Thursday, 18 September 2008

A World Without a WebMonkey

It was a strange experience, watching Boroughmuir without the Senior WebMonkey beside me. Since we began work on the website in December ’99 there can’t have been more than a dozen games we’ve not attended together. I suppose we could be thought of as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, though I tend to think of us as Dumb and Dumber.

Of course, the fact that I got to see ’Muir hand out a thumping lesson to what was a relatively young Glasgow Hawks side in many ways made up for the strangeness. Had I been presented with another match as soul-crushingly disappointing as the Currie game, I think I’d have felt a lot more jealous of the Mediterranean sun beating down on the WebMonkey’s balding bonce.

For most of the first half I thought we might be in for another slice of defeat pie, we seemed to be making a lot of the same mistakes, although at least not in the same quantities. And had the referee not obviously thought he was in charge of a football match and played a, quite franky, ridiculous amount in injury time, we might not have got the chance to learn the lessons we did.

The main of those lessons was that, when we execute our basics well, we can exhibit pace and power that is difficult to live with. During the second half we held onto passes more often than not, the ball carrier was well supported and the possession quickly recycled and we averaged a try every 5.7 minutes. OK, so you won’t get that high a return every week, but as we proved last season we will at least give ourselves every opportunity to win.

I think the most surprising thing about the weekend, however, wasn’t the realisation of just how much work it takes to get the website done when you’re doing it alone. It was the shock of hearing the result from the Ayr-Watsonians game. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that Ayr won at Millbrae wasn’t a surprise, it was the nature of just how they jamspangled a Watsons side which included international lock forward Jim Hamilton. To be honest, I don’t see Selkirk keeping up the pace they’ve set on their return to the top flight, but if Ayr get a couple more wins under their belt then they’ll have to be considered the most serious of contenders.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

For God's Sake Catch the Ball

I honestly can’t remember a time when I saw Boroughmuir drop the ball more than they did against Currie. Honestly, I reckon the egg hit the floor more often than in the entire of last season. I hope some araldite has been applied to the hands of certain players in preparation for the Hawks match.

I went along with a fair dose of optimism. OK, we hadn’t been perfect against Accies and the weather wasn’t exactly as we’d have liked it but even the Prophet of Doom wasn’t particularly vocal – which is about as close as he ever comes to optimism. The two wins against Currie last season were amongst our more straightforward, and after the chastening experience of having eighty points put on us two years ago, I was convinced we wouldn’t let it happen again.

If I’m being truthful though, some might say a bit harsh, it was as bad a performance this time around as it had been back in Currie’s title winning year. The significant difference in the score line, for me, was largely down to the fact that the hosts are far from the level they reached back then.

The game was the first appearance of the season for my brother, the ‘auxiliary’ Webmonkey, who is generally charged with picking up ‘interesting’ camera shots. He’s usually a good omen as well. In his most recent appearances he’s seen wins over Ayr, Hawick and Watsonians, so his presence was another notch on the optimism belt.

Given the result, however, he’s been issued with a three match ban. We need wins over the next few weeks to ensure that we don’t fall too far behind and we can’t take the risk of him being an bad omen. So the earliest we could see him again would be the trip to Myreside – though I might try to think of some excuse to keep him away from that one as well.

Hawks this week will be tight. It always seems to be so against the team I somewhat see as our West Coast counterparts. Like us they always try to play good rugby, and now with Peter Wright in charge there’s even more reason to like them. And without the Prophet of Doom for the next few weeks either – he’s been sent away to the south of France – I’ll get to watch the match in unobstructed optimism, it’ll be a disconcerting experience.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Episode #6 - Bronson Ross, Kevin Brown & Stuart Waddell

In episode 6 of the BRFC Podcast we look at the first week's action for both the 1st and 2nd XV whilst reporting on the final pre-season match for Meggetland.

Download the podcast here or subscribe via iTunes by clicking the button to the right.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Get This Party Started

There was, it has to be said, a certain amount of excitement around the house on Saturday morning. Despite the return of The Prophet – who was naturally predicting a defeat, albeit a narrow one – even the Senior WebMonkey was looking forward to his regular weekend rugby fix again.

We had a new addition to the team, our two year old, desperately excitable Springer Spaniel, Milo. I think the idea came about purely because my mother wanted to make him a little scarf from Boroughmuir tartan. She reckoned it would be ‘cute’. I reckoned he’d just bark to buggery and make a nuisance of himself.

To be fair to the scamp, he did himself proud and so, perhaps more importantly, did the team. OK, so there was an error count which would have justified shouts of derision from the touchline had it been produced by a team of five year olds but there were also moments of outstanding quality. Moments that suggested the side were ready to pick up just where they left off last season.

Like everyone else, I was delighted with the win, even more so when news filtered through that Melrose had been handed a bit of a spanking at Ayr. Even more pleasing, though was the weather.

For about the first time in this ridiculous excuse for a summer we’ve been having, we didn’t get battered with rain. When the time comes to put together the season review it’ll be nice to have footage of one week in the season at least when the action isn’t obscured by a curtain of water.

Judging by the forecast for Saturday, and the fact that the game’s at Malleny Park (I’m not sure I’ve experienced anything other than driving rain and a howling gale in the many years I’ve been to Currie’s ground) things should be back to normal for round two of the championship.

Some might say that will favour the home side’s big, marauding pack. I think we proved enough last season that we can compete with any team in any style if we get our game right on the day.