Crusade to Beat Crags Falls Short
Crusade is a modern term, from the French 'croisade' and Spanish 'cruzada', that was applied to the medieval expeditions. The word first appears in the L'Histoire des Croisades written by A. de Clermont and published in 1638. By 1750, the various forms of the word "crusade" had established themselves in English, French, and German.
Crusaders were considered to be great warriors, well drilled and with good skills in battle, but with honesty and integrity associated with their chosen beliefs.
Fast forward to modern day Hanwell and the battlefield was a rugby pitch at Boston Manor, on a slight incline and with significant mud underfoot.
The date and location maybe different, but the description of the Crusader hasn't. Our opposition, Crags Crusaders were quick, well drilled in defence and had great handling skills.
However, they arrived at Boston Manor as something of a mystery. Like Hanwell, they are new to the Merit Table, but unlike the home side these boys had previously played together before in Edinburgh as part of the University team.
The game itself was a one sided affair in terms of the scoreline. The warning signs were there as early as the first minute when the visitors threw the ball wide immediately from the kick off and with fantastic hands, managed to pass and run across the line for the opening score. There were certainly a few more to come.
Hanwell approached the game knowing the formidable record their opposition had arrived with (played 5, won 5 - with try bonus points in every game), but this was not a case of the home side rolling over and accepting defeat.
The hosts fought hard - especially up front, where they more than held their own in the lineouts and scrums, putting bodies on the line at every collision. The unfortunate consequence of such physically defensive play, is the risk of injury. Hanwell lost prop Simon Davenport to a back injury eventually keeping him out after initially attempting to play on.
Next on the sidelines were lock, Alex Gordon - to a deep cut to his eye and Myles Cavendish, who was removed to the new 'Concussion Bin' for 5 minutes. Both managed to return to the fray after being assessed on the sidelines.
Despite the injuries, Hanwell continued to give their all and there were certainly no excuses when Crags began to turn the screw and start running in a couple more scores.
Eventually, the heart and passion of the home side paid dividends when a lineout was won on the Crags 5 metre line for Myles Cavendish to force his way over the tryline to score his second try in consecutive games.
That was as good as things got for Hanwell who threw everything they had at the visitors for the last 10 minutes, only for their defence to stand firm.
Despite the heavy defeat, Hanwell can walk away from this game with their heads held high knowing that on another day they could have possibly scored more than the single try.
Crags, in keeping with their Crusaders tag were tough on the pitch, but great company off it as both sides enjoyed the post game celebrations.
11th December 2013