I did enjoy yesterday’s rugby union action at Kingsholm Stadium. Other commitments insisted that I arrived two minutes before kick-off and had to guiltily scurry away at the very, very death (although I missed not one second of the drama). It was strange not being stood in the Popular Side an hour or so before the referee’s 3pm blast and, in a strange way, my tardiness meant it took me a while to really warm up, focus on the match and analyse the performance. Scampering up Worcester Street at 2.53pm, I was surprised to witness so many supporters making their way to the stadium too although I would confidently venture that the vast majority of the late-cats were sitters rather than standers.
The match itself, while no classic, was rather exciting and I enjoyed watching my favoured team, the Gloucester outfit of Gloucester, dismiss, to an extent, the mundane aerial pong-ping of recent months and attempt to overcome a routine and mundane side (Worcester, ahem, Warriors) through some incisive and inventive back-play. The home side’s outside-half Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Robinson caught this eye with some splendid surges through the visitors’ midfield and, in the second half, our enterprise stepped up a gear when the (slightly below par) wing-threequarter Sharples departed injured, the burly Molenaar entered the fray and the wasted-in-the-centre young prince, Simpson-Daniel found himself out wide and with more space. The final score 13-13 flattered the South Midlanders despite the home side trailing until the time period formerly known as 'injury time'. A last gasp try by the energetic and hugely promising Attwood levelled the scores but a tricky conversion proved too difficult for the enigmatic Spencer. Frankly, the game was there for the taking so a draw could be considered a disappointment. Robinson missed two or three fairly routine attempts at the posts and, on too many occasions to count, Gloucester failed to capitalise on gilt-edged opportunities to cross the whitewash for tries. Whilst encouraged by my team’s ambition, I shall be more content when chances are taken with a tad more ruthlessness.