Eight members of the Old Reigatian RFC Walking Rugby squad set out for Bristol on Friday to rest before undertaking not only their first WR Festival but our first matches ever. A fine meal at a local Italian restaurant followed by a sterling effort at keeping the bar open as long as possible prepared us well for the following day.
Our hosts were Kingswood RFC, to be found on the east side of Bristol. In terms of organisation it is impossible to fault the club. It put on a fantastic, well organised (9 rounds of 6 matches that finished on time!) and well supported day. The weather was sunny with a gentle breeze and the grounds looked a picture.
18 teams from 14 clubs played a series of matches whereby each team played 6 matches through the day. Not only was this our first festival the first match was our first ever competitive game. Nerves were jingling as we lined up for the whistle, the words of our erstwhile captain, Hamish “McSweatie” Turnbull encouraging us to be daring and swift of step and to fear no team. We played Amesbury, a side that looked like they knew what to do (as did every team we played) and they scored first within the first 2 minutes. However back we came and scored next, Julie Robinson being the first Old Reigatian WR player to score for the club. It is possible we became a little overconfident and let our defences down as they scored twice quickly. The match turned into an excellent contest with Amesbury winning 5 – 3. Our second match was against one of our hosts 3 teams and it was obvious they were well drilled. Still we scored first, then lost Mike Bignell to a pulled hamstring and eventually succumbed 8 – 2. Match 3 v Cardiff Barbarians – they looked very good so we introduced our Swansea Jack to wind them up. David Eccles had never even played before let alone know the laws but with 5 minutes of coaching from the skipper he was ready. He did not let us down. Still we came out second again 6 – 1.
After the lunch break we played 3 more matches and while unsuccessful in them we did score a few tries and we did put on a good showing. What we all learned was that this is a great game played in true rugby fashion of sportsmanship, fun, respect and teamwork.
There were a few awards at the end one of which, “The Sporting Team” was awarded to ORs. A great day out and judging by the Whatsapp comments, roll on the next one.
Squad: Hamish Turnbull (Captain), Phil Smith (Manager), John Dancer, Julie Robinson, Jo Murray, Sarah De Ath, Mike Bignell, David Eccles, David McGuigan.
For those interested in playing we meet on Saturday morning at 10.30. The session lasts for about an hour. For further information contact Phil Smith on 07976 276250 or firstname.lastname@example.org