Tag Archives: rugby league

Another day, another defeat

Nottingham Outlaws played Beverley on Saturday, coming off a run of nine defeats. I got there ten minutes after kick off and they were already ten points down, having been undone twice by cross field kicks.

The trouble is that the lads from Yorkshire, even the weightier ones (and at least two of them were built like competitive eaters rather than athletes), grow up with Rugby League, but many of our team tend to be tactically naive. As you can see from the table, they can score tries, despite this. Unfortunately, we can’t stop the opposition from scoring, and often help them by dropping the ball.

Despite the run of defeats we are still putting a team out every week. That’s more than you can say for one of the other teams, which has now dropped out.

I’ll leave it to the match report to give details. If you think it’s critical of the referee, I assure you it’s mild compared to the comments made by people from both sides on Saturday.


I don’t normally have a go at refs as they do a tough job and there would be no games without them. Despite having qualified as a ref in both codes I am actually incapable of thinking, seeing, running, deciding and whistling at the same time and admire anyone who can.

However, the referee did not have a great day, failing to play advantage, missing several infringements and penalising several imagined infringements. He also made a mess of the timekeeping.  To be fair though, I have seen far worse.

It was good in parts (we led twice), it only rained part of the time and everyone likes a good moan at the ref. Plus we got a chance to build character, even if we would have preferred to win.

And that’s about it – just another average Saturday for the amateur sportsmen of Britain.




Sharlston Rovers v Nottingham Outlaws

It was always going to be a stiff test today because Sharlston Rovers are a long-established club. Founded around 1881, they won their first cup in 1895 (The Wakefield and District Cup) and have an impressive record of winning and producing professional players, including three winners of the Lance Todd Trophy.

Outlaws  were founded in 1999. We won a few things, notably the Harry Jepson Trophy in 2008. I say “we”, though my role in the victory was confined to a bit of light spectating and the offering of advice to the match officials, who completely ignored me.

Despite the lack of history and pedigree we didn’t look too bad for most of the time.

It’s hard playing Rugby League in Yorkshire, because they grow up playing it, where most of the Outlaws come to it via Rugby Union. The two games may seem similar, but they are quite different in places and it sometimes shows.

There are other differences, but this might not be the time or place to mention my views on Yorkshire Rugby League.

We arrived about ten minutes late to find that the skies were blue and Outlaws were in the lead. Neither would last.

First the rain came, then Sharlston equalised. We scored again, but missed the kick, and when Sharlston scored again they nailed the kick to lead by two points.

We exhibited a certain amount of defensive frailty, as they say and fell six more points behind. At that point the crowd started to relax and the whining stopped (there’s nothing as whiney as a Yorkshireman under pressure).

This proved to be the story of the second half too, as our continuing defensive troubles allowed Sharlston in a couple more times. We kept them under pressure and forced several schoolboy errors, like a long pass to the wing that went into touch. Embarrassing.

Having played RL in Yorkshire for several years Number Two son clapped that error in a display of Yorkshire sportsmanship. He knows how to twist the knife.

The best part of the day was seeing one of our players make his First Team debut. He started as an Under 9 and Number One son used to coach him. It was worth the trip just to see that and hear Number One son say “I’m feeling very old now”.

I know that feeling.

It was a trip down memory lane for Number Two son too. During his Yorkshire playing days he’d been carded by today’s ref and been in a fight with one of the Sharlston players (who was then playing for Featherstone Lions).

I am such a proud parent.

Final score 26 – 10. It was closer than the score suggests for most of the match.






What a difference a day makes

It’s a slightly ironic title when you consider the actual words of the song.

What a diff’rence a day made / Twenty-four little hours / Brought the sun and the flowers / Where there used to be rain

What has actually happened in the last 24 hours is that the rain has replaced the sun and the flowers.

We have a small group of children and parents visiting to bake, hunt for treasure hidden by teddy bears and play with the chickens. They managed a Treasure Hunt and some outdoor sports before the weather turned bad, so we can certainly call it a draw as far as the weather is concerned.

