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LET'S GO RACING AGAIN
So it wasn’t the last dance in Dublin and the music continues on to gay Paris. Saracens’ brilliant performance in Ireland last weekend means that Brad Hood and his Merry Men have at least another week together – and who knows where we might go from here.
LET THE GOODE TIMES ROLL
Ok, so first off, I should really apologise for two things that will be clear in this report…… Firstly, I missed the first few minutes due to embarking on a 19 kilometre cross country run that took longer than I thought and I just kept going……… and secondly, that this report may have a bias towards Sarries! Apology over.
LEINSTER V SARACENS - THE RETURN
So it’s almost here, our only meaningful game of the season (unless we manage to win of course); the much delayed European Cup quarter final against Leinster. Let’s wind the clock back 16 months to that wonderful night in Newcastle when the 2 best club teams in the Northern Hemisphere (and arguably the world) went head to head and after a fabulous performance, Saracens emerged victorious.
A HIGHLY ENTERTAINING GAME
My first match report - blame any errors on my not being able to read my own handwriting the following day.......Differing circumstances had led both Sarries and Chiefs to name largely youthful matchday 23s, with a smattering of wise and comparatively olds heads in Calum Clark, who was captaining Sarries, while Don Armand skippered his young charges abetted by Phil Dollman and, on the bench, Dave Dennis.
NOT A GOOD DAY!
Today was supposed to be a ceremony of celebration of Alex Goode’s 300th appearance for the only club he has played for. An understrength Wasps were meant to be the sacrificial lambs. Somehow it didn’t turn out like that!
THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
I’m not too keen on 6.00pm kick-offs on a Wednesday. It meant watching the first half whilst making myself presentable to go and “Eat out to help out” (well you have to don’t you) so having to delay part 2 until the next day (yes I did look at the result – a very pleasant surprise!)
Today I am multi-tasking. The plan is to watch the rugby and the cricket and clean the kitchen! 12.30 and I switch on BT Sport (yes we still subscribe) but nowhere can I find Saracens v Harlequins. By the time I work out I need to log on via my lap top on the app, Sarries are leading 5-0. Multitasking is relatively minimal as the cricketers haven’t restarted after a shower of rain and Mr DG has decided it’s time for a cup of tea. It appears Maitland scored early on but Faz missed the kick. So I concentrate on the rugby.
HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE CLUB # 5 Tim Swinson
Tim Swinson had decided to retire from rugby. At 33 his time with Glasgow was running out and he was thinking about life after rugby, studying for a Law Degree at Robert Gordon University (he already has a degree in Political Science from Newcastle University) and becoming a referee. Until that was, he got an offer her couldn’t refuse from the club he always wanted to play for.
HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE CLUB # 4 ALEC CLAREY
Tight-head prop Alec Clarey joins Saracens from Jersey Reds where he has spent the last 3 years. Originally from Witton Park, Alec played for Bishop Auckland Academy and was awarded a rugby scholarship at Barnard Castle School. He didn’t start playing until he was 14. He became the first International rugby player from Bishop Auckland Rugby Club when he was selected to represent England U18 against Leicester Academy in 2012. It was rumoured that he would join Leicester Tigers but in the end Alec joined Hartpury where he won the BUCS Championship Final in 2014 and was selected to represent England Students before spending a year with Bristol. He actually played for the Bristol A team which beat Saracens in 2015/16. He was dual registered with London Welsh.
HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE CLUB # 3 Aled Davies
Scrum half Aled Davies joins Sarries following 2 years with Ospreys. He was born in July 1992 in Bronwydd, which sounds like a rather nice little place in Dyfed. Apparently it takes its name from The Bronwydd Arms, on the A484. Sadly the pub closed in 1978, long before young Aled was born, and was demolished in 1981. The locals now drink at The Hollybrook which stands on the site of an even older hostelry, the Clothiers Arms which sadly closed in 1871 (even I wasn’t born then).