London Scottish Under 9s tour to Holt.
Day 1 started with a kiss, and continued with fish fingers and chips and no salt for the children; 3 of our companions then put on an elaborate running hoax involving some very loud lycra, and before anyone could say “how about a coffee” we moved swiftly to The Village Inn where grown men in pink were downing pints 'n' chasers at 4 in the afternoon and playing some sort of “fall off the chair game”, so we retreated outside, in the mounting wind and watched the sun slip behind scudding clouds, sipping Adnams. In the meantime our two domestic staff had whizzed off to Norwich, clearly clothes shopping, only to reappear with 2 small T-shirts and a “pop-up” bar replicating the delights of the Caribbean, Spain, the Alsace and Burton-on-Trent; the gentlemen duly had cocktails, planned a fine dining experience, and an early supper was duly taken. Two of our party broke ranks and chose to take part in some sort of “break in” fancy dress party; after dinner drinks were then served in Room 2 whilst our elite athletes went quietly and happily to bed; the rain continued to sheet down and the wind howl.
Day 2 started with the frenzied tearing of Calpol sachets, seamlessly moved to spaghetti hoops for breakfast, which only fed the frenzy of desire for our packed lunches. The sun shined on the righteous as we turned right in our convey of 4×4's. Warm-ups began, and the coaches noticed strange looks from the locals as we went through 9 a side rucking and mauling warm ups. The first game came and went in a surprising whirl of 7 a side rugby, not a ruck, maul, scrum or line-out to be seen; we lost 5:3. We tore our clothing in dismay, threw dust on our faces and bowed them to the ground but then our tent became a kite and all was forgotten. Game 2 saw both coaches admonished by a referee of maturity and skill. Tries were scored and given in ways not seen before and we lost 4:2. Game 3 saw the team take the field with the potential to be the first professional U9 side. We won by countless tries; coach lost £50; our games were over, as was the tour, so the boys parting shot was to shunt the Holt scrummaging machine in a Health & Safety approved manner towards a game in play. The final throw was an impromptu picnic, taken in the company of clouds of petrol and diesel fumes at which fond farewells were exchanged.
Thanks to everyone who made this such fun.
Click here for a gallery of images from the tour.