The Rugby Forum

The Rugby Forum

Thursday, April 19, 2007

English Rugby Grounds

English Rugby Grounds

Useful rugby map....hats off to those responsible.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Relegation...ooooh relegation

After an undistinguished single-season stay in 2nd tier of English rugby little old Waterloo are headed back down to National Division 2.

Quite frankly it was a season long pummeling by clubs with much better resources and infra-structure but that's life I suppose. It'd be harsh to say that the players got "found out" 'cause let's face it they are only amateur playing in a division that's dominated by the full-timers. Bedford snuck an England international into their line-up whilst Leeds were playing in the Heineken cup the season before running riot against our lot. There are of course clubs closer to our level and they were the games we should have targeted...a few leads were squandered, opportunities missed but ultimately they didn't do enough. One "8 pointer" victory coming against Moseley meant we were never really in with realistic chance of a Miracle of Castel di Sangro happening but the fantastic results against Cornish Pirates and Exeter Chiefs will go down into the club's folklore.

So it's back to Division 2 we go...Launceston, Blackheath and Wharfdale are more fitting company for our friendly little club. As long as the core of the team stay with us we'll be okay but bare in mind the spector of what happened to Orrell. As long as that doesn't happen our kicking won't have done us much harm...a bit of an adventure down at the deep end.

Going to see 'loo is always good regardless of the result or the speed and quality of the year hopefully I'll be a full member. I've only been going two promotion, one relegation but loads of thoroughly entertaining beer filled afternoons and hopefully many, many more.

The higher levels with razzmatazz and it's 8 foot tall forwards and Olympic sprinter backs are all well and good but for the time being I'll take my little clubhouse with it's real ale and open fire, the club shop with the scatty girl who never has change, players and officials mingling with the fans, announcements over the tannoy to see if an electrician is around to fix the floodlights, cheering as the cars by the side of the pitch get pinged by the ball, sarcasm pouring off our rowdy little brick terrace. This might sound like sour grapes 'cause, of course, it is.

We'll go down unlamented by the big boys...we didn't pack their stadiums with away fans 'cause let's face it hardly anyone in Liverpool goes the rugby. We didn't serve up fantastic, memorable matches 'cause let's face it we were out of our depth. We battled defence mainly. I never saw the team give up no matter how hard they were hit, no matter how much faster the opposition player was. For that I salute Mick Melrose, Dave Blythe, Freeman Payne and the lads.

It's hard to say we've enjoyed it but from what I've heard we were greeted warmly but all the fine, fine clubs in National Division One and I'd like to think we were equally welcoming to the away fans who tripped up to Blundellsands. Hopefully we'll be back and hopefully we'll have learnt and grown from the experience. In the mean time rugby, like life, goes on.

Honourable mentions to Exeter Chief's winger Jason Luff not only for his two tremendous tries but for having a good laugh with us on the sidelines and to the scallywag who when the ref awarded Waterloo and penalty after a string of decisions going Exeter's way, shouted "Oh well done that's not all you use your right arm for" (to the amusement of fans, players and officials alike).