Under’s keep bragging rights
Posted on December 17, 2011, Saturday
THE Under’s defeated the Over’s in a penalty shootout for their second victory on the trot in the annual Louis Simon Peter Trophy last week-end.
This game is for players over and under 30 years old and is one of two games between these two sets of players during the year — with the other for the Frank Burke Gaffney Memorial Cup.
The Simon Louis Peter Cup is played towards the end of the year while the Frank Burke Gaff-ney Memorial Cup at the beginning of the year.
Winners of the Frank Burke Gaffney Memorial Cup will have bragging rights until the Simon Louis Peter Cup. These two games are for all pla-yers in Kuching or those who happen to be in Kuching during the weekend, as well as mem-bers and non-members of KRFC.
The Frank Burke Gaffney Cup was mooted by KRFC and Frank, a former Club stalwart, who never missed a weekend unless he was not in town, gave his blessings.
The idea was to organise a game between Club members and non-members who have reached 30, and those below that age for the beginning of the season when there were not many tour-naments going on.
The Louis Simon Peter Trophy was suggested and sponsored by Louis, another Club stalwart, for the players to close out the season.
The Over’s used to lord it over the Under’s in these two games until the last two years when the numbers of the Over’s began to dwindle after the senior players stopped playing due to various reasons.
The present crop of Club players still have a few Over’s among their numbers but Louis and Club are finding it harder each year to cobble toge-ther a side for the two games, having to call for reinforcement from former players.
And those former players who answered the call-up are certainly not as fit as they were in their prime. But what they do have in abun-dance are experience, wile and guile, allied to the fitness of the just Over’s who are still active in the game.
They might not have the legs and lungs of old but they still have the heart and commitment to help the Over’s win. This combination has en-sured victory in every one of the two games for the Over’s until the last two years.
Some of the Over’s who showed up were cer-tainly not in prime condition to play a full game but still, they laced up their boots and squeezed themselves into jumpers that appeared to have shrunk two sizes since they last wore them to lock shoulders with the Under’s in a bid to maintain their ascendancy.
The reason some of these Over’s found the jum-pers a couple of sizes too small was they had added a few inches to their girth. But their ex-perience, wile and guile — plus heart and com-mitment — had carried the day and this is what the Over’s will count on in the foreseeable fu-ture unless a few more of the current Under’s cross over to the Over’s in the next few years.
These games are not meant to be serious — more like friendlies but for rugby players, fri-endlies are not friendlies at all, so the players from both sides do not hold back from the tackles although they still share a few laughs when the some of the Over’s try to do what they used to do but fail. Or when the Under’s make mistakes, especially the basics, then the Over’s will have a go at them but it is all good natured fun.
Bragging rights for the winners during the year mean both sides will do their best to win — the Cups being secondary. And so the games have been eagerly anticipated all this while not ne-cessarily as the year’s highlights but games that the Under’s certainly look forward to in order to let the Over’s know they have grown up.
Until two years ago, the Under’s had been shown their places. The Under’s have youth, energy and legs on their side but when it comes to the lungs, it’s quite even although some of the Over’s still have the legs and so can still give the Under’s cause for concern during breaks.
But when it comes to experience, guile and wile, the Over’s are far ahead and these have stood them in good stead since the games were first played, whereas the Under’s have been playing catch up all along.
Last year, and this year, they finally caught up and won. The wins do not mean the Over’s have declined – only that they have struggled to put up a side against the Under’s due to dwindling numbers. And some of the Under’s who have graduated to the Over’s have not really gained the experience to strengthen the Over’s.
Last weekend’s game looked to be going the Over’s way when they led 32-27 in the closing stages. But the Under’s came back to score one more try to tie the game 32-32 before the final whistle.
Both team captains chose not to go for extra time but settled for penalty kicks from the 22 line. And after four kicks, the score was still tied at 4-4 and the Under’s finally managed to retain the Cup by producing a sudden death winning kick.
The Over’s had eight original team members while the rest comprised players from the army and the schools. Over’s Azlan and Awang were not available due to travelling duties.
The Under’s were the Club side for the various tournaments during the year. Although the Un-der’s won, they did it the hard way, only ma-naging to tie the score at the death of the game and then finally clinch it by winning the penalty kick during sudden death.
While the Over’s lost for the second year run-ning, they showed they could still give the Un-der’s a run for their money even though they had only eight regular players.
The players from the army and schools are not regulars, yet they still could help put the Over’s ahead until the final 30 seconds. This shows either the Over’s are still a force to be reckon-ed with, or the Under’s are still lagging behind, technically and tactically.
With the Over’s only able to field eight original members, the Under’s should have had a stroll in the park last week and settled the match early on, yet they still trailed until almost the fi-nal whistle.
With this result, I’m sure Louis will be doing his best to rustle up a few more Over’s for the Frank Burke Gaffney Cup next year.
Congratulations to both sides for turning up to have a good game and to the Under’s for defen-ding their title.
There will be another friendly today at 4.30pm at Song Kheng Hai Ground along Padungan Road. Everyone interested in running out for a game is most welcome to turn up before 4.30pm. Jumpers will be provided by Club, so players just need to bring along their own shorts, stockings and boots.