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Matson RFC 12, BARFC 27 (06/12/14)

| 06/12/2014 | Reply

Dec14-8281Match report by Tony Pomeroy

Bridgwater kept up the pressure on the league leaders with this their fifth consecutive league victory. The visiting spectators – who outnumbered the home supporters – described the win as ‘not pretty but we’ll take it’ and this just about summed up the game.

Bridgwater were still missing Nick Spellissy – somewhere in the USA (see photo, now traced to Washington) – but brought in Rob Thompson for his first league match in over a year at No 6 with Taylor Buller moving to No 8. Dan Kemmish returned after injury as did Rob Allen and Garryn Basson was on the wing with Oscar Tregenna having a break on the bench where he was joined by Adrian Tew and Doug Page-Symonds.

It was a beautiful winter afternoon for rugby. The sun shone from a cloudless sky, there was little discernable breeze but it was cold!
Bridgwater, playing ‘up the hill’, dominated the opening period. Patient recycling deprived the home side of even a touch of the ball and eventually after only three minutes, the ball was moved left where winger Rob Allen applied the ‘coup de gras’ with a try in the corner. Chris Ashwin could not convert.

Dec14-8373It was fully eight minutes before the home side had the ball in hand but Bridgwater then defended stoutly. When Bridgwater won a defensive scrum against the head, the ball was kicked away loosely and gathered by home full back Vincenso Lanciano. He ran hard at the visiting defence before passing to left wing Ryan Woodhouse who scored in the corner. Connor Gwilliam converted with a superb kick to put his side in the lead.

Matson continued to press from the kick off and a very loose Bridgwater pass was intercepted by scrum half Farrell Gwilliam who kicked ahead and won the touchdown for Matson’s second try. The conversion from the other touchline hit the far post.

The final score of the half came just after Ashwin lost a tooth following a tremendous tackle. Ashwin knocked on in that tackle but Bridgwater won the scrum against the head on the home 22. No 8 Taylor Buller picked up and drew the defence before passing to winger Garryn Basson who scored in the corner. Ashwin converted with a superb kick to make the half time score 12-12.

Matson dominated the start of the second period and Bridgwater survived by dint of good defence and a number of penalties – the visitors won the penalty count 4-16 – and the home side were unlucky to be denied a try by a forward pass.

Bridgwater introduced Oscar Tregenna on the wing for Basson after 58 minutes and his first touch gave him a try. Full back James Martin, who had caught everything Matson kicked at him, ran another loose kick back at the home defence before giving a scoring pass to Tregenna. Ashwin’s conversion from the touch line hit the post.

Bridgwater attacked and when awarded a penalty only 5m out, opted for the scrummage. The inevitable result was an unconverted pushover try credited to Buller.

Matson, not looking like a side rooted to the bottom of the table, did not lie down. They took a quick 22m drop out that caught Bridgwater unawares and only a despairing tackle by Bridgy skipper, Ollie Dunn, saved the day for the visitors.

Roger Drabble had shown immense skill in making a couple of diving catches from Matson kicks and with the last move of the game, got his reward. One of his catches that looked more at home on the cricket field, set up a Bridgwater attack and after patient recycling close to the home line, scrum half Drabble spotted a gap and dived over for the fifth try – unconverted – for Bridgwater and a final score of 12-27.Dec14-8245

Bridgwater will have been pleased to come away with five points. The forwards dominated the set scrums, taking quite a few against the head. The lineouts were reasonably even. Ball was lost occasionally at the tackle area but there were suspicions that the home pack ‘got away with a few indiscretions’! Defence was generally sound but there were two tries given away. Firstly, there were too many loose kicks out of defence – mainly to a fullback who was prepared to run the ball back. Secondly, we still attempt difficult passes when a simpler approach may be more beneficial. These two things gave Matson two tries.

With today’s bonus point win, Bridgwater now move to fourth in the league just three points behind third placed Camborne.

Next week’s match, December 13th, when Camborne visit Bridgwater, should be a classic. As ever, it will kick off at 3-00pm. It is also the final game of the first half of the season and means that Bridgwater will have played each league opponent once.

Tries: Woodhouse, F. Gwilliam
Con: C. Gwilliam

Bridgwater & Albion
Tries: Allen, Basson, Tregenna, Buller, Drabble
Con: Ashwin

Bridgwater & Albion Team
James Martin, Garryn Basson (rep Oscar Tregenna 58), Chris Ashwin, Stu Heal, Rob Allen, Jervis Manupenu, Roger Drabble, James Bryant (rep Adrian Tew 75), Matt Hastie, Joe Bussell, Ali Blundell, Dan Kemmish, Rob Thompson (rep Doug Page-Symonds 59), Ollie Dunn (Capt), Taylor Buller

Referee: George Selwood (North Midlands)

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Category: 1st XV News, Previews / Reports -XV

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