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Minety 1st XV v Avonvale 1st XV

Saturday 12 November 2011

Minety misfire

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Minety 1st XV 5pts – Avonvale 1st XV 23pts

A disappointing performance from Minety following a bright start.

A decisive break by flanker Max Smith, two neat offloads and a try scoring dash by outside centre Dave Church put Minety five points ahead before two minutes of play had passed. But after that, for the home side at least, it was all down hill.

Avonvale played a simple but effective game. Their forwards rucked with great commitment. In their own half, their flyhalf kicked long for territory. In defence, they double-team tackled high and low and let little past them. In attack, they supported the man with the ball.

In contrast, Minety looked at times as though they had never played together before. Everyone worked hard, but there was little co-ordination and even less discipline. Endless knock-ons, off-sides and other errors hampered their progress and did little to ingratiate them with the referee. Hopeful attempts to grab a passing shirt and chest-high tackles often proved ineffective against strong and determined runners.

The visitors got points on the board with an early penalty when Minety entered a ruck from the side. Steady pressure then gave them a try under the posts mid-way through the first half and an easy conversion, which they followed with a penalty goal when the home team once again strayed off-side.

Minety enjoyed a spell in Avonvale’s 22 but at the critical moment were dispossessed on the line.

There was an inexplicable let-off for the hosts when Avonvale’s fullback, who had evaded the defence and looked to be well on his way to the try line, mysteriously threw an umprompted forward pass to empty space.

But his team came back and finished the half with another try following an extended period of pressure in Minety’s 22.

For a long while in the second half, Minety enjoyed a territorial advantage but were unable to cross the try line despite repeated efforts. Avonvale defended resolutely and, having survived the siege, scored a final try to emphasise their superiority on the day.

“We played as individuals rather than as a team,” was Minety coach Huw Jones’ analysis after the game. “They were far superior in the contact area.”


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