Monday, February 16, 2009

Early days thinking is only so much

Gloucester 24 - Sale 17

I am delighted to report, albeit tardily, another fine victory for my favoured rugby team, the Gloucester side of Gloucester. For the second home match running, they who wear cherry and white were struggling and all seemed lost only for a remarkable comeback to dazzle and send the loyal spectators into raptures. Naturally, all eyes were on new signing, Carlos Spencer who slotted in splendidly and produced a masterclass in the basics of the sport, probing cunningly with his kicks, passing the ‘egg’ expertly with vision and, when possible, running the ball himself with class. At one point, the crafty Kiwi collected the ovoid pig’s bladder in his own 22 and scampered almost sixty metres, shimmying here, jinking there, past countless hapless defenders; for a fellow who, we are informed, lacks pace this was a stunning piece of skill and agility that was worth the price of admission alone. The resulting penalty (Sale’s players were forced to illegally kill the attack) took Gloucester ahead minutes after a well-executed try had dragged ‘the lads’ back into contention. Spencer naturally deserved plaudits galore for his witty contributions but I am as happy with the physicality brought to the side by Gareth Delve who, along with other abrasive behemothic specimens, Azam, Somerville, James and Satala (looking more comfortable wearing a six than a seven), made hard yards all afternoon, seeking collisions and confrontations until no-side was announced and the celebrations could commence. If all players are fit and available, Gloucester now looks strong enough to challenge for the Premiership title. I continue to have and express doubts about the play-off system but the club needs silverware to reward its investment in players and the loyalty of supporters. Spencer could be pivotal in any such quest and I look forward to watching him weave his magic again soon.

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