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News > Sports > Old Richians v Old Elizabethans 12 Mar 2022

Old Richians v Old Elizabethans 12 Mar 2022

..."this was as good a win as any this season"
13 Mar 2022
Written by Malcolm Davies

Old Richians RFC v Old Elizabethans RFC,
12th March 2022


Once again thanks go to our temporary intrepid reporter Andrew Tobin for this excellent Match Report.

Old Elizabethans travelled to Gloucester for the return fixture against Old Richians, having previously won at home 37-24 and hoping for a repeat performance. There was a distinct air of trepidation for OEs as this was a much changed team, two flankers propping, a wing forward in the second row, a wing three-quarter at wing forward, all due to unavailability and injury. Conditions were good, firm, dry, wide pitch, with a brisk crossfield breeze.

1st XV SQUAD: George Burnie, Will Leggatt, Will Tobin, Adam Skyner, Rhys Edwards, Matt Bailey, Luke Jagger, Henry Kirkpatrick, Sam Hygate, Matt Carr, Pat Dore, Alex Potts, Ben Barnett, Myles Pakeman, Tobias Burden, George Evans, Joe Watkins, Archie Walker.

MATCH REPORT: From the kick off, Es made a promising start, Ben Barnett making good ground with a long mazy run leading to a penalty which Sam Hygate coolly converted to give Es a (0-3) lead.

As expected, the Es' scrum was losing ground to the much bigger Rs' pack, although their front row was carrying a fair bit of lard which would surely tell in the later stages. Rugby, at its basic level, is a game of physical and mental intimidation, and Es needed to make a statement, set out their stall, let the opposition know what to expect. That moment came in the 8th minute, as from broken play in midfield Rs tried to run the ball and their chunky centre was hit with the monster munch of the season, from Luke Jagger. Spectators could literally hear the grunt of the stuffing being knocked out of the centre, leaving him groaning on the turf, to be helped off, and playing no further part in proceedings.

Rs eventually worked downfield and from a lineout catch and drive scored in the corner (5-3) . OEs were back on the attack, a Matt Bailey drive setting up a ruck on the Rs' 10 metre line, loose ball was picked up by Will Tobin who from a standing start gassed 3 defenders on a weaving run to score a 7 pointer under the posts, (5-10) to Es.

It took Rs by surprise, they weren't expecting that from the tight head prop. From a defensive lineout on the Es' 5 meter line, sloppy passing allowed Rs to flop on a spilt ball behind the try line, to gift a 7 pointer to Rs, (12-10).

Es with ball in hand always looked dangerous, and a great run out of defence by Pat Dore almost took him over the try line, but denied by stout Rs' defence. From the ensuing, retreating 5 metre scrum, Henry Kirkpatrick somehow picked up at the back and drove for the line, touching down a classic No 8 try, (12-15) to Es. It was end to end stuff, Rs back on the front foot, running hard at the Es' midfield, their attack was halted on the Rs' 10 metre line with a simultaneous tackle and rip by Tobin who set off, gathering pace, a couple of hand offs, and another 7 pointer under the posts, (12-22).

The mobile pack were fully competing, lineout functioning well with accurate throwing in from hooker Will Leggatt. Adam Skyner was ruling the restarts with clean catches and drives to set up front-foot ball. Rs gained good field position, their big forwards hammering away at the Es' line, to be repelled time again, big tackles coming in from Rhys Edwards, Alex Potts and George Burnie. Henry Kirkpatrick was yellow carded for a breakdown infringement, followed by Alex Potts for similar, so Es down to 13 men, on their own line. Rs turned the screw with, unsurprisingly, a pushover try, (17-22) at half time.

From the restart, Es won a penalty on the Rs' 10 metre line, not easy kicking conditions in the swirling wind, calmly converted again by Hygate, (17-25). Watching play, a spectator would never have guessed Rs were playing with a 2-man advantage, no spinning the ball out to use their numerical advantage. Instead, it was always route one, trying to batter their way forward, time and again they were chopped down by Es' defenders. Es weathered the storm, returning to full strength without conceding. From a scrum on Es' 22, Rs broke wide before cutting back inside for a 7 pointer, (24-25).

From the restart, Rs infringed on their 10 metre line, again, Hygate made them pay with another successful kick, (24-28). Reinforcements, Joe Watkins and Archie Walker, were brought on and fully contributed. On the attack again, a clever chip from fly half Matt Carr was well fielded by Tobias Burden who touched down in the corner. Inexplicably the try was disallowed, the ref claiming he didn't see a clear grounding of the ball. The ref had been playing advantage, calling play back, enabling Hygate to boot another 3 points (24-31). An Rs' clean break saw a one on one with Myles Pakeman the last line of defence, of course, he dropped his man with yet another fine Es' tackle.

With minutes to go, and still only 7 points in it, Rs were awarded several attacking scrums, visibly tiring, they were unable to take advantage and the Es' supporters were starting to think they could hold out for the win. They needn't have worried, breaking out on the far touchline, Es made good ground, finding support with replacement George Evans on hand to scorch in 50 metres for another 7 pointer, the important bonus point try. Full time (24 – 38).

Make no mistake, this was as good a win as any this season, borne out of a stubborn refusal to yield, tackle after heavy tackle sapped the will of Rs. Many could have won Man of the Match, Hygate for superb kicking off the tee to keep the scoreboard ticking over, Jagger for THAT tackle, however Head Coach Heimi nominated Will Tobin.

FINAL SCORE: Old Richians 24 – Old Elizabethans 38

Man of the Match: Will Tobin, nominated by Head Coach Heimi, for stepping up to prop, two fine tries from distance and a great all round display

Tries: Will Tobin (2), Henry Kirkpatrick, George Evans
Conversions: Sam Hygate (3)
Penalties: Sam Hygate (4)

No game next week, so we welcome Bristol Saracens to Fortress Hallen on 26 March, for what is sure to be a spicy return fixture, Es having taken the spoils at Cribbs Causeway earlier in the season. Come on you Es!

Full Table and Fixture List below

Andrew M Tobin

CLICK for the Old Elizabethans RFC website

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