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News > Sports > North Bristol v OEs Cup game 1st April 2023

North Bristol v OEs Cup game 1st April 2023

5 Apr 2023
Written by Malcolm Davies

North Bristol v Old Elizabethans
Bristol Combination Butcombe Cup
1st April 2023


With the league season finished and with Es having finished 2nd in the standings all attention has switched to the Cup matches and the group games start with an away trip to North Bristol RFC who have just won the league below us so will be joining us next year in our league which means this would be a test of what is to come next season.

With a number of regular players absent and with key players like Lucas Sadler still recovering from injury there were a few tough decisions in terms of positions. A big thanks from everyone to Rhys Edwards and Joe Watkins for stepping up to play in the front row alongside Greg Foord. That said Es welcomed back Tobias Burden from injury and Dom Horn from missing a few weeks so a pretty good squad nonetheless. In addition, it was great to see youngsters stepping up to the squad, Joe Brock, Kit Douel, Monty Nash, and Archie Walker. Finally, news had filtered through that Yatton RFC (one of the other teams in our Cup group) had failed to raise a side so a walk over win for Bristol Saracens.

1st XV SQUAD: Greg Foord, Joe Watkins, Rhys Edwards, Dom Horn, Archie Walker, Henry Kirkpatrick, Wil Paterson (Capt), Angus Salisbury, Sam Hygate, Dom Swann, Tobias Burden, Sam Brewer, Pat Dore, Luke Jagger, George Evans, Joe Brock, Kit Douel, Monty Nash

MATCH REPORT: Thankfully the rain had stopped and with a 4G pitch to play on the conditions were next to perfect. North Bristol started strongly and put Es under severe pressure from the start and Es' scrum with its makeshift front row was being tested to its limits. The Referee was penalising Es at the scrum from the start and with us being pushed backwards it was going to be a long afternoon for the forwards in the scrum. Early good defence by Es kept North Bristol at bay, for a while at least, and then the scrum was penalised again and North Bristol bundled their way through the defence to score an early converted try (7-0).

Almost immediately Es found themselves defending their 22 again and from a North Bristol lineout they drove for the line and scored another converted try (14-0).

North Bristol continued to apply the pressure from the restart and defending their 21- unbeaten game run it certainly looked ominous for Es. Some bright moments started to emerge for Es as they got their hands on the ball through Greg Foord, George Evans and Luke Jagger. Es managed to get themselves into the North Bristol 22 and with Vet/Chairman Dom Swann orchestrating things in the three quarters and monster attacking runs from Sam Brewer and Pat Dore took Es forward again and eventually George Evans and Luke Jagger combined and as Luke evaded three tackles he went over for a good try and Sam Hygate stepped up to cooly slot over the added 2 points (14-7).

From the restart there was an outrageous dummy sold by Front Row forward Greg Foord and Es were starting to roll as George Evans skipped through a number of tackles again and popped the ball to Sam Brewer whose strong run ended with the ball being lost forward. Still, looking much brighter than the first ten minutes. No.8 Angus Salisbury was putting in a good shift with tackles and scooping the ball up at the base of the scrum to ease the pressure on Es' scrum and thus supporting scrum half Sam Hygate.

Henry Kirkpatrick off with a neck/high back pain and on comes Joe Brock who looks like he's bulked up a bit and did it show, a sterling game from this young 'E'. Es proceed into the North Bristol 22 courtesy of a Wil Patterson kick and Es awarded a penalty 15m out running it with a good move involving Wil Patterson and Sam Hygate again and the ball reached Joe Watkins who squirmed his way over for a try under the posts, an easy kick for Sam but they all count and this brought Es level at (14-14) as the Half Time whistle went

Probably a fair result for the first half although North Bristol had given the majority of pressure but Es taking their two chances and converting into points.

Second Half
Monty Nash on for Sam Hygate at 9. A good positive start to the second half by Es including a great tackle by Monty Nash. A short period of stalemate then followed as both sides tried to take the lead but it was North Bristol that capitalised on a penalty to kick through the posts (17-14).

Good tackling from our Chairman, rolling back the years and looking as spritely as ever! A good attack from Es and a good kick to the corner which George Evans followed up and looked like scoring but ran out of space. Sam Brewer and Pat Dore continued to test the North Bristol defence at every opportunity. On comes Kit Douel on the wing. Es definitely in the ascendancy and another good move once again saw Joe Watkins score a good try with Monty Nash adding the conversion (17-21).

From the restart Es made the fatal error of letting North Bristol back into the game with a scrum 5m and as the opposition looked like scoring somehow Es stole the ball on the line and Pat Dore ran out of defence to halfway backed up by George Evans who received the ball from Pat and went on to score a try when seconds earlier it looked like North Bristol would be scoring! Once again Monty Nash added the extra points (17-28).

With 15 minutes to go surely now Es were home and dry but North Bristol had not given up and a knock on by Es gave North Bristol a scrum at 5m and again they used their heavier pack to drive over for a try and conversion, right back in it at (24-28).

The crowd were getting very nervous but with tackles from the likes of Henry Kirkpatrick the Es' “Blue Wall” held firm but then North Bristol pressure resulted in an 8m lineout and the hardy Es' followers had their hearts in their mouths expecting a catch and drive from North Bristol but surprisingly the referee blew up, some say he was told to by the linesman, one Barton Hill Bob, which would be the first time he had ever done Es a favour. Anyway, Es held on to win that's the most important thing and broke the North Bristol winning run. Training back at Hallen this Tuesday and then a home Cup game against Bristol Saracens this Saturday 8th April.

FINAL SCORE: Bristol North 24 – 28 Old Elizabethans

Tries: Luke Jagger, Joe Watkins (2), George Evans,
Conversions: Sam Hygate (2), Monty Nash (2)

Man of the Match:: Joe Watkins just tipping the vote over Rhys Edwards because of Joe's two tries, but Joe and Rhys definitely saved the day, with great shifts from many others including Archie Walker and Tobias Burden.

Report by: Paul “Blakey” Barrington

CLICK for the Old Elizabethans RFC website

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