An ode to the bent backs and scraped knees for the red and gold

With the pitch a little smaller and the rules slightly amended to accommodate the 12 players per side entering the arena to battle the day away.

The elbows prepared for the fray. Warming up bravely and excited to show off the pace of our speedy back line, and the brawn of our ever present, resolute and dominant forward play.

With the acreage, being severely reduced, the play was close and unattractive to boot.

The elbows held firm with hearts beating strong as we held the overall tournament winners Lunel, to a 2-2 draw in the first game of the day. With fresh blood pumping through the veins of our back line players and the old faithfuls holding strong in the pack, it was a heart warming and novel experience to start so strong. Our patient speedsters waited for their moment to attack, and so they did in fine form, piercing the line of the opposition with beautiful running, ball handling skills, and defence. Starting in such fine form, with a song in our hearts, we were all very excited about the days fortunes that lay ahead.

The excitement was short lived, for in the second game as the Esquiches’ usual counter productivity resumed in fine form. Vaguely, and almost doing battle with the opposition but more so amongst ourselves… « She said, she said! » « It’s your fault, you big girls blouse! »… oh Sacré bleu! So a fine carrot ensued. Les Angles 2-1. After a very necessary reviving speech, « … it’s 15 minutes of your life, shut the ***k up and play as a team for once, and not against yourselves »… a few tactical re-arrangements, we the red faced, took to the field to do battle once more before lunch. This time playing together as a team and it showed even though we went down 1-0 to the Marguerites.

The pre-lunch Heineken’s quenched our palates and soon we were all tucking into a fine stew of beaf and potatoes with some wine to wash it all down. Christophe Cauchon was in fine song supplying some timely melodies under the warm sleep inducing sun.

A beneficial draw put us second to commence the field, giving forth cheers of rejoice and a further 15 minutes to digest.

The last two games continued as more of a brawl than rugby. Coupled with bruised knuckles and strong words filling the air.  Vaison-les Angles 1-1.

The Esquiche were denied a final match draw as Thibault was brutally high tackled while crossing the line. The ref refusing to acknowledge his grounding of the ball, and the overly rough play. Even though he (the ref) earlier conceded a similar penalty-try in one of the earlier games. The end result, Bandar 1-0.

In the end, as ever, a fine day of comradery and heads held high, followed by nurofen and aching backs and knees and … and …

Special mentions on the day go to:

  • Fred’s butt(boot) warmer that had him sent off. Brilliant!
  • Alain’s horizontal tackle which left his opposition levelled.
  • Nicolas Milliard’s line-out brawl with an overly excited opposition jumper.
  • Jean Christophe Detour’s swollen nose, and his retaliation with one ear warmer that left his confronter very quite afterwards.
  • The High tackle on Tibault. The final play of the day. Rude! Rude! Rude! Hmmm!
  • The sweet, sweet melodies of Christophe Cauchon in fine voice.
  • Yannick Almecija telling a Bandar player exactly what he thought of his behaviour. Excellent! I was scared for the guy!
  • Stéphane Aribaud’s gloves, even during lunch.
  • François Catelin mid-field conversation/debate while the game was in mid flow.
  • Chief Mike Guez. Forget playing number 9… atttaaaaaaack!
  • Jeremie Arnaudy doing sit ups and exercises the whole way through the tournament. Crazy!
  • Stephane Bayle: Quote of the day… « Come on guys, let’s just win one! »

A very big thank you to all the mighty men who made the time and effort to don the colours in voice and action for the Esquiche Coudes.

  • Marc Laporte
  • Alain Leger
  • Fred Dupre
  • Nicolas Milliard
  • Jean Christophe Detour
  • Tibault Antoine
  • Christophe Cauchon
  • Yannick Almecija
  • Stéphane Aribaud
  • François Catelin
  • Glen Viljoen
  • Pierre-Thomas Beun
  • Chief Mike Guez
  • Jeremie Arnaudy
  • Stephane Bayle,

A great big thank you to the organisers of the Uzes Tournament.

Glen Viljoen

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