To promote the growth and development of the game of Rugby

Mid-Autumnal Meriden Mauling

. . . or as the Irish are want to call it, the Massacree at Meridian.  Whatever you wish to describe it as, we trekked to CT to enjoy what passes for fall foliage this year, and to get the living bejesus stomped out of us.

So many memories of past trips to the Mountain Mist Y Camp in Meridan:

  • Millions of potential Grey marauders meandering across the sidelines, patiently waiting for their turn to play, whilst we barely have enough for 1 full side.
  • Playing a match atop a hill with tornado warnings swirling about the area
  • Being introduced to that lawn game “test-a-cles”
  • Travelling with Adam B (not beer) and needing to stop twice on the way for Vincent from a French town (not to be confused with Vince from Frenchtown) to test the local plumbing
  • And of course, paying last respects to a fallen Grey rugger and witness his ashes being strewn on the pitch

Why do we do it?  Well, consider the alternatives.  We could be raking leaves, coaching youth soccer or American Footie, or heaven forbid, should I utter the word (YOU SHOULD!!  YOU SHOULD!!) , ugh, golfing.  They also are a good bunch of blokes and always provide for a fun match.

Morris was able to supply 10 for the opposing side.  Ralph, Jason, Rollie, Eric made the voyage up from Long Island with their yacht.  Although the Merritt Parkway says cars only and specifically says “no trucks”, there is no mention of whether their sailboat is prohibited.  Taking advantage of the weasel wording, they literally sailed up the left lane and up the mountain.  They did have to slow down to lower their mast to fit through the tunnel North of North Haven, but that only proved to be a minor annoyance.  With the monster truck show across the tree-line on one try zone, the monster boat behind the other provided for a suitable bookend.  Rounding out our 15 was Jay from the Gents.

Morris offered to use our jerseys, but Long Island Ralph demanded we use their’s.  It seems his wife was getting sick of them lying about and gave him the ultimatum.  Either you or the jerseys are coming back in the house, but not both.  As the best way to get them out of the house is to use them . . . and dump them in someone else’s trunk to have cleaned, we cheerfully obliged.

The game started out in an auspicious manner.  They took the opening kick and after a few phases, the youthful fly broke free for a long scoring run.  After the restart, a similar result.  5 minutes in and we were down 12-0.  Morris would then stiffen our backbone and rally.  Off a penalty, Manhattan Jay would zigzaw his way through the Grey defense to score.  Bill Wilt would then close the score with a majestic dive into the try zone.  With no US elections to tamper with, the Russian judges on hand awarded him a 9.5.  This brought the score to 12-10 with time winding down in the 1st when fate intervened.

Off a ruck at the Morris 22M line, I took a pass and rumbled forward.  Nothing but green between me and that try zone 75 meters away . . . until a Grey sprang out of nowhere and brought me to the ground.  My leg did not approve.  Luckily Doctor El Stroke-a-dente was present and diagnosed my condition as an aggrieved abductor.  Oh for the days of yore, when I could proudly say that I pulled my groin (and let everyone make their own conclusions).

Now normally when I leave the match, the play of our team will improve.  But that was not the case on Saturday.  After I left the match, another score by Jeff Greeeeee-sack would bring us to 17-15, but it was all downhill from there.  Clearly my push from the backrow was missed, as the Greys rained try after try down upon us.  It had nothing to do with their average age being 10 years younger than us or with the amble subs they could draw upon.  The 2nd period would end Greys 48 and Morris 15.

The onslaught would continue for one more period.  Suffice it to say they scored a bunch more and we did not.

After the match, we were treated pitch-side to a fine toasted lager and a wide selection of tasty noshes.  With Cal back in our line-up, the Greys would also join us in a toast to the passing of his father.

We will rest up and in 2 weeks, we will kit up for the conclusion of the 2017 season.

By Ralph Scoville