OORUFC 8pts v Old Grovians 27pts
Arby barges over for Ensians only try
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With neighbours Grovians being contenders for promotion this season,
‘Ensians knew that they would have to perform at their best to pull off a
victory. In the end, they competed well in the first half, but then fell
away after the break against the elements.
The hosts started well taking play into the visitors’ half and camping on
their line for several minutes. A loose pass was snapped up by the
Grovians backs and they produced a well-worked try on 16 minutes to take a
5 – 0 lead. The home side were doing better than usual for ball with lock
Sam Gray and flanker Sam Featherstone controlling the lineout and the
front row of Ross Myers, Rob Lyon and Toby Barltrop having a slight edge
in the scrums.
On 20 minutes, Old Grovians strayed offside and fly half Kristian
Keinhorst converted a penalty to narrow the lead to 5 – 3. The home side
mounted several promising attacks with centres Nathan Rogers and Michael
Philpott making forceful runs, but the visitors’ defence was solid.
Grovians were also quick to counter attack through their strong-running
backs and at the break, the score remained at 5 – 3 to the visitors.
In the second half skipper Sam Gray went off with an ankle injury with
Alan Harker coming on as replacement and Tom Twist replaced Rob Lyon in
the front row. From the re-start, the visitors used the strong wind to
push the home side back into their 22 and a slick move gave Grovians a
converted try on 43 minutes to stretch their lead to 12 – 3.
‘Ensians buckled down against the elements, but they were finding the
visitors’ back division a handful. After defending well for the next
fifteen minutes, the hosts suffered a set-back when a player was
yellow-carded for showing dissent on 55 minutes. Grovians immediately took
advantage and ran in a good try on 58 minutes. The hosts then started
trying to play catch-up rugby and a loose pass in attack gifted the
visitors another try five minutes later. Although neither try was
converted, ‘Ensians were now behind at 22 – 3 on 65 minutes.
The home side came back strongly and robust driving play by Barltrop,
Myers and Harker took play into the visitors’ 22. After a series of rucks,
No. 8 Rob Arbuckle went over half way out for an unconverted try to reduce
the deficit to 22 – 8 on 70 minutes. ‘Ensians were now moving the ball
wide at every opportunity, but this made them vulnerable and a handling
mistake let in the visitors for their final try on 76 minutes to make the
final score 27 – 8.
This was a game where ‘Ensians had enough ball to force a much closer
result, but they were not consistent enough and, against a very competent
side like Grovians, they paid the price.
The ‘Ensians 2nd XV pulled off a narrow 15 – 14 away win away at Harrogate