This week the weather finally broke, turning cold, wet and miserable. As Saturday dawned, it looked as if there might be no rugby, with the prospect of hard frozen pitches. Happily this proved not so, certainly not in Otley, where I watched the home side take on Sedgley Park. Indeed, before the sun disappeared behind the Chevin it was bright and clear. On paper it had the potential to be a close game as the sides were in a within a couple of places of each other in the league. Ultimately this was not the case. Otley scored three tries, two on the right and one on the left, before the visitors had realised what was going on. There was something of a revival just before half time, Sedgley Park running in two tries of their own - enough to show they're a side of speed and quality having an off day rather than being weak. However, it wasn't enough to recover the game as Otley ran in further tries before the close, finally emerging 39-10 to the good.
On the evidence of this and a previous game, Otley have strength down both flanks, attacking with speed and quick passing. My favourite pictures from this game are a reminder though that the hard work is done by the forwards: the engine or power house of any team. As mentioned a couple of posts ago, not especially graceful but it does have its own particular beauty. This is a shot of Otley's tight-head prop, Adam Blades. I love his expression. It's as if he's saying, "What do you think you're looking at?" or something less polite. A few seconds later he was preparing for the scrum, eyeing his opponent with menace.
The second picture serves to sum up that aspect of rugby. A slow moving tangle of arms, legs, heads, caked in mud and sweat, each individual endeavouring to work with team mates to push their adversaries back. And all the while there's a cacophony of shouting from both on and off the field. Love it!
You can see more pictures from this excellent game here.