Karuta Clan Round-Up 8/02/2018

A number of teams sporting the bespoke team wear supplied by Karuta Sportswear played over the past week. Here is a roundup of the action.

Weston-Super-Mare RFC vs Cleve RFC

37-27

From the kick-off, Cleve regained possession and exerted some pressure but the Weston defence was secure and when they regained possession it heralded a period of 20 minutes when they were rarely out of the Cleve half of the field and the home side had the lions share of the ball.

A neat chip kick by James MacKay just went begging but a second attempt at the same trick saw winger Robbie MacKay outstrip the defence and touch down inches from the dead ball line. The conversion attempt was just wide but on their next visit to Cleve territory, Weston were awarded a penalty when the Cleve forwards killed the ball and MacKay’s kick for goal went between the uprights. With a quarter of an hour gone Weston were leading by 8 points to nil.

Some great play by Weston’s forwards and backs set up a good attacking position and Andy Glen stormed through the Cleve defence to touch down near the posts and with MacKay’s conversion Weston looked to have a comfortable lead.

The visitors had other ideas though and on their first visit to Weston’s 22 they won a penalty, kicked for touch and from the resultant line out their forwards set up a drive which resulted in Cleve’s opening try. The conversion was made. Weston had hoped to keep Cleve contained as the clock ticked down to halftime but following good forward pressure, they scored a second try which went unconverted. The sides turned around with Weston holding a narrow lead.

Weston seemed to start the better side at the beginning of the second half and Mackay extended the lead with his second penalty, this time kicked from 40 metres out.

However, rather against the run of play, Cleve gained ground and the powerful centre was put away on a great line and he scored near the posts. The conversion was scored and Cleve were in front by a single point.

In recent games, this might have sapped Weston’s confidence and determination but not today. They roared back into attack and could have scored twice before Tuttiett made the final dart to touch down. The conversion from Mackay was good and Weston had retaken the lead.

Cleve struck back with their next attack and scored a try in the corner. The conversion attempt failed so Weston remained in front by a single point.

Weston again attacked and worked their way into the Cleve 22. The ball was recycled several times, forwards drove at the line three times and then Tuttiett released the backs. Watkins came in from the wrong wing, spun out of a tackle and raced to the line to score Weston’s bonus point try.

Cleve raised their game worked into the Weston half of the field and with less than five minutes of the game remaining they were awarded a penalty which was kicked and this brought them within a single score of Weston.

The hosts were in no mood to surrender their lead and the drove relentlessly at the Cleve line and eventually Rukhadze, on as a replacement for hooker Mike Hocking, drove through the Cleve defence to touch down Weston’s fifth try. The conversion attempt was just wide.

Weston now had a ten-point lead and although Cleve strove to get a scoring chance Weston turned the ball over and kicked for touch as the game finished.

Weston thoroughly deserved this win against a Cleve side who started the day 7 places higher than Weston. However, they came up against a side determined to prevail and credit goes to all the players and to the coaches whose hard work and game plan saw Weston turn in a much better performance than recent weeks. This bonus point win lifts Weston from 12 to 9th place and they should expect to progress up the table if they can produce this sort of form again in the remaining fixtures.

Chard RFC vs Wadebridge Camels

7-18

Chard lost their 4th game in a row in a tight encounter against Wadebridge who are regarded as one of the leagues better teams. In isolation, this would not seem to be too bad a result and it was Chards only 2nd home defeat of the season but in reality, it was a game that Chard should have won but their inability to close out games and take the easy points on offer were key factors in this defeat.

Wadebridge opened the scoring after seven minutes when fly-half Danny Thomas converted a straightforward penalty attempt but Chard were soon back into things when Billy Biss …who was superb throughout …broke through the visitor’s defence and scored a fine try under the posts which was converted by Ryan Wingate.

7-3

Unfortunately, Chard always seem to be vulnerable from re-starts and they conceded an immediate penalty which was again successfully slotted over by Thomas.

7-6

There was no lack of effort being shown by the Chard players and the likes of Luke Hill, Jason Wright, David Biss, Billy Biss, Warren Lewis and Dougie Herbert amongst others all had very good games.

Chard got very close to increasing their lead on several occasions but the final bit of the jigsaw was missing as Chard made basic errors close to the visitor’s line and the chances were lost.

Halftime Chard 7pts Wadebridge 6pts.

Both sides were guilty of numerous basic handling errors and Chard were also not having the best of times winning their own ball in the lineout which did not help their cause.

It was on the cards that the side which could capitalise on these mistakes would win the game and unfortunately, this turned out to be Wadebridge who made the most of things and scored two tries in the final quarter to take the match. The scorer on both was Wadebridge centre Dom Hawkley. He took full advantage of Chard losing possession twice in their own half and his second try scored with only a minute to go meant that Chard did not even take a losing bonus point from the game which was very harsh to put it mildly and did not reflect the match at all.

