So, Spring has sprung once again, or that's how it felt when we turned up at Frampton to watch the Thundercats (OEs' 2nd XV). I have to say that this was one of the best games of rugby that I have seen for a long time - Joue in abundance. Wow what a game and thanks to Will Patterson there were continuous rolling replacements giving everyone a really decent level of participation in this second Thundercats game of the season, a treat to say the least!! Of course, it takes two teams to produce such a hum dinger!
Thundercats SQUAD: Kallan Martin, Fergus Blyth, Andy Adams, Henry Kirkpatrick, Huw ?, Jake Perry, Joe Mallander, Sam Hygate, Gilbert ?, Adam Ralls, Will Tobin, Jack Houlder, Dickie ?. Archie Joslin, Jakob Harding, Wil Leggatt, Rory Sanders, Fred Thefaut, Archie Walker
Skipper Andy Adams led his team out onto the pitch with a spring in their step. With more Thundercats games due over the next four weeks everyone was keen to make their mark. Amongst those achieving such a mark for only his second game back with OEs was Adam Ralls who was impressive throughout. More about others that impressed later in this report.
Es TCs played into the wind first half and there were some good early interchanges between the two teams. Es' first scrum was solid and this platform continued well throughout the match with Joe Mallander controlling the base of the scrum at 8. Frampton started to see the better of the ball & territory and following a slip from Ralls they rounded the defence to open the scoring with a converted try (7-0).
TCs continued to soak up the pressure with good defence including a potential try 'Held Up'. Pressure told though and Frampton extended their lead via a penalty kick in front the posts (10-0).
Sam Hygate and Archie Joslin started to run some good lines and a penalty awarded to Es in front the posts, for a high tackle, was quickly taken by Will Tobin, who slipped through the defence to score, converted by Hygate (10-7).
Frampton then kicked through for a line out where Es were sleeping and were punished by a quick throw in to score another converted try (17-7).
Es had an immediate response with a good first try for Rory Sanders the conversion unfortunately rebounding off the upright (17-12).
Rory had another good run soon after linking well with Ralls, but Frampton cleared their lines hoofing the ball down field and a nasty bounce eluded Es' No.15 allowing Frampton through for their 3rd converted try (24-12).
This pretty much brought the end to a really entertaining first half with the Thundercats still in touch!
Half Time score (24-12)
Another Thundercats player impressing was lively back row player Fred Thefaut collecting the ball from at least two Es' restarts. Es started well in the second half and Es forwards started to get on top. Henry KP, Jakob Harding, Will Leggatt, Kallan Martin (impressing at loose head prop), Fergus Blyth, Jake Perry (back from injury) led by skipper Andy Adams and the ever-impressive Joe Mallander formed a cohesive unit putting Frampton under pressure.
Tobin had an excellent run Tbouncing off of several tackles into the opposition 22 and with quick recycled ball and a quick penalty saw Ralls score a beautiful try (not converted) (24-17).
Joe Mallander continued with his strong runs picking up from No. 8 and putting Es on the front foot numerous times. Sam Hygate kicked through and Fred.T tackled the Frampton defender forcing him to touch down in his own goal area. After the 5m scrum a melee followed before a great Es' attack out on the left wing where the Referee (from Frampton who had a good game!) said Es had gone into touch but was overruled by the Frampton linesman who said “No” and the try was awarded to Fred Thefaut (I believe that's correct!!) followed by a great conversion from Sam Hygate to bring the scores level (24-24).
Jake Perry stole a Frampton line out and the Thundercats were back down into the 22 in moments. Archie Walker was calling for more “Joue” and he wasn't disappointed with Sam kicking through for Tobin then Kallan Martin and Jake Perry for a well-deserved try and conversion and Es took the lead for the first time (24-31).
Another excellent Es' attack ended with the ball being lost in the Frampton 22. From an Es' scrum 30m out Tobin broke, to Jack Houlder (impressive in the three quarters) to Fred for his second try and Sam added the extras via a drop goal (24-38)
A Frampton spectator was heard to say “That is an impressive comeback”.
The TCs were rampant and but for a marginally forward pass would have increased their lead further. Frampton were not finished though and following a break away into the Es' 22 were awarded a scrum for a knock on 10m out. They broke from the base of the scrum and a high tackle gave them a penalty which they took quickly to score a converted try (31-38).
Frampton again built after the restart and thanks to a try saving tackle from Sam Hygate the Thundercats held on for a memorable victory.
As I mentioned there were some really impressive performances especially from newcomers Fred Thefaut, Rory Sanders, Archie Joslin and the very impressive Joe Mallender.
What an afternoon of superb running rugby, I was very impressed as you can probably tell by now!
Next week back to the league for the 1st XV at home to face North Bristol Kick-off 2:00pm.
FINAL SCORE: Frampton Cotterell 31– 38 Thundercats
Man of the Match: Fred Thefaut
Tries: Will Tobin, Rory Sanders, Adam Ralls, Fred Thefaut (2), Jake Perry
Conversions: Sam Hygate (4)
Report by: Paul “Blakey” Barrington
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