TheRLC Vets took on the Sappers at Minley on a crisp and chilly Wednesday morningin front of a sizeable crowd. Some last minutes withdrawals meant a bitof reshuffling of the team prior to kick-off, not an ideal start to the day forthe RLC.
Thematch got off to a quick start with both teams looking sprightly and up forit. Some good early pressure from the RLC resulted in a penalty and aconfident Jamie Coleman signalled he wanted to go for posts, but unfortunatelyhis attempt drifted well wide of the uprights. The early pressure from the RLCsparked the Sappers in to gear and it wasn’t long before they crossed line toscore, but failed to convert.
The Sappersconfidence was growing by the minute and this was evident by the open expansiverugby between forwards and backs resulting in another score but failedconversion. This really unsettled the RLC who were looking ragged and makingfar too many unforced errors which was further compounded by some poor decisionmaking. The mistakes were costly and only encouraged the Sappers who wereplaying with no fear.
As the halfwore on the RLC began to show a little more aggression up front with some goodwork from Lloyd Hankins, Fletch Flecther, Tiny Nicholls, Mike Carron, SavsSavou and Mawbs Mawbey, but the RLC were still giving away far too manypenalties; this resulted in more points for the Sappers. Jack Horner wasfinding it difficult at the base of scrum due to the power of the Sappers whichprevented the backs from getting any decent ball to work with.
CraigJohnstone rang the changes at half-time, bring on himself at 9 and Richie Craneat 10 and Chris Evoy at 12. This seemed to provide the spark the teamneeded, Crane was marshalling the backline well and restricting theSappers. This provided the perfect platform the RLC who took fulladvantage of it playing some good rugby allowing Rob Futter, Ernie Earnshaw,Eddie Edwards, Chris Evoy, Col Mason and Jamie Coleman to combine well andstretch the Sappers defence.
However itwasn’t long before some of the bad habits from the first half begun to show,conceding more points. After a turbulent 15 minutes or so the RLC settled downand began to compete and looked very dangerous with ball in hands. Eventuallythe RLC pressure paid off resulting in a score and conversion. Thematch settled in to a rhythm with both sides trying to assert their dominance,but the Sappers were looking the more composed of the two sides.
The gameended in flurry with real pressure from the RLC resulting in a well workedscore and conversion for the RLC, but it was a little too late with the Sappersrunning out clear winners 39 – 14.
The Vetsaren’t scheduled to play before Christmas so enjoy the break and look forwardto continuing the momentum in the New Year. In order for Craig Johnstone tocontinue to field a credible Vets side, he needs to recruit new players as wellas dust off some older ones. Please get amongst the elder Corpsfraternity and encourage people to come and play. I guarantee thateveryone will receive a warm welcome and will always get a game, irrespectiveof standard, playing history etc.
Manof the Match – Mawbs Mawby
TryScores – Tiny Nicholls. Rob Futter, Jamie C converted both tries but missed 2penalties.
CraigJohnstone (Player/Manager), Richie Crane, Rob Futter, Mike Carron, ShepShepperdson, Jack Horner, Ernie Earnshaw, Chris Evoy, Savs Savou, EddieEdwards, Tiny Nicholls, Jamie Coleman, Col Mason, Fletch Fletcher, Lee Hanlon,Matty Matewale, Lloyd Hankins.