This third and final pre-season friendly was on paper a game that Bridgwater should have won, with Bridgwater having the home advantage and Wells being in the league below. No one however seemed to have told Wells this.
From the kick off Wells were in control and they exerted heavy pressure on Bridgwater’s defence and after 8 minutes went over the line in the far corner for a try.
Initially this looked as if Bridgwater had just not gelled and this would be a small wake up call for them to pull their socks up. Their response was good with Joel Clark and Rob Allen both putting in some good runs before a knock-on inside the opposition 22 ended their attack.
There were a lot of signs of the Bridgwater of old, where the mistakes kept coming and the penalty count against the home side kept rising. These were punished 25 minutes in with a second Wells try and conversion. Ten minutes later, further Wells punishment followed with a third try and just two minutes after that a huge mistake in catching a clearance kick saw Wells’ fourth try of the evening meaning that after just 37 minutes of play, Bridgwater were 22 points to 0 down.
Bridgwater were not however giving up, and managed to get points on the board from the restart when Lovejoy Chatawama scored under the posts and Stu Heal converted to make the scores 7-22. More points were however spurned by the home side before half time when some further good play and almost certain try was halted with a knock-on on the line by Chatawama trying to receive a poor pass.
The second half started with a Yellow Card for Nick Spellissy for tackling a man off the ball. The 14 man Bridgwater squad continued to make mistakes which Wells punished with impunity. They scored two further tries in quick succession. Bridgwater 7, Wells 36.
When Spellissy was allowed back on field after his enforced break me managed Bridgwater’s second try of the evening and then quickly converted his own try to make the scores 14-36. The home side rushed back to the restart in the hope that they could salvage some further points in the remaining 25 minutes.
This however was not to be as Wells repeatedly punished the home side’s constant mistakes and lack of cohesion with another 4 tries and two conversions to leave the final score at 14-60 and a complete drubbing for Bridgwater.
After the match, Bridgwater’s Coaches were not happy, demanding a complete attitude change from the team and hoping that this match was a complete reality check. There are going to be no easy games this season.
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Bridgwater must learn from this game and not carry their errors through to the league. With only 9 days to go before their first league match against Bideford Bridgwater have a lot of work to do. They must also remember that during the play-offs for promotion at the end of last season, Bideford narrowly beat Well’s to secure the promotion slot.
I do hope that the faithful Bridgwater crowd give the Club the support that their side needs – slow handclapping during the match which I heard several times from the home supporters, whilst possibly understandable, doesn’t help boost morale within the side, nor help the counter their mistakes. Please give the guys your support.
The first league match of the season is against Bideford on Saturday 7th September at Bridgwater’s College Way ground. Kick off is 3pm. Please come along as show your SUPPORT for the Bridgy Boys!
Bridgwater’s starting XV: Gary Saunders, Lovejoy Chatawama, Ollie Dunn, Nick Francis, Joe Stradling, Dan Kemmish, Matt Northey, Ali Blundell, Taylor Buller, Garryn Basson, Joel Clark, Rob Allen, Stu Heal, Ash Honeywell, Matt House.
Category: Previews / Reports -XV