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Minety v Devizes

Saturday 16 January 2010

Southern Counties South

Disorganised Minety undone by Devizes

Minety 1st XV 8 pts – Devizes 1st XV 28 pts

Minety looked very rusty as they crumbled to an 8-28 defeat at home to Devizes.

Though thick snow had covered the ground on Thursday, Friday’s rapid thaw meant that this game was able to go ahead against the odds. Minety’s five week gap between matches had done them no favours, however. They looked disorganised and off the pace.

Playing down the slope, Devizes opened the scoring with an early penalty goal and followed up 15 minutes later with a lively passing move in the home team’s 22 that saw their threequarters gradually break down Minety’s shaky defence. A last ditch tackle did enough to halt the player with the ball but not enough to stop him placing it over the line for a try. Devizes calmly kicked the conversion and restarted 10 points ahead.

Improved tackling and harassing from Minety put the visitors under pressure and when a pass went loose on halfway, Jack Ward snatched it up and set off at the gallop, beating the defence for pace as he charged uphill for a try.

But this recovery proved short-lived. Under pressure in the scrums, Minety struggled to get ball and continually strayed offside in open play. Devizes capitalised with a penalty goal and followed up with a pushover try from a five metre scrum.

Another successful conversion made it 5-20, and that’s how the score stood at the break.

The final 10 minutes of the first half was a tetchy affair marked by scuffles and backchat and saw one of the Devizes locks sin binned for head butting an opponent. The second half was thankfully less fractious but although Minety had the advantage of the slope and enjoyed a period of territorial advantage, they could not organise themselves to score a try. Passes that should have been made weren’t and passes that were made were dropped. In the end, they had to be satisfied with a penalty goal from Ward.

After that, the game gradually fizzled out. Devizes dominated play, using their back row to good effect, kicking well from hand and generally keeping the ball alive. Minety had their moments, but remained uncoordinated and squandered the scoring opportunity offered by an attacking lineout five metres out. Devizes added a try in the right-hand corner and kicked a penalty goal in the last minute to end the game clear winners.

After the match, Minety coach Huw Jones commended his players for their efforts but challenged them on their fitness and organisation. He knows that they have a lot to do as they travel away this Saturday to take on Frome.


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