Writing this with blue skies out the window on this beautiful morning, it is difficult to appreciate the scenes at the Nabs Sevens yesterday.
It was like a scene from Trawlermen.
Rain is not a foreign weather concept to me, but when the team met at Richmond rugby club at the ungodly hour of 09.30am, there were murmurs that the day would be cancelled due to an almost completely waterlogged pitch.
It wasn't, and we took to the field for our first game vs John Ayling and associates/ringers. We started strongly scoring early, with Ryan Dilley from Airlock showing his customary poise by bouncing off at least three of the opposition. Our graduate Chris Ferguson also played brilliantly on the wing. We lost to a late try, and went immediately to the toilets to try and defrost ourselves under the hand dryers.
Our next game was Nabs Nomads, a motley crew of rugby players from all over London. A team filled with rather un-Corinthian players, in our heroic efforts to try and play rugby against them, Richard Berry got stamped on, James Maclaine is currently nursing a fat hand like the Elephant Man, Ben Newman got headbutted and Greg Jananto nearly got his ankle snapped. Milo Williams relentlessly tackled in what was now a bog. I cheered manfully from the safety of the sidelines.
The final group game was against AMV. Facing some familiar faces in the lineup, we shipped a lot of soft tries, but kept it dignified with Miles McWilliam from Arc doing well in his first game of rugby as we advanced to a quarter final against Ogilvy.
A Leo Burnett team has never been so well prepared. During the last month we had training sessions with Paul Adams and Aaron O'Donnell. We even had tactics sessions with paper cups at Friday lunchtime. We faced Ogilvy and their cheerleaders in a relatively confident mood. James Long and Tristan Arnold carried the ball through tackles, and we scored the first try. They broke back quickly, before we scored again to tie. Angus Maclay of McDonald's fame playing brilliantly to keep them at bay.
Unfortunately, in the dying seconds they scored a try, leaving us thirty seconds to score. We couldn't and went out of the tournament.
The weather could not have been worse, but a special thank you to every single one of the players who gave it everything. Aaron O'Donnell, Tristan Arnold, James Long, James Maclaine, Ben Newman, Milo Williams, Ryan Dilley, Angus Maclay, Chris Ferguson, Miles McWilliam, Greg Jananto and Richard Berry.
Also a very special thank you to our brave supporters, who stood in horrendous conditions, Thalia Wirth, Gui Gravier, Nicola Fisher and Sophie Dupuis Latour.