Yesterday, after over 25 years of trying, and somewhere in the region of 30-odd games, I was finally played on a rugby team that beat Glenmark! And boy did it feel good…
For those not in the know, the Glenmark Rugby Club is one of the strongest clubs in Canterbury, if not the South Island; a reputation and history second to none, as proof of its awesomeness this was an excerpt from the UK’s The Times in listing it’s 23 modern wonders of sport;
22. Glenmark Rugby Club
This is more than a token to represent all the grass-roots clubs in every sport that nurture those with great futures in front of them. Glenmark is truly special and the proud North Canterbury farming district has produced more talented All Black rugby players per capita than almost anywhere. Last summer Scott Hamilton, the winger, became the 10th ‘GlenBlack’ in a line stretching back 37 years to Alex ‘Griz’ Wyllie, Craig Green, Robbie Deans, now coach of Australia and Todd Blackadder. Sometimes its good to stand and watch and rub shoulders with the past and the future.
Now that’s been established, back to the game. I play for Ohoka Division 3 and we met at home at the Mandeville Sports Centre for the 1 o’clock game. Glenmark this season have been unbeaten including a last second win over us in the first round by 15-14. We lay in second place 4 points adrift, and one ahead of Kaiapoi (who beat us last week).
We were determined, and none more than me. Approaching my twilight years I felt Glenmark could be taken, and I wouldn’t have too many more opps to do so – and I had only played two games this season thus far after sustaining a neck injury in the second round against Glenmark.
By the half time whistle, we had all but won the game, leading 23-5 after some of the best forward work in ruck and maul I have had the pleasure to see and be part of, especially as I figure their pack had at least 50 kilos on us! And pretty much within 10mins of the restart it was done and dusted except the singing as we put two more tries on the board. They scored two late tries, but as we limped around the field sporting injuries and 110% exertion, it was over and we had done it…and done it bloody well!
I have achieved a lot in sport personally, and rugby was where I made a lot of rep grades but never carried it on after the Navy, and that win would definitely be one of the highlights for me, especially as I had played 15mins of the first half and all but the last-minute of the second in my (lack) state of fitness. I’m proud of the boys, and happy for the club, and as we hit the final few games in the lead up to semis and final, we can only improve.
PiS…injury list for me – rucked inner ankle (during warm up! It was still swollen when I changed after the game!), good old “kisses” down my back, heavily bruised shoulders and a ‘popped’ calf (right at the end. Ahhhh, never has pain felt so good.