Newbridge power too much for Wanderers
“Brave performance but lapses at the end of each half cost us over 20 points” commented forwards coach Lee Highgate “we must play for the full 80+ minutes.”
“We were obviously going to struggle in the conditions against such a powerful pack but once again we seem to fall foul of inconsistency in the refereeing” added manager Mark Gould “somehow, we must paint a better picture for the official during games”.
After sterling work by the Newbridge ground staff, the players were met with a heavy but perfectly playable surface. There was clearly going to be limited running rugby and the ball spent the early part of the game in the air as both sides probed each other’s back three. The first meaningful attack came from the home side as they broke away blind from a ruck. They took the ball deep but it was spilled just short of the Wanderers line. The power game of the home side then came on. Pressurising the visitors scrum they gained a scrum of their own and the power proved to much for the Wanderers as Newbridge crossed for an easy try from a pickup at the scrum 7-0. The Wanderers did respond well but with pressure on their set piece good ball for their backs was difficult to come by. The home side were able to clear easily when chances arose and with their pack in control the Wanderers afternoon in the heavy conditions was always going to be tough. A second try was added from the next Newbridge foray into the Wanderers 22 making it 12-0 before the visitors had a chance to reduce the arrears. Some decent phases got them field position and a penalty allowed Paul Short to land the first score 12-3. The ball stayed in the home side half as the Wanderers went through the phases but the home side defence kept scoring chances to a minimum. Short saw a second penalty find its target making it 12-6 but remarkably two further shots hit the crossbar and let Newbridge off the hook keeping the score at 12-6. The half entered 6 minutes of injury time (??) and the Wanderers appeared to mentally head for the changing room. The Newbridge power came on and when they returned to the visitors 22 a driving maul saw the referee award a penalty try 19-6. That also saw Sam Turner visit the bin for 10 minutes. The half ended with another home side attack and they rounded off the half with a fourth try to send the sides into the break at 24-6.
The Wanderers sent for fresh legs at the break and Tom Hughes made an instant impact from the bench. Moving the ball wide Hughes dummied his way through the defence and he fed ever present in support Finn Davies who scored the Wanderers first try. Short converted 24-13. Any chance of the revival disappeared soon afterwards as Newbridge resorted to their power game. Once again, their limited entries into the Wanderers 22 ended up with points as they crashed over for a fifth try to make it 31-13. As both sides emptied their benches the game, with the heavy conditions, became very scrappy. The Wanderers tried to go through their phases but the solid tackling from the home side resulted in their line remaining intact. The game seemed to be petering out but the visitors showed some spirit scoring a decent try by Aaron Arthur who had another decent afternoon in the midfield. That reduced the arrears to 31-20 but as the half entered its final minutes and people were thinking of a nice pint in the bar the home side picked their game up again. As some of the Wanderers seemed to be in the changing room already Newbridge struck with two tries with the last two plays of the game giving them a resounding 45-20 deserved win.
Tries: Aaron Arthur, Finn Davies
Con: Paul Short (2)
Pen: Paul Short (2)
Massiv MOM: Tom Hughes / Finn Davies
Management MOM: Finn Davies / Aaron Arthur