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Out of Character Result for Old Hales

Old Halesonians 3 - 44 Nuneaton

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2016 07:03am
Hagley, Bromsgrove
By Kathleen Jackson
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First team  - Old Halesonians 3 - 44 Nuneaton

 

The Wassell Grove side went into this game with great confidence following two league victories including a massive points difference win to Lichfield in the league opener. The home crowd were expecting a difficult battle against a Nuneaton side who have had mixed success over the last 2 seasons. 

It was the visitors who dominated almost from the kick off. They made their mark with early pressure resulting in two converted tries within 8 minutes. The Nuns scrummage was strong and the combination play with quick backs took Hales by surprise.  

The early exchanges saw Hales penalised regularly but they tried hard to dominate the game early. Hales endeavoured to put some plays together but slack handling and penalties conceded gave Nuneaton a platform.  

Injuries to Hales prop Adam Wilson saw him replaced by Matt Young for the remainder of the game. Hales DOR made changes with Ben Barkley coming in for wing Jay Reid. Barkley took the centre position with Andy Robinson and his brother Carl moving to the wing. Hales fought back with Barkley taking the game to Nuns but he alone could not turn the tide on the visitors. 

Before the half time whistle Nuneaton had breached the Hales defence several times to lead by 19 points, with Hales really struggling to get out of first gear, playing as individuals and not as a team. A consolation penalty by Hales Chris Hooper made the score 3 - 22 at half time.  

The half time whistle saw Hales regrouping under the forthright views of coach Ben Hughes.  

The second half was much the same with Nuneaton pressuring Hales into mistakes. Ben Hughes sustained a knee injury and was replaced by Tom King, other injuries to Adam Clayton and Sam Jones effected the competitive edge for Hales, again allowing a well organised Nuns side to widen their grip on the game with more tries. 

The final 10 minutes was painful for the home side as Nuneaton continued the pressure against a now depleted home defence. Nuneaton scored 6 tries in a convincing victory with the home team having no answer to the pressure. 

Nuneaton were deserved winners and Hales need to regroup to look at themselves in the wake of a one sided game. After the game Head Coach, Ben Hughes said, 

"Every player needs to take responsibility, we cannot explain how this happened given the preparation we have put in at training. We would like to apologise to our supporters for what was a totally inadequate performance. We will look to come back from this, no team becomes this bad overnight, we will get back to the hard work during the next week to put this right"

 

This Saturday Hales meet Towcestrians at home, kick off at 3pm.

 

Second team - Nuneaton 2nds 5 - 0 Old Halesonians 2nds 

The signs looked ominous when Nuneaton took clean ball from their own kick off and followed with 5 minutes of phase after phase of continuos pressure; however, Old Hales defence held strong throughout and finally forced the home side to give away a penalty.

Old Hales gradually got back into the game although attacking opportunities were few and far between. The remainder of the first half was a continuous tussle in midfield and the half ended with no score, 0-0.

The second half continued as the first with both sides testing the opposition defence. On the hour Nuneaton found touch close to the Old Hales line; the Old Hales line out throw in was just too long and the ball was taken at the back by Nuneaton. Old Hales defence scrambled quickly but Nuneaton were able to drive over the line to score an unconverted try to take a 5-0 lead.

Old Hales fought back and saw a couple of opportunities from scrums close to the Nuneaton line slip away. Nuneaton continued to play controlled rugby and held out to claim a 5-0 league victory.

Old Hales 2nds play Towcestrians 2nds at home in the league next weekend.

 

Third teams - Old Halesonians 3rds 31 - 25  Bromsgrove 3rds

Old Hales 3rds secured a closely fought victory in this friendly game against an experienced Bromsgrove side.

 

Old Hales scorers:

Tries: Dan Smith (2), George Eccles, Carl Davis, Calvin Clements

Conversions: Gaz Price (2), Matt Wagstaff

Old Hales 3rds have a friendly game next weekend away against Old Salts 2nds.

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