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MOSBOROUGH 1st XV 5 pts vs OLD OTLIENSIANS 1st XV 12 pts

Otliensians returned to League rugby on Saturday with the long trip to Mosborough, and whilst these journeys are never easy, the Ensians cause could have been even more difficult with six first team regulars unavailable. Debuts were given to the O'Donnell brothers, Tom and Lee, with Steve Robinson also making a debut cameo appearance, and with every other member of the team showing total commitment, another hard fought away league victory was achieved.

The game started with Ensians creating pressure through the pack, and showing their excellent handling skills only to be thwarted several times close to the line. Mosborough came back through their physical pack, but it was plain to see, even in the early exchanges that if Ensians could match their bigger opponents up front, then the Ensians backs were more inventive and could win the game, so it proved.

The first half became an attritional battle up front, with the Ensians pressuring in the Mosborough 22, and the home side relieving through their well drilled set piece play, however the breakthrough seemed to have been made when Arbuckle crashed over the line, only for the referee to deem that he had been held up. This did not deter the Ensians eight who lead by Bonner were beginning to wear their opponents down, and the mood was one of confidence as the half time whistle blew with the game still a 0 - 0 stalemate.

The Ensians backs were troubling their counterparts, with superb service from Birch, Kristian Keinhorst was controlling the game, Ratahi was mesmerising the Mosborough centres with his distribution, and Woods was threatening with every touch of the ball. As the Mosborough pack began to tire, the ball was once again taken up by the Ensians forwards through three phases of play, releasing the Ensians backs with space, two quick passes and Woods was accelerating down the wing leaving a trail of defenders behind him, before finishing in the corner.

Within five minutes Ensians had again shown what they were capable of, with backs and forwards combining for Philpott to crash over, and Matt Tenniswood adding the extra two points. The Mosborough rally was ferocious, driving up field they began a series of punishing attacks through their pack, but the defence of Arbuckle, Tom O'Donnell, Brett Tenniswood and Hanogue was outstanding, repelling them at every turn, and with Cook and Lyon at prop fighting for every inch of ground, it looked as though Ensians would collect their third clean sheet in five league games.

However, from another forward surge, the Mosborough prop managed to get over the whitewash, but with Birch putting his body on the line, it appeared to the away support that he had been held up, but unfortunately the referee again ruled in Mosborough's favour.

This was to be the last serious threat, and the game ended as it had started with Ensians in the ascendancy and another two league points secured.


Otliensians 2nd XV 38 pts v Mosborough 2nd XV 3 pts

Sean Kennedy scores first for Ensians

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Otliensians were the liveliest in the early exchanges as the visitors took time to settle and after 11 mins a good cross-field move went to wing Joe Robinson who stood up well in the tackle to feed centre Sean Kennedy who scored wideout. The home side were well on top in the tight with hooker Ross Myers striking well but lineout ball was difficult to come by. However the Ensians backs were showing some real pace and and excellent sweeping move saw left wing Darren Cooley loop around right wing Robinson to score in the corner. Ben Newall converted with a good kick. Just on halftime Andy Allman at no 8 broke through a tackle at full power some 30m out to feed Robinson who scored near the posts for Newall to convert.

With a 19 - 0 pts lead Otliensians began strongly after the break. Last years leading scorer Richard Cuff back after injury came on at half time and soon powered down the right to feed Kennedy who scored under the posts for Newall to convert. The home side eased off a little and Mosborough came back into the game but good defence kept them at bay and they only had a penalty to show for their efforts.

In the final quarter the fitness of Otliensians began to tell as they dominated the set scrum and won good ball in the loose. However over keenness to exploit the superiority resulted in a number of forward passes and chances to score were lost. A super move was started by fullback Nick Smith from deep in his own half; a change of pace confounded the visitors mid field defence , the ball went wide right before swinging back across the field for Nick Smith to complete the move he had begun. Newall again converted. This was soon followed by another good try initiated by stand off Phil Purnell, who was having a class game. He seized on a loose ball in the Ensians half which was transferred along the backs for Cuff to score.

A good team effort from Otliensians with some fine running by the three quarters.

On Saturday Otliensians are scheduled to play Old Modernians at all levels.
The 1st and 3rd XV are at home and the 2nd XV are away at Cookridge