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Burton U23's Set the Pace

Burton RFC Academy

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2013 10:00pm
Burton, East Staffordshire
By Dick Titley
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Burton RFC Under 23 squad travelled to Wasps Rugby Club in North London as under dogs and came away planning to take next seasons title.

The competition proved to be a massive learning opportunity for the players and coaches who had all been placed in the unenviable position of playing London Irish in their first game of the day. Despite the professional approach of the Irish team, Burton soon got into their stride and matched their ferocious rucks and tackles without a problem.

Neither team gave much away and the scores ticked along at an equal pace with only one try separating them for much of the game. Harry Titley put Burton on the score board when he dragged his tacklers over the line to touch down under the posts and with Ben Marshall's conversion Burton drew level.

The Irish however unleashed their fast and powerful winger who kept them a try ahead in to the second half. Burton took the lead early on when Titley dummied his opposite number to release Marshall along the left flank and who then skilfully chipped the ball towards the post only to be dutifully picked up by Matt Davies as it crossed over the try line. However London irish pulled back the score and then in the dying seconds put the game out of Burton's reach with the final score being 21-12.  

Burton then faced local club Ealing which was an evenly matched game and which Burton dominated in the first half. Scrum half Jack Walford put the first points on the board when he stubbornly refused to be brought to ground until he had crossed the line and then in the second half Sam Jordan-Turner powered his way through having stretched Ealings defensive line to score an excellent try. However once again Burton's defence allowed Ealing to pull back the score and eventually came away with a tight win. 

Marlow proved to be tough opposition and brought a very physical approach to the game. Yet again Burton didn't drop their guard and matched the physicality by keeping the ball alive resulting in some great flowing rugby. Nyle Davison helped Burton onto the score board by breaking free from Marlows defence and kindly set up Jonny Aldridge to score under the posts.

The win took Burton into the Bowl Final against Amersham and Chiltern RFC which again was closely contested. Burton were however at this stage struggling with insufficient replacements due to injuries to Davies, Walford and Will Harrison the latter of whom had been involved in some heavily contested scrums throughout the tournament.

Burton's defence was further weakened when Steve McRobbie carried out his text book tackle on the opposition's  powerfully built winger who sprinted along the touch line confident of a try but was cut down in text book style by McRobbie and thrown into the crowd with a huge crunch.

Both players were quickly back to their feet but McRobbies shoulder had taken a beating and needed Physio before resuming normality. Second row Dave Henry had raised his game on the day and provided  great strength to Burton's pack, his efforts were rewarded when he scored Burton's only try of the game by doggedly dragging at lead three tacklers over the try line.  The final score however was 19-5 to Amersham and marked the end of a very exciting and challenging day for the Burtonians. 

Three of Burtons younger players were also chosen to represent a Wasp's Barbarians team. Will Harrison proved his worth by scoring a try in the first half and then invited his Burton team mate Sam Jordan Turner to convert it. Barton under Needwood's Will Simpson also took to the field and fought valiantly for the Wasps's in the tournaments opening fixture which set the bench mark for a very physical and exciting day of rugby.

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