(CRFU): Every now and then there is a sporting story that makes you recall all that made you fall in love with the game in the first place – stories of the underdog triumphing over all, David versus Goliath, Rocky versus Apollo Creed, Average Joe’s v. Globo Gym. In this scenario, David is played by a new touch-rugby team named Fund Fiduciaries.
The company may be a new kid on the block of Cayman financing but make no mistake it is a name you will want to follow this season in the Another9 Summer Touch Rugby League 2015. Why? Because every member of the team is under 15 years old and some are as young as 10. In the unfortunate role of Goliath in this drama is Trident Trust. Over the past three seasons, they have gained experience in the Social Division but quite what they thought they were coming up against when their (half) pint-sized opponents in over-sized shirts tramped onto the pitch like a bunch of street urchins from Oliver Twist, I do not know.
What unravelled over the course of the next 30 minutes was one of the most incredible and encouraging sights I have seen on a touch-rugby pitch for a long time. At first, the kids looked a little gun shy, unsure of how to approach the match. Coaches Mick and Lisa Kehoe had given them some basic instructions but surely the best advice given was to play the game of rugby you know how to play and just enjoy yourself.
These kids have been throwing a rugby ball around since the age of four and if you were to accrue all the rugby hours within the two teams they would probably be streets ahead of their opponents. And it showed. Ewan Wilson made darting runs; Doug Rowland was everywhere; Cameron and Callum Smith, and Molly Kehoe buzzed around the pitch like wasps stuck in a jam jar.
Tommy Kehoe, if he faked one dummy he sold a dozen, and prodded and probed for the gaps. Beth Johnson was imperious in defence whilst the rangy Turner Johnson ate up the turf with his long strides. Jake Bailey made surging runs down the line and Matthew Hansen was a thorn in the side of many a Trident player. Last, but not least, were the main try scorers, Graeme Hill (2) and Adam Stainrod (3).
In one of the game’s defining moments, Trident had a promising attack down the right flank and came within five metres of the Fiduciaries’ line. As they popped the ball between players the hunting pack of Jawas singled out the ball carrier and isolated him into an ever-decreasing circle of panic. If David Attenborough had been narrating the scene on a BBC nature special you could not have seen a better example of nature rent in tooth and claw. In the end the victim… erm… I mean the Trident attacker, was overwhelmed and the ball lost to the avaricious defence.
Impudence followed upon blinding skill and when Tommy Kehoe threw the most delightful “no-look-over-the-head” offload for Hill to score in the corner, the writing was on the wall – in 50-ft-high letters: GAME OVER. Trident, to their credit, never gave up and time after time tried to find a way through the Fiduciaries’ defence. They went through the middle, around the outside, inside-to-out but to no avail.
When, in the dying seconds, through sheer force of will, one of the Trident attackers broke clear, the try line beckoned. Just as he was about to touchdown, Rowland, who had been magical all game, appeared from nowhere as if apparating from Hogwarts itself to thwart the score with a last-gasp touch. The final score was 7-0 to Fund Fiduciaries.
Chris Rowland, from Fund Fiduciaries, put together the team. Like a Geordie Sheikh Mansour or a Ponteland Roman Abramovich, he has high hopes for this team of future rugby stars. Rowland said, “It was a great first win. I wanted an opportunity for the kids to showcase their skills to an audience that would not normally be exposed to junior rugby. I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts!”
So, I send this as a warning to all teams in the Social Division – do your homework on Fund Fiduciaries. They have already done theirs, handed it in and gotten an “A-Star”. If there were a class certificate for team of the week, they would get it.