Aberdeen Spring Tournament – ‘A’ Team’s Exploits

Posted: May 13, 2011 by guerillastrc in Competitions
Tags: , , ,

On Saturday 7th May two Guerillas teams gathered at Woodside for the Aberdeen Spring tournament. The activitymix Guerillas (the ‘A’ team) were looking to bag as many points as possible to add to our Aberdeen Touch Series (ATS) total and we also had enough players for a full second squad of activitymix Guerillas Killer Bees.

Of note for this event was the rise of the clubs, with half the teams taking part coming from just four clubs. Superhands and Leopards have been able to turn out two teams to a number of recent events. However this was also the first away tournament that Stirling Touch has sent two teams to and Guerillas registered two teams in a weekend tournament for the first time in some time.

The ‘A’ team’s first game was against Superhands Academy. The method by which Superhands split their players between their two teams is always a mystery,  although there was speculation that their constitution mandates a minimum number of French speakers in each team. As it was the Academy team featured some of the more experienced players as the spine of the team, along with some newer faces.

Superhands Academy, prior to lessons

This looked like the game that would decide the pool winner and we always expect to have to work hard against a Superhands team. Expectations were confirmed when we conceded within the first few seconds after the whistle. However Guerillas clawed their way back into the game and led 3-2 going into the final stages. We had to dig deep right to the end of the game with Superhands knocking on the door. There was some confusion as the hooter went before everyone realised that scores after the referee’s final whistle don’t count.

After our last tournament write up someone found their way to the blog by searching google for “mooning on the rugby pitch”. I’m pleased to report there was no mooning in this game and so no need for that word to appear in search results linked to our blog.

Next up was Aberdeen team Genesis. Genesis had put together some impressive results at the back end of 2010, including wins over Leopards. However this was a team missing its top female players and it showed in their level of play. The Guerillas line was rarely troubled and the final score was 5-0. However Genesis went on to beat BP in the knock-out stages to claim the ‘top Aberdeen corporate team of the day’ title.

The final pool game was against NHS. As one of Aberdeen’s lower Intermediate league teams the NHS game was expected to be the easiest of the group. But these guys and girls are always good fun to play against so another game to look forward to. After a re-shuffle of the team formation we were ready to go. A few more gaps than in previous games, final score 8-0.

As pool winners the draw next pitched us against Glasgow Lions who had come runners up in the group won by Superhands. This was our second game this year against the Lions although this time they hadn’t just stepped off the bus. We made a little bit of heavy weather of this game, perhaps due to the extended break. Both teams manufactured scores from scoops from half and the game ended 4-2 to Guerillas.

Glasgow Lions (Victor & Ruban off to kiss and make up?)

The win guaranteed a top 4 finish, the first target of the day. The semi final was against the Scotland Select (to be known as SS for the rest of this blog). This was a game that loomed large on the horizon when the fixtures were released and the prospect of playing the national team provided even further motivation, were it needed, for success in the earlier games. Key aim for this game was to prevent Ross one-of-our-own Taylor from scoring against us.

Dave was struggling as supports and strapping strained against the passage of time (we can rebuild him) and so moved out to wing. However this turned out to be a master stroke of tactical adjustment with a Walker-Matthews exchange leading to a score in the corner. This game needed the Guerillas line defence to be working well together and it was stretched to the limit on several occasions. However the team stepped it up and went into the half level at 1-1.

Scotland Select discuss their great escape

After half-time Guerillas appeared to go 2-1 ahead with another Walker-Matthews combo. It looked like a touchdown, smelled like a touchdown, talked like a touchdown and walked like a touchdown. But after some deliberations it was in fact not a touchdown. Sticking to their intricate game plan of drive it down the wing then pass it to the steppy guys in the middle the SS continued to blitz the Guerillas line (we’d like to point out that there was no goose-stepping at any point during the game). However the continued pressure on our line defence caused by quick changes of attack direction eventually told and a further 4 scores were conceded later in the game.

Superhands Academy had previously handed the main Superhands team their arses, and so our pool stage adversaries had also progressed into the top 4. They had lost to a handy looking Meerkats in the other semi. So the 3rd/4th playoff was a repeat of the earlier game. Dave had strayed a bit too close to the wafting scents of the barbecue and had declared himself unfit to carry on.

This turned out to be another tense affair with momentum shifting back and fore between the teams. A couple of Guerillas early scores came almost by accident as an attempt to shift the ball to the sub box resulted in a favourable mismatch on the periphery and a sprint to the line. These bracketed a tap-off move score that was an immediate response to a Superhands touchdown. Each score was accompanied by unrestrained expressions of joy from the supporting Killer Bees.

So early advantage to Guerillas but Superhands heads never went down and our line defence had to face a series of scoops and steps, often resulting in rather frantic saves and a half being allowed a little bit more time to run amok behind the scoreline than we really would have liked. As full time loomed Guerillas were 4-3 ahead before a final well worked line attack move to exploit a partial shut gave a two TD cushion and settled nerves.

So an overwhelming success for the Guerillas. 3rd place overall, 2nd club team and extends the run as the top Aberdeen team at 1-day tournaments to 7 in a row.  At this stage last year we were at level pegging with Leopards in the ATS but we currently enjoy a 10 point lead with a lot of touch still to be played.

While all eyes were trained on the 3rd/4th playoff the SS managed to defeat Meerkats in a drop-off. The 5th place Quaich was won by the other Superhands team (two strong teams then) with a win over Leopards A, Stirling B/A/B/A took the Tankard for finishing 9th and Leopards Too picked up the Plate for being the best of the bottom four teams. Check back soon for Kirsty’s write up on how the Killer Bees got on…

Special thanks to Audrey Philpott for the above photos.

Guerillas Team below:

Dave, Mark, Iain, Neil, Simon,Duncan

Claire, Senga, Rowan, Monica, Jenny (missing Trisha)

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