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BARFC 2nds 22, Hornets 2nds 28 (11/10/14)

| 11/10/2014 | Reply

Bridgwater’s second team played the part of host for the second week in a row with Hornets second team visiting College Way. Bridgwater were looking to bounce back from a disappointing performance and a 1-point loss from the previous week and Hornets were looking to continue their unbeaten streak. After a brief shower during the warm up, the skies cleared and a fantastic, entertaining game of rugby was had between two very competitive sides.

A few changes from the team the previous week with Scott Woolford and James Brakes both making their first starts for the second team this season after service with the first team. Newman was unavailable through illness and Mitch Windsor travelled with the first team. Former Hornet James Collins was promoted from the third team to fill the bench.

The first points of the game came courtesy of the Hornets scrum half, who was a dangerous runner with ball in hand. He jinked and danced around a number of tackles throughout the game. His first try was scored in such a manner after he was given the ball in a bit of open space. The early try was converted to give Hornets a 0-7 lead. Bridgwater responded in an ideal fashion and would have struggled to score any quicker than they did. Brakes chased hard from kick off and his opposite man failed to catch the kick off cleanly, dropping the ball straight into Brakes’ path. He scooped the ball up and ran in unopposed to score near the posts. John Hill duly converted to level the scores 7-7.

It was Hornets turn to come back flying and they pegged Bridgwater in their own 22. Olly McGeown broke from the base of the ruck and attempted an ambitious offload out the back door. The ball was intercepted by the Hornets hooker 10m from the line. Hill managed to track back and produce an outstanding piece of defensive work, somehow managing to wrap the player up and get underneath him to prevent the try. Bridgwater struggled to compete with the resulting scrum. The slight wheeling offered an ideal opportunity for the Hornets scrum half to pick the ball up and cross the whitewash for his, and Hornets, second try of the game. The conversion was slotted and Hornets regained the lead 7-14.

Olly McGeown was next on the score sheet with what concluded a fast paced and high scoring opening 20 minutes. A neat move off the base of the scrum allowed Brakes to break down the wing. As he was being tackled in to touch he threw the ball in-field to keep it live. McGeown gathered and cut in towards the posts to score Bridgwater’s second try. Hill converted again to level the scores again at 14-14.The remainder of the first half was played without further score but was no less entertaining. Bridgwater managed to repel a number of Hornets attacks and hold the ball up over the line. There was also an ambitious penalty kick from over 40m out from Hill which fell just short.

Half time saw a slight reshuffle with Gavin Knight replacing Josh Sturdy at hooker and Collins replacing James Kerry. He however took over at fly-half with Hill dropping to fullback. Bridgwater were first to get back on the scoreboard and did so with a successful penalty kick from Hill. The kick put Bridgwater in front for the first time in the game 17-14. The second half was equally as competitive as the first with Hornets scoring next after stretching play wide. Swift hands from the scrum and a dodgy tackle saw them cross for their third try and with another successful kick they regained the lead 17-21. Bridgwater scored their third try in a similar fashion to the second. A good move off a scrum but in this instance, Brakes needed no help as he managed to gas his man on the outside without getting tackled into touch. He touched down for his second of the day. The kick unfortunately hit the post meaning Bridgwater led by only a single point 22-21. Matt Ranson replaced McGeown at scrum half for the remainder.

Some fantastic driving play from their own 5-metre line, against a physically much bigger pack saw Albion edge to the 22 and win a penalty. They kicked long to touch and produced another impressive driving maul that travelled well over 30 metres and was certain to earn Bridgwater their fourth try of the game. However, the maul was collapsed by Hornets and the referee judged it to be too far from the line to be a penalty try. Albion instead kicked to the corner and set up another drive looking for an elusive four-try bonus point. They were however then penalised for the use of a boot or two in the ruck that came from the lineout drive. Hornets had the final say in the game and despite more efforts being held up over the line, their centre eventually managed to wriggle through a hole and score under the posts to seal their bonus point and, eventually, the game. The conversion was successful meaning the final score was 22-28 to Hornets.

Bridgwater will be frustrated with only a losing bonus point but can take great confidence from a vastly improved performance from 7 days ago. Defensively they were much stronger and went toe to toe against a much bigger pack, holding their own in the scrums despite a rocky start in that department. They will be eagerly looking forwards to next week’s encounter with local rivals North Petherton for the second derby day in two weeks between the clubs.

Team: Kerry, Brakes, Basson, Owens, Lang, Hill, McGeown; Norman, Sturdy, Woolford, Page-Symonds, Lewis, Stradling, Sluman (Capt), Steward

Reps: (All used) Knight, Ranson, Collins

Tries: Brakes (2), McGeown

Conversions: Hill (2)

Penalties: Hill

Category: 2nd Previews / Reports -XV, 2nd XV News

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