On paper the season so far for the Villager 3rd XV will seem like one of ups and downs and so many “nearly’s”, but, as so often is the case, one cannot glean everything from reading a log. Indeed it has been a tremendous success in many ways, and while results have not always gone our way, the 3rd’s have continued to impress with an outstanding gees and a determination to improve.
One of the major successes of the 3rd XV so far this season is ironically how many players we’ve lost! A large proportion of the 3rd XV (10 off the top of my head) have gone on to represent the 2nd & 1st XV this season, a massive triumph and a fantastic message being sent out as to the plethora of talent depth possessed currently at Village.
Undoubtedly though, despite the victories we have achieved, the most galvanizing moment of the season was leading a Hamiltons 3rd XV 10 – 7 at Half-Time during our derby day fixture. This is a Hammies 3rd side that is currently top of the Super League A 3rd XV League and has swept all comers in their respective league this season. Add to that the fact that we had at least 3 additional clear cut try scoring opportunities during the 1st Half. It sent a message loud and clear that while we as a club might not be at the top level of WP club rugby right now, we are making huge strides towards achieving not only promotion, but sustainability at the top flight of club rugby in the province.
Aside from the on-field successes, I think I speak on behalf of the whole management team when I say what a privilege it has been to be a part of a team that so often thus far this season has extended beyond the bounds of just a sporting team, but rather more like a family, a band of brothers. One would be fooled into thinking that the 3rd’s had beaten Hamiltons on derby day if you had walked into the 3rd’s changing room after the game. It is this sense of camaraderie even in defeat that has formed the backbone of a successful season so far not only as a team but as a club, and the close relationships that have been formed by players and management alike bodes well for the remainder of the season.
The lengthy water break is over. It’s time to tackle the last kilometers of a marathon season, and we’re more prepared than ever.
– Ridaa Ismail