After that it was indoor sports and chickens.

That’s not for me, of course. I’m performing my normal indoor sport of Washing Up. Funny how that happens. When I deliver a baking session I wash up after myself. When Julia delivers a baking session I wash up after her. Interesting division of labour; I’m thinking of checking back on our wedding service to see what it has to say on the subject.

At the moment everyone has returned from the barn and they are colouring in salt dough shapes of teddy bears – one to take home and one to leave for our bread shed. There is a prize of sweets for the best one. I believe the plan is to have a large number of joint winners, as it would be a bit rough not to get any sweets.

Meanwhile, Number Two son looks more like he’s been in a fight than a dental surgery.

Years ago, whilst playing for the Wakefield Trinity U15 Scholarship team, he was set upon by two Featherstone Rovers props and ended up looking like he’d been in a car crash. To add insult to injury he was one of the two selected for sin-binning after a 26 man brawl developed (his team mates not being the sort of people to stand by like choirboys whilst violence was being applied to one of their own). I’m not saying that the beating or the sin-binning was undeserved, as his (defamatory) remarks about the mother of one of the props had, in fairness, been intended to get under the skin of his opposite number: I mention it merely to compare injuries.

Two props, aided by a couple of second rows, left him hurting and with eyes swollen to slits so that he was unable to see properly.

Without any slander as to the virtue of the dentist’s mother he was left sore, swollen and barely able to speak.

Makes you wonder what would have happened if he’d upset the dentist.

As a trivial aside – can anyone link Wakefield Trinity to Dr Who?




Days of whine and roses

Press this link if you want to see a rant in defence of rugby, which is currently under attack from various people whining about how dangerous it is for kids. It’s more dangerous for adults. I crocked myself quite badly during the practical section of the referee’s course where a child would merely have bounced up and carried on running.

Here are some pictures of the cookies we were given at the meeting yesterday, which were still warm when we ate them. They were from the recipe given at the cookery demonstration last week, but as I wasn’t there I’m not sure what the recipe was. My verdict – good and chocolatey and probably good for me as they seemed to contain fibre. As usual I didn’t remember the picture until the end. They were the best bit of the meeting.

I’ve been writing the minutes today, and still can’t believe we did so much talking about so little of importance.

Today we took some photos of the new goats (seven born in one weekend – no I can’t tell you how it was done, and I doubt I could do it again).

We followed up with soup (sweet potato, potato, onion, chilli and garlic) from the soup maker and made bath bombs with dried roses roses on top and Mother’s Day cards with foam flowers.

And yes, I’ve been waiting for the right time to use that title! The only problem now I’ve used it is that I may have used it before – on going to find a link for Ernest Dowson it seems familiar. Not the poem, the finding of the link to the poem. If I have done it before I apologise, if not, maybe I should reassess my stance about sports which lead to repeated blows to the head.

Serious Saturday

I am now paying for my day of idleness yesterday, and have various documents spread out on computer and desk as I plan for the coming year.

Julia secured two bookings yesterday, with a group of young(ish) cancer survivors visiting for days of lifestyle skills – cookery, looking after animals and financial management. It’s a strange mix but when you have a farm with a demo kitchen things tend to revolve round food and animals. Now that Julia is chair of a community accounting group we also have access to financial training.

So I’m planning lessons and putting together the strategic plans I should have done in November. They are taking time because I’m using the format we used when we did the Clubmark plans for Nottingham Outlaws.

I’m not using a bit of A4 and a list of things to do, I’m listing the current situation, the desired result, who is doing it and when they are doing it. It’s all getting a bit serious, but we’re getting bigger and the old approach needs updating.

Sorry to be so earnest, but there’s something sobering about a pile of papers with times, names and dates on them.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible as they used to say on TV when I was a lad. I’ll try to compose “Silly Sunday”.

Meanwhile, in the Six Nations, Italy is leading France 18-10 in what sounds like an entertaining game. I bet I’d be even more serious if I supported France.