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Minety 1st XV v Calne 1st XV

Saturday 8 September 2012

Dorset & Wilts Division 1 North

Minety start off in style

Minety 1st XV 33pts – Calne 1st XV 12 pts

Skipper Tom Fitzcharles gives his report on the game:

We outscored Calne 5 tries to 2 to win 33-12. We started going up the slight slope with bright sunlight in our eyes and for most of the first half had to contend with a constant attack from their large ball carriers. However, we defended well and organisation was excellent, but after about 20 minutes one one of their players broke through and crossed for the first try of the game which they converted. Although we had some possession and twice broke clear from our half, attacking the Calne try line, a combination of poor accuracy and scrambling defence kept us from registering any score. After a half time team talk from Huw and a reminder for ourselves to stay patient and trust that our defensive efforts would pay off in the next 40 minutes, we were rewarded shortly afterwards with a few quick phases, working the ball wide and keeping it alive with some great footwork from Dale Langdown and Robin Greenway and superb link play from Sam Miller. The first try (I think) came from some promising possession retention from which Luke Radcliffe broke through some feeble tackles to score under the posts, which he duly converted. The rest of the half was almost entirely Minety’s with some well-worked phases going through both forwards and backs. An inspired tactical change from Huw shifted Dave Church back to full back with Tom Fitzcharles slotting into the centres, interchanging with Radcliffe depending on attacking territorial positions. Some clever tactical kicking from Phil Stephens kept the pressure on the Calne back line. After one well-chased Stephens kick was hacked back into the Minety half from the Calne fullback, Dave Church set off on a typically bullish run from deep, swatting away a number of would-be tackles before being brought down. A quick turnover found its way into the hands of Phil Stephens, whose fast feet created enough space to round a couple more Calne defenders and cross the line for another score. Radcliffe again converted successfully.

The floodgates opened up and no sooner had Calne restarted than the ball was gathered expertly by Matt Hooper and driven forward by surging runs from David Hazell and Martin Coe. There were further supporting runs by Minety players leading to what looked like a certain try in the bottom left corner, but there was a dangerously high tackle on the line and the referee awarded a penalty try to Minety. It was a well-deserved reward for a well-worked team try, which Radcliffe converted easily. Another Calne restart led to further waves of attack from the pumped-up Minety team, eager to gather a bonus point. It didn’t take long to achieve as neat hands among the backs led the ball out wide to Dale Langdown. He put in some quick footwork before expertly offloading the ball into the hands of the ever-present Sam Miller, who popped it to Tom Fitzcharles in support, leaving him to sprint clear for the line. A fine team performance was topped off by man of the match Ben Scott dotting over to finish off the scoring. It was a deserved reward for a player who gave his all for the green and purple. Calne scored a late consolation try to salvage some pride, which was just rewards for their first half efforts with ball in hand, and a reminder to Minety that we need to stay switched on for the full 80 minutes to succeed against some of the more clinical teams in the league.A convincing home win was followed in style with a successful beer festival at the rugby club, topping off the perfect curtain raiser on what is set to be a demanding season for Minety.


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