If the Charge of the Light Brigade taught us one thing about the history of the British Army it’s that it knows how to style out a valiant defeat.
The return of the historic Mobbs Memorial fixture after a two-year Covid hiatus was indeed a valiant defeat for the visitors but this is a game where the real victory is that is happened at all.
For the army it represents the best possible test before their upcoming game with the Royal Navy and for Saints, bereft of the Wanderers as a place for players to work themselves into form and fitness, it represents a valuable outing for a mixture of old faces and new.
Big T scored twice, putting a little heat under hopes that he may yet contribute to a last push from the first team this season. His first try, steaming onto a crossfield kick from Grayson and continuing his unstoppable path to the line, would have been impressive against any opponents.
Without doubt the close of this season will mark the end of an era at Saints with a number of beloved squad members on their way and of course the semi-departure of Chris Boyd who is stepping back into a more consultative role when Phil Dowson takes the helm.
Some rugby fans will always be sceptical about southern hemisphere coaches bringing their fancy dan ideas to the north, and will say they expect more silverware than Boydy has delivered.
But those kind of criticisms, against the chaotic background of the past few years of challenges at Saints, are like a backhanded compliment. He has painstakingly rebuilt the club’s confidence around a more modern and fluid style of rugby and now here we are in the final quarter of his last season with plenty still to play for. I think he deserves some silverware out of this as much as the fans do.
Pictures by Dave Ikin