A view from the 2nd row...
Our surplus of back rows and apparent deficit of 2nd rows allowed me the opportunity to step up into the engine room this weekend. I was happy to be included in the squad and happier to be starting but I find that playing 2nd row cuts down on the freedoms you have playing at 8 in both defence and attack, but as Charles Darwin was first to point out, "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
We travelled down to Earlsdon near Coventry for the 1st round of the EDF National Trophy. Earlsdon are from 3 levels below Caldy but certainly turned up to make a win as challenging as possible. The first half was riddled with our own mistakes and good defence and turnovers from the home side but with superior fitness strength and enterprise we eventually built to a strong finish and came away with a convincing win.
In most rugby clubs, league games always take priority over cup games as survival or promotion is the premier concern. When teams have several wins under their belts and perhaps the final is in sight they may be taken more seriously and more effort and finances are put in. But I think there will always be a place in rugby for competitions like the EDF trophy. This weekend passed allowed a David and Goliath situation to occur, and whilst the larger more professional opponent won the game, I find myself feeling that Earlsdon more than convincingly won the moral battle of the day.
I think a lot of Caldy players could look back to Saturday and should they ask themselves who wanted to win the game more, the truthful answer would be the opposition.
In a game where the winter months can throw panache and skill clean out of the window, and in the knowledge that whilst we sit at the top of the league table, everyone we play will think of themselves as underdogs, perhaps it is time to wake up and realise that we are not invincible and that in some games the team with the greatest desire to win will do just that.
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