Rugby Union: Park have to pay price of amateurism against Exiles

Rosslyn Park 20 London Welsh 24
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The Independent Online
Rosslyn Park have handed off professionalism and clutched the ethics of amateurism even more tightly to themselves as rugby has slipped and slithered from one pile of cash and the concomitant problems to another.

Far from languishing, Park have maintained a certain dignity and wrapped themselves in kudos of a sort. At seventh in the Jewson National League Division One they are the highest placed amateur club in the land.

The clubhouse after Saturday's home defeat was filled with players past and present; blazered rugger buggers and alickadoos; wives, daughters, girlfriends and, above all, supporters.

You don't have to be rich to attract the spectators, but being poor clearly helps. They are proud of the fact that having made a modest profit of pounds 3,000 last year, the worst that they can suffer this season is to break even.

However, no amateur club can remain an island in an ocean of professionalism. There is every likelihood now that they may well have to contemplate the previously unthinkable and take on a clutch of part-time professionals; players who would be able to lift the side out of their present stasis and move them on a competitive footing into the game's higher reaches.

On the evidence of their battling performance their particular needs are in the backs. There the Exiles roasted them.There just was not the pace to prevent either of Adam Jones' tries. Nor were they able to stop him before he shipped the ball to Ryan Campbell after the burly hooker had come rumbling up in support, for the Exiles' third try.

It was only up front where Park were able to dominate. Their efficient pack called tune after tune, unfortunately the threequarters did not know the words. And the moment the ball peeked out from the mess of a maul, or the ruin of a ruck, the able Welsh scrum-half Darren Edwards was able to launch his backs.

Perhaps Park could raise cash by bottling the abundant spirit of rugby past and flogging it to the wide boys at the top, just as a nostalgic reminder of how things were.

Rosslyn Park: Tries Casado, Futter; Conversions Maddock 2; Penalties Maddock 2. London Welsh: Tries Jones 2, Campbell; Conversions Pilgrim 3; Penalty Pilgrim.

Rosslyn Park: E Dickinson; D Casado, N Marvel, T Dalwood (P Brady, 75), P Futter; A Maddock, T Springhall; B Fennell, C Ritchie (capt), J Ford (M Yeldham, 58), I Campbell-Lamerton (R Cable, 75), L Gibson, T Benson, L McCormack, C Boardman.

London Welsh: A Jones; S Roskell, A Currier (P Shaw, 79), S Pilgrim, J Storey; P Challinor, D Edwards; G Holmes (S Emms, 65), R Campbell, A Millward, C Vogle, C Whitaker, D Muckalt, R Phillips (capt), L Jones.

Referee: G Morandin (Italy).

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