25 Feb 2000

The Gents scored an excellent 29-0 win over All France. Brian Dillon was outstanding again and scored a try and two conversions. Other tries came from Gareth Hayward, Jeff Scott & Eugene Kyim (2). The Gents have now won & lost equal numbers of games this season, and are left with everything to play for against the Cru in their last fixture.

The first XV game against Tokyo Gaijin, in contrast, was a low point in the season. It was not just defeat – we went down 16-14 to a last minute penalty – but the manner of the defeat that was depressing & embarassing. We had only SEVEN fresh players ready to start at kick-off time, and failed to match them for aggression & committment for most of the game. Admittedly the referee was blind and pedantic – he gave several terrible offsides, kept blowing for their scrum when we had turned over their possession and made a pig’s ear of the scrum. However we didn’t help ourselves with no zip in attack and poor discipline at the breakdown which gave them two kickable penalties in the first half and (along with a try) a 13-0 lead at the break.
We picked it up for the second half and James Lovegrove scored twice, both well converted by Fraser, for a brief lead, but we couldn’t hold it to the end. James was our man of the match both for his scoring and for his brutal defence.
As always respect is due to Erich, Sandy, Brookie, Gareth, Richard, Dan, Al & Max who played all or part of both games, and thanks go to Rob Keay of the Cru who also turned out for us.

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