Last Saturday saw the annual migration of the Mackie Mammoths (Middle Aged Men Mainly Over The Hill) veteran’s rugby team down to Perth for the 3rd Golden Oldies Rugby Festival.
In glorious sunshine the Mammoths first set up the newly acquired gazebo or as the logo emblazoned on it said the Mammoth’s Watering Hole – which it certainly turned out to be with port flowing like water as the other teams flocked to admire the Mammoths set up!
With 30 players and the same numbers again in support from wives, partners and kids the Mammoths boasted the biggest numbers of any team there determined to win back the Best Supporters Trophy they’d won last year. The ladies certainly looked after everything and everyone with drinks, cheese and biscuits, cakes etc. and also sounded the hunting horn to summons the Mammoths to the Watering Hole – with the obligatory punishment for the last one to arrive there!
There was, however, the small matter of some rugby to be played and with 30 players there was certainly no shortness in numbers or talent with the likes of Pin up Pete, The Big Jakey, Frankie, Slam Dunk, Animal, Smiffy, Richie and Ralph Malph gracing the pitches.
The first game was against the new boys to the Festival, and a team the Mammoths had played a couple of times, Brechin and it became apparent early on that the Mammoths year on experience would prove too much for Brechin as they ran in a number of tries and romped home easy winners.
Perthshire and Biggar followed and although the lads fought bravely and stuck to their game these battle hardened teams with some players that looked like they still played senior rugby proved too much for the Mammoths and they lost out in both. Still the support and the squad were in festival spirit (especially Ralph Malph who limped off with achilles trouble and was finding port to be a excellent anaesthetic) and were keen to redeem themselves and redeem themselves they did.
Hillfoots was next and the lads pulled out all the stops to romp home easy winners with what can only be described as try of the festival with Big Jakey sprinting and handing off all of 3m out before scoring under the posts!
The last game was against Waid – the team that beat them last year in the Mammoths first game. To say expectations were running high would be an understatement and as the teams took to the field you could feel the tension in the air and as the whistle went the Mammoths took off and thundered into Waid who to be quite honest seemed shell shocked by the onslaught.
Battle then commenced for the next 20 minutes with the Mammoths pressurising only to lose out by a slightly forward pass from Waid as they scored the only try of the game. Still the lads had put in a truly Mammoth effort and walked off the pitch to hugely well deserved cheers from the expectant support and a well earned port at the Watering Hole.
to crown off a fantastic day the Mammoths regained the title of best support much to the delight of the crowd and deservedly so given the huge efforts of the wives and partners in looking after everyone. And so the Mammoths trundled back North for another year leaving Perth behind with Sounds of the Sea and Climbing up Sunshine Mountain still ringing in their ears! A fantastic day out was had again and it’s thanks to all the players and especially the families that came down to make it such a momentous occasion.