The Santa Fe Santos strode into town to take on your El Paso Scorpions this past Saturday on their home pitch, Thorn Park. The Scorps were there earlier with only one mind set, WIN. The gents had gathered early to get their traditional laps in before the game as a warm up and then split off into piggies and backs to run their set plays. Its always a great way to start in order to become familiar with each others game day adrenaline.
When the Santos showed, you can see it in all our eyes that we were hungry and ready to defend our pitch. No one pushes us around at home, and no one wins on our field. We were told that they were only able to show up with 12 guys, and the disappointment was clear in all of us. But being the respectable gents and club we are, we decided to lend them 3 of our players; Jaime Saenz, Jesus "Chuy" Martinez, and Cameron Malooly. The game is on. Both teams play, no subs. This game would be decided by 30 players. No less no more.
The first half was a slow start for the Scorps with some sloppy play. It was the pregame jitters but more it was the adrenaline making us antsy and rushing to prove a point. The rucking was poor, due to everyone trying to do too much without winning the ball and that is our only flaw for the first half. We knew we could play better and it was something that needed to be fixed at half. Not a good way to start when we can slow things down and take advantage of all the good things they leave open for us. With that said the Scorps were fast and were all over the field. The poor rucking didn't stop us from scoring tries tho. We had clean ball out to the backs, and had great support from the pack and as always the conditioning was emaculate. 1,2,3,4 try's later and we get the bonus point before going into half.
Halftime Score: Santos - Nil – Scorpions - 27
We go to the sidelines talked about what we need to do and that was be more aggressive at the rucks and slow the ball down at the set pieces. Coming out of halftime there is a different feeling in the air around the Scorpions. A change in the wind, if you will. Jonathan Gil looks to Lee Langston and I and says, "if Lee doesn't score, he buys bottles for everyone". I smile and call "Manchester Rule". It must be done now, it must be done. Lee looks at us both, with his dodgy haircut, and all we see is that sparkle, that gleam in his eye. "Challenge accepted" is what it meant.
Scorpions receive and Scorpions deliver. The pace is much faster but its controlled. The ball is flowing back and forth. Support is given to each other and the rucks are thunderous. Scorpions go in two at a time and are delivering the hits, winning ruck after ruck on offense and poaching the ball the ball on defense. Man down, and the Santos are left with 14. Playing the Scorpions a man down is not something you want. We take full advantage. Sending the ball wide and scoring but the pack would not let the backs have the day, they wanted in and they got it in. Game slows due to a penalty and the Captain of the Scorps, myself, goes to argue the penalty, whistle blows and a card is given. I get the sin bin for defending my team and for slowing the Santos penalty. I'm sorry boys, I let you down. But did my disappearance make it worse. I think not, in fact, I think they did better. Tries were scored in a frenzy. Many tries are delivered, just not by Lee. My mouth waters, I can taste the tequila bottle already. 10 minutes pass and I'm back on the field and so is their injured player. Both sides are now at full strength. The game continues, penalty kick for the Scorps and touch was called. 10 minutes in the game and a lineout is given to the Scorps on the Santos 10 meters. Line out given, line out won and we drive. Somehow some way, Lee comes out with the ball, he can pass easily to the backs, but a vibration is felt, a power is given off and Lees ears are pinned back. He stiff arms one, then two people, then an angry hoard of Santos contest him as he drives with all his might and dives over the try line for the score. Gil and I look at each other with disbelief and disappointment. Guess we got to buy our own drinks tonight. But we cheer him on. He played a great game and deserved the score.
By the end of the game and an emaculate showing that second half by your El Paso Scorpions, we cheer on the Santos for never giving up and fighting hard. We cheer on our 3 players that gave a helping hand to the Santos. We cheer on the ref, the fans, and we cheer on our family, the team. Santa Fe may be the Santos, but WE are ANGELS. What a heavenly display of rugby.
Man of the Match - Lee Langston
Final Score: Santos - nil – Scorpions - 78
The El Paso Scorpions have a bye week this Saturday but will be on the road to face the Albuquerque Brujos in Albuquerque, NM on October 5th. If you are in the area come watch the match and if you travel with the team thank you. Support your local rugby team, the El Paso Scorpions and as always....
FEEL THE STING!!!