Whether it was the weather, or the gruelling 30 minute trip and lack of changing rooms, Swaffham somehow managed to start the game as if not tackling your opponent was the latest IRB experimental law. Unbeaten, this season, Crusaders got into their stride from the start and were 12-0 up after 10 minutes. After some more lacklustre attempts at stopping the opposition, Swaffham then conceded two quick tries, and by 20 minutes into the game the try bonus point was already won by Crusaders.
Somehow, by telepathy or shouting, Wayne got the message across, and Swaffham began to play rugby how it was intended. They attacked the Crusaders line for long periods but the wet and windy conditions made the slippery ball as precious as a 2p piece in Poundland, and it was regularly dropped in promising situations.
Swaffham played down the slope in the second half and again started to dominate the close encounters with good driving play, but with slow ball, were unable to provide the cutting edge when the ball moved wide. From being 26-0 down after 20 minutes it then took Crusaders until the 63rd minute to cross for their fifth try, but by then the crowd had begun stamping their feet and clapping their hands to keep warm rather than with excitement. Having spent so much energy getting nowhere, and down to 14 due to injuries, Swaffham relaxed for the last ten minutes and allowed the home side to score a couple of late tries to bring their tally to seven, and the final score of 45-0.
Not a great game to watch and nothing like the sort of rugby we know Swaffham are capable of, but then it probably wasn’t the nicest afternoon to be running about outside! However, two more recruits in the shape of Woody and Steve, both of whom showed promise and will be welcome additions to the squad.
Watton at Home next week, with a 3pm kick off under floodlights planned – Unless the weather gets a lot worse and the pitch is too wet, in which case it will revert to 2pm on the top pitch.
Photos taken under the grey skies at Little Melton can be found at Seniors Gallery – Swaffham RUFC (swaffhamrugby.co.uk)