<![CDATA[The 3rd XV trekked all the way to Brampton with a motley crew team consisting of veteran players, players recently graduated from the Nomads Junior program, and a handful of players competing in their first ever rugby game. Despite protests from Roman Sidey, John “Texas” Nguyen was awarded the captaincy for the game (after he begged for it), and Lloyd Dobson vice-captaincy, providing a strong voice for the front pack. The heat took its toll early on, and with Brampton’s size differential, the opposition stormed off to a four tries to one lead at the end first half. With the wind advantage in the second half, the Nomads responded with a flurry of line breaks and great open play that would have made Coach Pete proud. Two tries to Tal Schwartz, and one a piece for Stephen Stothen-Roberts, Liam O’Donovan, Ryan Alizadeh, Matt Ackers, and Texas, laid the foundation for 39-36 win. Special mention to all the players who made their Seniors Men’s / Nomads debut: Liam O’Donovan, Caine Hussey-Derrer, Kaveh Sodeifi, Ryan Alizadeh, Shu Wang, Michael Bridge, Mitch Serhan, Stephen Stothen-Robertson, Wallace Dos Santos, and Matt Ackers.
Nomads 2nd XV opened proceedings on the back field (the water logging of the front field forcing the club to revert back to its roots) against an Ajax side, most of whom were born when meat was cheap. The home side took first points through a penalty goal to Kurt Barrington and controlled the opening half hour. Unfortunately that control could not be turned into tries and Ajax eventually got the better of us with four converted tries to win 28-3. Despite the lop-sided score line, the team showed signs of what it is capable of once everything gels and Texas is kept away for a meaningful amount of time, with a decent handful of players in their first match for the club showing a lot of promise. Todd Reesor was awarded Nomads best on ground for his heavy tackling and stepping up with the ball in hand.
The 1st XV arrived intent on breaking a losing streak dating back to last August and to atone for the one-sided, if not gutsy loss to London St. George two weekends ago. In some of the worst May heat this reporter has experienced, every player in blue and white began the match like it was playoffs already, implementing Coach Pete’s new favoured style of “total rugby”. It paid off quickly, with forwards Philly Grimes and Roman Sidey linking unlikely passes to scrumhalf Ryan Manton for the first try of the match. The conversion was made by Romain (poor yet correct spelling – ed.) who was on debut at flyhalf. A trademark line-break from Manto up the middle of the pitch nearly resulted in a try to Mr. Fix-It himself; Logsy. No one knows what really happened, but somehow the evergreen Aussie didn’t score and Ajax had a scrum five out from their own line. The Nomads’ lighter pack was up for it though and won the tighthead for the second scrum in a row, and Manto was able to send Welsh import Gethin Roberts over for his first Nomads try. Once again, Romain slotted the extra two points – he had missed a penalty between the two tries so 100% was ruined.
Not long after the restart, Manto was up to his old tricks again and made another line break, this time up the sideline. Philly once again playing like a back was his man in support but he was half a yard too slow and ended up bumbled into the sideline by the smallest bloke on the field. Not only did he not get the try but he also dislocated his knee in the process. Philly says he’ll be back in two weeks, but that kind of sums him up.
The third try did come soon after with Manto (the obvious eventual man of the match) once again dictating play, this time setting up rookie and u18 graduate Evan Underwood. This kid has looked more than comfortable in the top team and has a bright future in rugby – a testament to our youth set-up and junior coaches. Romain added the points as well as a three-pointer to give Nomads a 24-0 lead into half time. After the half, Ajax stepped up as the home side perhaps rested on their laurels. Three tries inside 15 minutes of the restart had the match in the balance at 24-19.
What happened over the next 25 minutes showed just what sort of character this club has in its ranks. Tackle after tackle being made and what were no less than 56 penalties against, and yet the Nomads kept the massive Wanderers out. A late yellow card to skipper Ronan Coughlan only added to the efforts of the blokes on the field and when Romain found touch with a high kick the Nomads had held on for a famous win. Special mention to import Antoine Decaux who worked all day tackling anything that moved, Eddie Vegetables for organising some solid defense and making some great runs, Rob Morgan for his industrious work rate around the rucks, and Steve Parfitt for seamlessly keeping the lads watered.
Also, to the casualties of the battle Steve Rowlands (shoulder), Bunny (concussion no.18), Logsy (broken arm), Philly (knee), Dale (heat stroke, wrist problems, ginger, short of breath) and Roman (general soreness).]]>