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Dirtrackers crash out after early promise (12/04/14)

| 15/04/2014 | Reply

BARFC Dirtrackers 19, Wyvern 66

For this match Albion yet again made some further changes – mainly positional with Buck moving into the centre and Polder who had made an impressive debut the week before going to full-back. 

Albion’s early promise somewhat flattered them as Wyvern gradually gained the upper hand and after half-time two three-score blitzes at the start and at the end completed a comfortable victory for them.  It was easy to see why they are finishing in third place in the league well behind Cheddar Valley who have won the league unbeaten and Tor who went down 0-33 to the champions on the same day. 

Albion’s early promise centred mainly on the traditional line-out – catch and drive.  Coates and Buck did a neat switch in mid-field and from another penalty it was the same treatment and this time Norman was free on the blind side to typically crash over.  Page converted well from the touchline.  Norman also took two strikes against the head – something almost unheard of in rugby football circles until the new scrummaging laws came into play this season.  This helped to relieve some of Wyvern’s pressure.  However in the 18th minute Wyvern’s centre almost burst through and when the ball came loose, their scrum-half popped over for a try which was converted to level the scores.  From the kick-off Wyvern retrieved some scrappy Albion play and hacked up field where one of their two pursuers latched on to take the lead.  Taylor then just failed to make an interception on Wyvern’s 22.  Norman then charged down the ball over the Wyvern line but the bounce eluded him.  However Albion maintained pressure and from the scrum, Taylor weaved his way over near the posts for Page to add the formalities and Albion were back in the lead 14-12.  This was however short-lived as an excellent handling move across the Wyvern backs resulted in their right-wing sprinting in to the posts.  Three minutes later Albion who were attacking strongly dropped the ball and Wyvern capitalised strongly and broke through and any one of four players could have scored – one did.  These late scores meant that Wyvern led 24-14 at the break.

Wyvern really let Albion have it with a three try salvo in the first ten minutes of the second half.  Very loose play by Albion following the kick-off saw Wyvern move the ball across the field where their scrum-half ran in from 35 metres for a further goal.  From the kick-off Wyvern gathered the ball and waltzed through some flimsy Albion defence for another try and conversion at the posts.  Albion however hit back and were denied a try by a knock-on.  However they could not keep up their good work long and poor kicking from the home side gave Wyvern the chance to run in again from long distance.  These three tries had now taken the score to 45-14. 

Albion showed their resolve when they were awarded a free kick ten metres out and Norman took full advantage, being more alert than anyone else on the field to score his second try.  Albion then calmed down things somewhat finally making their tackles count and holding on to some possession themselves.  However in the last 15 minutes Wyvern took up where they left off earlier with three more long range tries which were all converted to put the gloss on the score line and certainly cementing their third place in the league. 

For Albion, another lesson in that when in possession, make the most of it; when defending, make sure tackles count; and generally do not give the ball away so easily. 

This ended a disappointing season for the Dirtrackers – not from the want of trying but a lack of general cohesion caused by disjointed teams; ever-changing personnel; lack of core fitness and lacking a general game plan.  All matters which can be easily rectified.  It is a question of putting the resolve which has been discussed several times into practice. 

Team: Polder;  McCarthy  Taylor  Buck  Knott;  Coates  Page;  Gibson  Frost  Lewis  Worgan  Hobbs  Ruddle  Norman  Moulding.  Replacements: Used – Berry  T Williams  Pearce.  Unused – Innalls. 

Scorers: Tries – Norman (2)  Taylor.  Conversions – Page (2).

H-T  14-24.

Category: 3rd Previews / Reports -XV

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