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Wiveliscombe 2nds 55, BARFC 3rds 17 (25/10/14)

| 25/10/2014 | Reply

Albion turned up at the rural setting of Plain Pond with 19 players – somewhat short of their normal squad. Whilst there was an abundance of front row players, some naturally had to play out of position and this disrupted the side. Day made his debut in the second row.

Albion had secured a good run of results in recent weeks, gathering 10 league points but the home side have finally rebuilt a 2nd XV of some merit and they certainly showed their class in this match.

Albion were under pressure at an early scrum but good work firstly by Knott and followed up by Coates and Page took play to the Wivey line. From a 5 metre scrum Albion pushed over and Mordrzynski was credited with the try – this was his 5th consecutive scoring match since his return to the Albion ranks. Albion’s start was no fluke and they kept pressure on the home side but in the 15th minute from a line-out on half way, the Wiveliscombe 2nd row burst through the varied and scattered Albion ranks to run in from 45 metres. The conversion gave the home side a narrow lead. The home side now had their tails up and they burst through the middle but this time were held by Albion’s defence. In the 22nd minute, Wivey fielded yet another badly kicked ball out of the Albion defence and moved the ball to the right where their wing ran in to extend the lead. Albion’s kicking – particularly out of defence – has been poor for all of the season and in this game they were mightily punished for these errors. Their clearances were simply not finding touch but more so giving Wiveliscombe attacking freedom and they made hay. In the 25th minute one such kick gave Wivey plenty of room to move the ball with their No. 8 prominent – he was just held but support came and a further try and conversion resulted. Three minutes later a similar errant kick from Albion gave Wivey another attacking position. However the referee saved the day this time as he got in the way of the home scrum half as he dummied over and a try was disallowed. Albion to their credit hit back on the half hour mark when from a line-out well won by Page surprisingly, the catch and drive produced the goods and there was Mordrzynski over for his second try to reduce the arrears to 12-19. Wivey stepped up the game in the closing minutes of the first half and another misplaced kick from Albion saw the home fullback charge through and when he was stopped, the ball was recycled to the backs who scored. Just on half time Albion were penalised and yellow-carded for a late tackle and from the line-out the Wivey backs created space with an excellent scissors move to score a further goal to make the half-time score 12-29.

Wivey’s three try salvo in the first twelve minutes of the second half had made the game safe. Firstly a neat move by their half-backs saw their stand-off go over. Five minutes later Albion were penalised and Wivey reacted quickly and their backs strolled over and finally a classic try by the veteran Gray in the Wivey centre took the score with added conversions to 12-48. However Albion did not capitulate and gradually settled down again and had some moments of their own. Here Mordrzynski and Page and also Kerry worked hard to stem the tide and at the same time create some initiative of their own. In the 67th minute some close work following a line-out resulted in Mordrzynski claiming his hat-trick try. He was close again a few minutes later. At the end of the game Wivey once again created space through the middle and secured their final points for a resounding victory.

This match was 4th against 5th in the league but Albion were literally run out of it. The preponderance of poor kicks needs to be reduced if not eliminated. The old adage of “never kick the ball to the opposition” seems to be lost on today’s players and not only at this level 10 – indeed those in the Premiership and at International level could heed the old schoolmasters’ and coaches’ pleas.

Albion now await the visit of Hornets III on 8 November – deferring the fixture from next week due to the restrictions of Carnival.

Team: Coates; Knott Walker J Kerry Harbour; Habberfield Page; Mordrzynski Frost Gibson Day Moulding Ruddle Saunders Shaw. Replacements – all used – Berry Buck Millburn McCarthy.

Scorers: Tries – Mordrzynski (3). Conversion – Habberfield.

H-T 12-29

Category: 3rd Previews / Reports -XV, 3rd XV News

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