Luctonian 2nd XV Play a Blinder

Luctonians RFC Round Up

Last Updated: Oct 31, 2013 09:57am
Kingsland, County of Herefordshire
By Luctonians Sports Club
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Sheffield Tigers 29 v 5 Luctonians

Having lost their previous two league fixtures, Luctonians travelled to Sheffield’s Dore Moor home confident that they could return to winning ways against a side who had failed to record a win this season.

As expected the elements at the exposed ground were set to play a part in proceedings as a strong prevailing head wind threatened to counter any advantage of playing with the considerable slope. Sheffield started with the wind in their faces, and having identified the fact set about building phases and securing good ball, their first bout of possession comprising of 14 phases. Luctonians defence was excellent in this first period with the majority of the attacking play being shepherded from side to side, and eventually forcing an error.

The pack also seemed to hold the upper hand at Scrum and claimed a couple of Free-kicks for the home side’s transgressions in the opening exchanges. One such award saw Luctonians handed the opportunity to relieve the pressure and kick play into the Sheffield half, however the free-kick was sent directly into touch. Following another period of defence that lasted a double figure number ofphases, Luctonians were awarded penalty.      Inexcusably the resultant kick failed to find touch and seemed to knock the travelling sides resolve as heads dropped. Shortly afterwards an all too easy mid-field break by Sheffield centre Jon Buchanan saw him feed Full-back Pete Swatkins to open the scoring. The try was converted to make the score 7-0.

Luctonians managed to get themselves back in the game from the restart, and some strong driving play was rewarded with a penalty just outside the Sheffield 22. Just as the Travelling support were preparing to witness a kick to the corner and a driven lineout, a quick tap was taken only for possession to be turned over once again. Sheffield immediately attacked up field, and following some good inter play between forwards and backs number 7 Tom Coates crossed the line for a try. For the remainder of the half Luctonians performance was at best lacklustre with their set-piece miss-firing and handing possession back to the hosts. Having once again gained possession in the Luctonians 22, Sheffield were able to form a driven lineout maul and walked the ball over the line with ease for Hooker Michael Bradford to score. Half-time score 19-0.

Luctonians looked to have received some much needed motivational words during half-time, and started the second period the brighter with some strong running by the likes of Brad Talbot and Adam Clayton taking the game deep into Sheffield territory. Eventually the ball was spread left to right and Drew Cheshire crossed in the corner for a try. The revival was short lived however as basic errors crept back into Luctonians game, giving up possession and field position before conceding penalties.

Sheffield kept the scoreboard moving with a penalty kick before another possession led to Swatkins claiming his second try for the hosts, and effectively ending the contest with ten minutes left on the clock.

Luctonians 2nd XI 65 - 0 Bromsgrove 2nd XI

Upon paper this looked a relatively tough fixture for our 2nd team. Missing a large number of players for one reason or another, meant that 6 of the squad had played just 1 game or fewer for the 2nd team this season.

This unfamiliarity combined with the fact that the opponents Bromsgrove have usually been competitive with ourselves, regardless of level, meant that we approached the game with a degree of anxiety. That anxiety, lasted approximately 6 minutes as we built a 19-0 lead in that short time and never looked back.

Lucs opened the scoring almost immediately from kick off, after having won a penalty from the first ruck of the game, Skipper Jordan Street took this quickly and popped the ball to John Kelly who rounded the cover defence for the earliest of scores. From the ensuing kick off, the home side worked their way up field, earned a lineout within the Bromsgrove 22, and scored their second try from a superb first phase back move, in which Romanian George scythed through the opposition backline. Finn Ralph then rounded off what can only be described as a breath-taking team try, which started from the receipt of kick off, just outside the Lucs 22, involved several different sets of hands, including large contributions from Mark Galpin, Kelly and Trevor Bufton, and left Bromsgrove looking utterly deflated. Ralph converted the second and third tries to put the home side 19-0 up. Bromsgrove began to find their feet slightly after this, and kept Lucs at bay for a period of 15 minutes or so, before the dominant forward pack drove a lineout 20 metres allowing Josh Day the momentum to break off the back of the maul and power over. Ralph, playing in the unfamiliar position of fly half, then scored his second and third tries after strong carries from Sam Jones and Matt Stokes set up each try respectively. Ralph knocked over one of those conversions, to put the home side 36-0 up at the break.

The second half continued in the same vein despite Bromsgrove having the hefty wind behind them. Not being able to kick the ball into the wind, allowed the home side to play some exceptional rugby in the second period, where they seemed to run the ball from anywhere on the pitch. Two fantastic team tries were finished off by

Romanian George and Adam Knight, and these scores were sandwiched in between two muscular efforts from Sam Jones, who again impressed back at his home club. Lucs secured their 11th and final try with what turned out to be the final play of the game, although the referee did later say this whistle came the best part of 10 minutes early. Knight pressed his claims for a first team spot by scoring his second try in what turned out to be a very positive first outing at this level for the club. The returning Dan Phillips kicked two second half conversions to secure a 65-0 hammering as the final score.

In what proved to be a fantastic team performance from 1 to 18, it would seem slightly unfair to name individual performers but Josh Day was truly dominant in the scrum and also deserved huge praise for his work in the loose. I could name any number of the other boys for exceptional performances but will finish by saying that it was a pleasure to watch such unity and enjoyment from a young side, in a performance that the boys must continue to strive to replicate as the season goes on.

Scorers: Tries; Finn Ralph 3, Romanian George 2, Adam Knight 2, Sam Jones 2, John Kelly, Josh Day. Conversions; Finn Ralph 3, Dan Phillips 2

Team: 1.Tom Sankey 2.Jordan Street 3.Josh Day 4.John Kelly 5.Ollie Dines 6.Matt Stokes 7.Trevor Bufton 8.Sam Jones 9.Ollie Williams 10.Finn Ralph 11.Mark Galpin 12.Ed Gough 13.Adam Knight 14.Jack Lyke 15.Romanian George 16.Tom Pritchard 17.Matt Sear 18.Dan Phillips


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