20 September 2016 / Club News

A View From the Troop

It's a pretty strange start to the week when your initial converstaion with the opposing team manager starts with the statement "I thought you were withdrawing from all competition." Despite the active Chinese whisper rifling through the valley that served as a great starting point for Bispy's rallying cry to get the Troop season started proper.

The Chinese whispers continued as word filtered through that Bargoed would be represented by a number of their Premiership stars, and although a strange one to begin with only served to steel the Troop resolve to the gargantuan task ahead. Sion, Bispy and Angel rang round tirelessly all week, knowing that with only 1 game before the league started we needed to get off the ground sharpish.

Towards the end of the week and after a few heated and head scratching conversations, it was worrying how many people had developed a Bargoed flu. The management team were banging their heads together with reasons not to be unavailable arriving like an avalanche. Bispy even resorted to 6 cups of tea on Friday night to calm his nerves.

Stragglers were still filtering out of the changing rooms at 2:20 p.m so Bispy's hair loss treatment must have taken a battering on Sunday night. Despite this and with quite a few veterans in the ranks FTroop kicked off their season proper and with the expected ferocity and frenzy we've all come to expect from a local derby with Bargoed.

The opening exchanges were fierce and a massive credit has to go to the 8 who fronted up - with Donkey, Gwyther, Ommelette, Bodman and Berrill putting in a massive shift at scrum time and Jacko, Diffy and Viney tackling like banshees from the base to keep the massive Bargoed pack at bay.

With Scotty Edwards and Eddy forming a brand pairing at 9 and 10 and Eddy's long awaited return from injury being a factor, it was with some suprise that Bargoed only led 15 - 0 at the half. Not for a lack of effort on their behalf as their wide game stretched the defence from side to side. Surprisingly the tries we let in were from our own mistakes and that was the rounding centre of the team talk at half time.

Bargoed's wide game played a massive part in disorganising the FTroop defense and with Seb, Chico in the middle and Spud and Nathan Rees on the wings respectively the relentless Bargoed attack finally broke us down and they capitalized mercilessly on 2 more mistakes taking the score to 20 - nil. Bispy rung the changes and what happened next will have to go down in FTroop folkore.

Around the 60 minute mark Lewis Quarry replaced Ommelette, Julian Spiller replaced Bodman, Knotty replaced Diffy, Aaron Harrison replaced Nathan and lay Frenchman Ross Thomas evergreen Dai Roberts entered the fray after a very short hiatus from senior rugby (only 14 years.) With the changes rung, Bargoed suddenly adopted a more conservative style and were kicking for territory rather than spreadin it wide.

This offered Chico, Spud, Seb and Smithy the chance to return them with pace and with Dai chucking it round from the base of the ensuing rucks the Troopers suddenly began to get a foothold in attack. After a Bargoed misdemeanour at the breakdown gave FTroop some much needed territory on their line the confident Bargoed players were suddenly defending underneath their own sticks.

From the resulting lineout FTroop hammered the line and with some deft handling from Berrill, Dai and Jacko - Gwyther managed to squirm over to get some points on the board. A minor victory in itself considering the amount of pressure the Troop had to absorb for the first 60 minutes.

The jubilance was short lived as Bargoed professionally closed out the game by pouncing on more errors to score a final classy break before the final whistle, leaving the final score 5 - 41.

FTroop:- 1. Carl Smythe. 2. Rhys Gwyther 3. Matthew Davies 4. Leon Berrill 5. Lloyd Bodman 6.Matthew Diffey 7. Jonathon Viney. 8. Matthew Jackson 9. Scott Edwards 10. Gareth Edwards 11. Nathan Rees. 12. Shaun Robson 13. Seb Tomms 14. Laurence Donnelly. 15. Stephen Smith 16. Dai Roberts 17. Lewis Knott 18. Julian Spiller 19. Ross Thomas - Unused subs Luke Purnell. Matthew Flower, James Tucker and Rob Jones.

Not a bad squad for a team withdrawuing from all competitions - on to Aberdare next week and the first league game of the season.

Regards Rob Jones (Martyn Rowe was away.)


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