Poneke Pies loss-draw Crusty Old Bureaucrats
The good news is that I can report our Public Service is fit, fast and skilful. The bad news is that they proved this by running around, through and over me.
The traditional last game of the Pies’s season is against a scratch team called the Crusty Old Bureaucrats. It is a tribute to the diversity of the modern public service that so many large, fast Polynesian men are making a career alongside smaller, but still fast, Pakeha fellas. I applaud that, just as I applauded from half-way as they made yet another break.
The fun bit was packing down against my mate Wuss (who usually plays for the Pies) in the front row, and having a run at him with ball in hand. He’s got a bloody bony shoulder, but I’ve got a bit more mass. That’s a fair fight, I reckon.
The Pies gave a good account of themselves against a tide of inevitability. Bruno gave excellent service at halfback, whenever he could persuade the fatties to get out of the way of the backs. If we had decent ball Jason was a threat in the midfield. And we’d snaffled one of the COBs – a strapping young giant called John – before kick-off, so we had good go-forward at times.
And Ned had his best game yet. Which is to say I didn’t make any actual cock-ups, and I did two good things rather than the usual one. The first was to take a high kick-off on the full, make a few yards into contact, and lay it back properly. The second was to float a pass to Sexy Legs on the wing and then stay in support to take the return pass, before off-loading to Jason. (Note to Shag: I could teach Keiran Read a thing or two about link play.)
But still no try for Ned. Which is rugby’s way of telling me that I’ll have to be back next year.