Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The past two weeks have been an intensive time for all the frogs and frogettes as we reached the pinnacle of the Frogs’ 2008 calendar - the Warsaw 10s.

The date was the weekend of May 2nd to 4th. The venue was SKRA stadium, Warsaw. The 10s committee had lined up a packed timetable of tournament games and social events that kicked off with meet and greet drinks on Friday night at Ground Zero. Teams from England, Ireland, Poland, Belgium and the US came and fraternised together over copious amounts of alcohol as they warmed up for the next day’s play.

The teams began turning up on Saturday morning looking somewhat bedraggled but ready for the group stage. Unlike the previous year, fortune favoured the 10s as it stayed warm and dry making it good Rugby weather. Team tents had been set up the night before, and a constant stream of beer and food was available to everyone. As the 10s is also about families, a bouncy castle and horse riding stance was laid on for the kids. Tom Ravensdale also sponsored the wonderful “gentleman’s club” tent with fake moustaches and jackets as entry requirements. Domo was in his element doing a great job of MC-ing the event from his “command” tent. His dulcet tones echoed across SKRA for the entire two days.

Some of the usual suspects were playing including the Spaniels, a rag tag bunch of whoever is not too drunk to play – although that didn’t stop some. Rugby club 9 from Belgium quickly built a reputation as the most raucous team pitch side with oodles of rugby songs and drunken behaviour. For the Frogs, many old faces turned up: Ranjan playing for the Tigers, Metin was drinking beer, and Kenny who was referreing a game or two.

After the first day, the Frogs finished with a clean sheet along with the Godfathers, an ex-university team from England. Other competition favourites were Cushman and Wakefield, and the London Irish.

The Saturday night venue was Browarmia, and the drinking and Rugby songs reached a crescendo in this claustrophobic underground dungeon. The night turn a little strange when Murf, went to relieve himself in the gents (toilet to non-Brits) only to be confronted by the sight of penises dipped in beer. After initially fearing he’d stumbled across an impromptu VD clinic using beer as a steriliser, he learned from the man in pain that some high jinx was going on and someone had spread ultra painful chilli spray on his skin so when he went for a leak, the chilli made contact with his family jewels and several pain barriers were broken. Worried that he too may have some on his fingers, Murf used some ingenious lateral thinking and asked a rather willing man in tight leather trousers to help him in his efforts siphon-the-python.

The Sunday, saw more great Rugby with a particularly highly charged semi-final between London Irish and The Godfathers. Clearly there was no love loss between these teams as the Godfathers, with their all black tight-fitting almost homo-erotic kit, squared up to the hard nosed London Irish. It didn’t take long before tempers flared in an otherwise congenial tournament. A major fight broke out after a high tackle from a Godfathers player floored one of the London Irish on a driving run. Play stopped as fists flew and a melee began to spiral out of control. For some unknown reason, the fight triggered the whole Belgian team to get naked and do a full streak up the pitch, around the goal posts and back. The shock of seeing fifteen anaemic looking bodies flying across the field not only left a horrifying mental imprint on the innocent minds of children playing on the bouncy castle - some of whom instantly burst into tears - but it had an unexpected a side effect of pacifying the fighting teams. Whether the brawling teams were stunned or amused is difficult to figure out but one thing’s for sure, they resumed play without another fight. The Belgians, of course, were completely oblivious to the effect on either the players or the childrenC:\Users\Karim\Desktop\100OLYMP\belgiens2.jpg

The effects didn’t go unnoticed by one spectator. Apparently a member of the Polish delegation to the UN Security Council, he was suitably impressed by the power of fifteen naked drunk Belgians. He was overheard saying that he’ll raise this in the UN assembly next week and wants to consider deploying groups of naked drunken Belgian Rugby plays to major conflict zones around the world. High priority would be to send them streaking through the streets of Baghdad and the Lebanon in order to pacify recent insurgent activities.

The blistering pace of the 10s started to catch up on Domo as he was caught taking a nap whilst standing up – oh and smoking. However, Domo came to life when he spotted one of the players on the “Refs” team who had a bigger belly than him. Domo is quoted as saying “I’m not judging the man on weight but mine is firmer than his. His one just flops down”. Let’s hope he was just referring to his belly!

The final was played out between the Frogs and the Godfathers. The Frogs played hard and were the crowds’ favourite; however the boys in black prevailed and won 21-5. In the evening everyone retired to the Boathouse, for more beer, more food, medals and honours and the charity auction which combined with the whole tournament raised 20,000 PLN for charity.

Since then the Frogs have not been resting on their laurels, and played last weekend against a touring team from North Manchester. The boys played well and another good turn out with player numbers. Tom Ravensdale came out of the woodwork to play and get the old bones moving, scoring a try to show he’s still got it. The day finished with a win for the Frogs. With a packed fixtures schedule for the rest of May and June, it looks like more fun times ahead for the Frogs.

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