Late Friday evening, 15 of the squad and their families arrived at Butlin’s in SkegVegas for the first of hopefully many Tours. Colonel Crowe quickly settled into his role as Tour Judge and organized a rugby quiz for all the adults. I think the kids were also due to get involved, but nobody had seen them for 3 or 4 hours, so we cracked on without them. Unfortunately, Scott Copsey’s team came last and Scott took the forfeit on the chin as spokesman and had to wear a mankini in the pool the following day. To be fair, none of us slept well that night just at the thought of seeing Scott, however, sleep was aided by a few beers. On the Saturday the rugby tournament started and our guys came up against Leicester Forest RFC who had a massive side and were late on the pitch as they were still shaving on the sidelines. Despite going a couple of tries down early on and trailing 3-1 at one stage, our guys managed a fine comeback with a fantastic team try finished off by Jack Randell to salvage a well earned 3-3 draw. Following a quick kit inspection of the adults, the whole party had to listen to some out of tune singing from some of the parents. Of particular note was a rendition of Baa Baa black sheep from Erica Manderfield, which saw Ben hanging his head in shame. There was also a dodgy rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but I cannot remember the artist. Spurred on by their well-earned draw, next up was Ipswich RFC. Ipswich proved to be a fantastic team displaying excellent work at the breakdown to produce very quick ball for their backs. Although we lost 3-1, the performance by the squad was fantastic and full of commitment. Following fish & chips it was time to have a game of cricket next to the pier on the sea front. I am not saying it was cold, but we had 3 penguins in the slips and a polar bear at square leg! Following a fiercely contested match, it was time to hit the pool back at the premier resort of Butlin’s. Once Scott had managed to work out how to put it on, Scott Copsey emerged from the changing rooms in a lime green mankini and received endless second glances from all who were unable to avert their eyes. It truly was an astonishing sight, one that we have on camera! I cannot wait for the end of season DVD, certificate 18. Following a great team swim and some well earned dinner, where it is rumored that the Crowe party managed to reduce the egg stocks on resort to record lows, it was off to the Front room venue for some more team bonding. Dressed in odd shoes and hats/wigs, the tour party once again came under the scrutiny of Colonel Crowe who manage to get most of them up to sing or tell a joke. The stand out performance of the night came from our very own Kajagoogoo lookalike Rob Cowling. I hope he only has to tell a joke next time! Another cracking evening was had by all, where it gave a great opportunity for the coaches to get to know the members of the coffee & cake club a little more. The lasting memory of the night has to be Colonel Crowe’s explanation of Blue and Pink jobs around the house, priceless! Once we managed to find the kids, a relatively early night was had by all, well, nearly all. On the Sunday our first match was against old rivals Market Rasen RFC. The squad did not really seem up for it during the warm up, a situation that was etched on all of the coaches faces, however, once the whistle blew, it was a different story. The rucking was awesome and created some very quick ball for the backs who managed to run in 4 great tries and teach Market Rasen a lesson in how to play excellent team rugby. Next up was Lichfield RFC, who were yet another big team who had managed to beat all opponents so far by 4 or 5 tries. Despite their size, we managed to dominate at the breakdown and scrum them off the field. The first half was a closely fought affair with both sides creating opportunities but ended 0-0. Early in the second half, Lichfield put us under a massive amount of pressure, but our awesome tackling managed to keep them out. Late on in the match a great break saw the ball make it to Ben ‘Super Mario’ Crowe who made it over the line with 4 or 5 Lichfield RFC players attached, but was deemed to have made a double movement, so the try was disallowed. The end result was a draw, but our team certainly felt that they deserved a victory. In the final match we were drawn against Spalding, who had won all of their matches easily and were yet to concede a single try. Once again, the team was playing some fantastic rugby and looked to be going a try up, but Spalding managed to steal it and score a breakaway try. Not deterred by this the teams stuck at it and went in 2-0 down at half time. In the second half the team played their socks off and put Spalding RFC under continued pressure which resulted in an excellent team try. We continued to apply pressure but ran out of time and Spalding won 2-1. However, considering they had not scored a try all day and are the best team in Lincolnshire, we took them all the way and on another day may have clinched victory. The squad left the pitch to a standing ovation from the parents, who were justifiably proud of their awesome effort over the 2 days. It was great to see the whole squad grow in confidence and play some of the best rugby I have seen all season. Following a brief visit to the funfair, it was off to the presentation. Without doubt Lincoln RFC Under 10’s were the smartest dressed in their shirt and ties and did the club proud. All of the squad received medals for their efforts and had it not been for advice from Colonel Crowe, one of the coaches may have received one also! However, this coach will remain anonymous. It was clear that all of the tour party had a great time and managed to make some great friends. The kids were awesome all weekend and were a pleasure to be with. Finally, I would like to thank Charlie Randell for his support over the weekend and would like to officially unveil him as the Under 10’s mascot!