After a long impromptu winter break due to weather conditions (the FFR no doubt trying to pretend that the entire country was suffering the same icy curse as the Stade de France), BRFC finally took to field once more to try and overcome a pompiers side who are nestled towards at the top end of the table.
They failed to ignite any semblance of a spark however with their kicker taking charge to inflict a painful 18-3 defeat despite BRFC making most of the play.
Back on Domont’s terrain d’honneur, the expat boys went into this game with nothing to lose but a place in the playoffs to gain against a side who’s heads were said to be on school holiday. It was also distinctly clear what their game plan was as their 10 began hoofing the ball here there and everywhere.
If there was a crossbar challenge for faces, the guy would have infinitude won a house after smacking Selim “falcon*” Izrar from distance. It is still unclear as to whether Selim tried to catch the up and under between his teeth.
Either or, the firemen, who were all called sam were soon hosing down on BRFC territory. The british defence was holding well however but a penalty allowed their kicker, a prop forward called sam, to step up for the first time. He effortlessly slotted the long range effort to open the scoreline. 0-3 pompiers.
BRFC were undeterred and almost immediately equalised on their first excursion into the firefighter’s half. A penalty for a high-tackle on Brian “100% pass rate” Dodson was converted by Bentos to take the scores to 3-3.
The match didn’t really evolve from there as the ref’s whistle, which we all agreed as being a tedious flat in the key of boring, took over. Knock ons and penalties turned sour as the man in the middle gave Villi a yellow for a bruising hit on sam, the opposition’s hooker. There was no longer any pressure coming out of the pompier’s engine but as per usual, prop-sam came up with a cunning plan to save the day. In this case it involved a kicking tee. As indiscipline shot BRFC in the foot, the score creeped up to 3-12 before the half time (yep, you guessed it) whistle.
A brisk talk during the break seemed to whip some shape in the expat boys who threw caution to the wind and began running the ball from pretty much everywhere. Sergio Hall crashed through a fair number of times with the old faithfull dsp move working wonders and some good running out wide from Charles “i have more names than four names” de Castelnau and debutant Clement.
Sadly, the final metres to head over the whitewash were never quite made. The pompiers never got close as they opted for the typically english tactic of kicking points, despite being 12, 15 then 18-3 up. Yaaaaawwwwn.
And there it is, a forgettable last outing despite showing some promise against a team that didn’t really live up to the hype. They got the job done however, which is obviously what they have been doing all season.
In the forwards Phil “Ave Maria” Davies had a busy game off the bench alongside guests Constantin and Amir. In the backs, Dougal Henderson marshalled things well and Tom O’Connor received the man of the match award (which he thought he didn’t deserve) for a fine performance in a match that lacked spark all round.
BRFC’s spot is safe for next year. There won’t be any playoff action though meaning that the boys are heading into a prolonged break before facing a tough cup match up against that tiny little rugby club they call ACBB.
Finally, this may have been Nico Dolo’s last game at the helm of the forwards. I say “may” because the big man loves rugby so much we are all hoping he’ll stick around until the zimmer frame comes out.
* A “falcon” is a term used by antipodeans** to describe an unfortunate incident whereby a rugby player inadvertently receives the ball smack in the face.
** Antipodean = Dougal