfes went in at the half 12-7 up.
The team had the added benefit this game of the calm wisdom of new coach Henry. His guidance at
half time led to the Colfes putting on a classic Colfeian performance in the second 40. The forwards
reverted to type and began to work round the corner and slow the ball down when required to
dictate the tempo and control the game. The combined boots of Simon at 10 and Ged at 9 ensured
that the game was played in the opposition half. Crucially the hookers became acclimatised to the
wind and the lineout began to fire.
Returning to Horn Park after a move to the suburbs, marriage and giving birth, Lewis Gunn was the
beneficiary of a tightly orchestrated rolling maul. Westy used his age and pace to lurk on the wing
and poach a try from a very sharp pass from Ged. Old Gravesendians snuck one back with an
accidental through ball that sprung the offside trap. However, the damage had been done and
Brendan sealed victory by collecting a well placed kick and sliding over from approximately 25m out
on the slip n slide.
Final score: 29-14