Memories don’t leave like people do

Friday, 26 April 2013 05:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

After the New Year break, the schools rugby season is back with a bang. Science will take on Pathana, giant killers Wesley will take on Royal and the Petes will meet the Trinity Lions. It would have been great if these matches had been spread over three days as opposed to all of them being played on Saturday.

Pathana are a shadow of what they were last year when they played an exhilarating brand of rugby which was enjoyed by all rugby enthusiasts. It is a shame that they are not at their best as it would have been great to see them perform.

Wesley having being promoted to the top division is on with a mission. It is not about being just physically present. They have indicated in the first few games that they are here to stay. Their style of rugby has not been flamboyant by any stretch of imagination. On the contrary they have played simple 15 man rugby.

In this day and age of sophistication and technological advancement, we are times very reliant and maybe over reliant on technology. I don’t see an army of caching staff and the few of them appear to be able to motivate the boys on the field to do better.

Royal on the other hand armed with an expatriate coach have struggled to show results on the field of play. There is a fair bit of conjecture at this stage as to whether the coaching contingent has been able to jell with the boys. At times as the old saying goes ‘too many cooks spoil the soup’ could be a reason.

The Trinity Lions are an exciting bunch and once again with access to expatriate coaching skills. As mentioned in an earlier article, possession must be used meticulously. The presence of it does not guarantee success, but the judicious use of it does.

After the loss last week the Lions will have to face the rampaging Petes in their own den. Over the past years the tussle between the Petes and Trinity has been fascinating. In the seventies/eighties the Petes went through a barren patch where they simply could not do enough to beat the Lions. That has changed in recent times, and the Petes now face an encounter with the Lions with self belief.

My mind goes back to game in the seventies played at Bamba where in the last minute the Petes were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. On any other day, Peterite Frank Hubert would have slotted it with his eyes closed. It was not to be as the ball hit the cross bar and bounced back into play. The mood in the dressing room was that befitting a funeral as opposed to just having finished a game of quality rugby.

The late Archibald Perera who has coached many a championship side was devastated and for once was lost for words. What made the players sad and reduced to tears was to see their beloved coach so disappointed and dejected.

When the old mates meet, often this game comes up for discussion and the disappointment of that loss still lingers on. They say memories don’t leave like people do whether they’ve been good or bad. Interestingly a large number of that Peterite team went on to play club rugby and represented the country as well with distinction.

There has been the debate as whether ‘Archie,’ as he was popularly known, was the best coach. The answer is simple. As I listen to some of the international commentators, the bulk of their views on possession, tactical play, box kicking and sticking to basics are still the same as Archie taught us in the seventies. I rest my case.

(The writer can be reached via scrumaf@gmail.com.)

Recent columns

COMMENTS