In only our second season we journeyed overseas (well over the Severn bridge) for our first competitive tournament in Welsh Wales.
On arrival in a beautiful sunny Swansea we headed straight to the Walkabout bar where the All Blacks were devouring the Welsh and we devoured a marvelous breakfast complete with a lovely pint of the black stuff.
Breakfast over and the Welsh national team suitably humiliated by the Kiwis, we headed over to register and check out the competition.
We quickly wished we hadn’t. What became blatantly clear fairly early on was that there is little to do in Swansea except go to the gym, – teams like the Ponty Butchers, were turning grown mens legs to jelly- or was that the black pudding and Guinness?
Our first game was a real baptism of fire as 7 professional rugby players took to the sand (it was beach rugby) against us and proceeded to run rings around us scoring 7 tries in quick succession. They even found the time to build a sand castle at one point as we furiously tried to re-organise our defence!
Gaddy pulled some respectability back for us as he took an opportunistic try snaking around their defence and scoring under the posts (2 points for under the posts). To be fair it may well have been a sympathy try such was the gulf between the two teams and on the strength of our first competitive game, it looked set to be a long long day!
Our fortunes changed with the second game winning by two trys to nil – with No. 9 Anton scoring down the wing twice.
Our confidence buoyed we came up against the Cornish Pirates in our last pool match. A close game nearly turned into a bar room brawl as Mr Burbridge saw red. Several ‘Leeeeaaaaaaavvvveeeee its’ later and handbags firmly back on shoulders the ref called it a day and we trotted off the pitch with a well deserved draw.
Miraculously, Gaddy’s try under the posts in the first game was enough to see us through to the plate competition coming in second in our group.
Once again we rallied the troops and stole a win to take our place in the 1/4 finals of the plate competition where we were duly humiliated by a much better team full of gym bunnies and muscle marys.
So ended our first tournament with a very respectable finish in the 1/4 finals of the plate.
Other highlights of the day/night included a trip to Mike’s brothers pub where certain members of our team had their eyes well and truly opened by being offered the services of a lady of the night, viagra and a wrap of cocaine in one sentence. Perhaps most remarkable about the offer was the fact that this was all available for less than a tenner! If nothing else, Swansea is clearly good value for money.
Despite this incredible offer we acted like model citizens making our excuses and leaving – moving on to Wind Street where we learned the ancient art of iguana wrestling (insert link to video)
All in all, a great day/night out. Some good rugby played, wonderful bonding and very sore heads for the journey back down the M4 the following morning.