Why are Chard not winning at the moment?

Several things need to be better but a major factor is that they just do not currently have a reliable kicker who can find touch regularly and kick goals. This means that when they get penalties they often spurn the simple points and look for other options instead. Chard had at least five kickable penalties in this game which would have won them the game but unfortunately, the very promising Ryan Wingate the one player who could possibly step into this role was off the field for most of the second half after being surprisingly replaced. Chard are desperate to add an experienced kicking back to add to their squad.

Wadebridge, on the other hand, kicked three of their four attempts at goal and Chard have lost several other games notably at Sidmouth and Crediton because of their inability to kick penalties.

This defeat combined with other results now means that despite sitting in what appears to be a comfortable mid-table position Chard are in reality now only seven points ahead of a relegation place and a few more wins are imperative if Chard are to ensure that their status in this league is maintained which surely has to be the biggest priority for the club in the next few months.

North Petherton RFC vs Newent RFC

15-14

A highly physical match with two teams at different ends of the table produced an entertaining full-on battle. Petherton tackling for their lives for long periods had to withstand quick strong runners and a team who varied their tactics. The tackle count was again high but confidence from the previous week showed the trust between players.

The visitors started the stronger and playing down the slope took the game to Pethy. The first up tackling from the home team was strong and organised. Carl Jones, Sam Williams and Dan Morgan continued their form from last week with some gritty defending and offering themselves as a battering ram all afternoon. However, the physicality of the game had its pitfalls as within the space of ten minutes Petherton lost Jack Coles and Ben Freeman to injuries.

Pethy made their first telling moment when James Taylor made a midfield break supported by the returning Damian Griffin who jinxed around his man and found Olly Graham who ran an intelligent line in support. Pethy began to find some field position and moved the ball cross field with Lewis Allen coming off his wing but Newent had most bases covered.

The first score came from more good work from the forwards with Aiden Cotton prominent and the ball moving down the left side with numerous backs combining and an interchange of passes between Mike Stevens and Griffin saw the former speed over from 35m in the corner (5-0).

This only spurred the visitors into more action and Petherton having to work overtime in defence with Mac Taylor, Greg Charlton, Tom Hillman and Eryk Luczka putting in some vital work at crucial times. Newent continued to hold the upper hand with possession and after numerous phases of smashing it up decided to vary the game and a clever little grubber bought them their rewards with a converted try (5-7). The remainder of the half witnessed a sterling defensive display from Pethy particularly from the forwards who made life difficult at every breakdown. The half ended in the Pethy 22 with Nic Sestaret gathering the ball and wisely kicking it out.

The second half began with Pethy taking the game to the visitors, strong runs from Williams and Hillman putting Petherton in an attacking position but the Newent back row just did enough to spoil the opportunity.The Pethy forwards again pressurised the visitors in the lineout and the lively Jones saw his chance to make a charge down and his endeavour was rewarded with a try (10-7).

As previously, Newent bounced back with vigour and attacked with variety. When they kicked they sent two speedsters with it which made life difficult for the Pethy back three to attack. The game remained hard and on a couple of occasions, the official had to speak to the two captains.

The visitors began to retain possession and force Pethy into conceding a couple of penalties, however, the defence was committed well led by Dominik Griffin. Newent liked to attack from the set-piece and use their big runners around the corner and with another bit of delicacy another grubber saw them go over for their second converted try (10-14).

As the game entered the final ten minutes the collisions seemed more intense as little niggles resurfaced. Pethy threw their big runners, Charlton, Williams, Jones, and Cotton at the visitors who defended superbly and nothing was getting through. Newent still attacked when they could and looked dangerous, only tackles from Adam Wright and Sestaret prevented the visitors from breaking out.

The last five minutes began in the Newent 22 with Pethy again throwing everything they could muster. Newent looked like they had relieved the pressure but Pethy had other ideas and after a series of brutal drives, Charlton reached out bulldozed his way over (15-14).

Newent re-started and put immediate pressure on Pethy who continued to defend in typical fashion until the official awarded the visitors a kickable penalty, which to the relief of the home players and supporters drifted inches wide. The rest is history but what a game and the spirit of the Pethy players was just enough to beat a very good visiting team.

Tiverton RFC vs St Ives RFC

25-21

Tiverton kicked off and within 2 mins had a rolling maul going towards the visitor’s line, on the line, it was deliberately brought down –the Ref said ‘brought down on the line, penalty. Why wasn’t it a penalty try wondered the entire home crowd?? Tiverton continued to dominate territory and possession and could have/ should have scored 5 mins later after the forwards had sucked in the visitor’s defence with pick up and drives to give Tiverton a 3 to 1 overlap but a bit of white line fever saw the chance go begging. St Ives started to get into the game with some forward drives and then the backs put the ball wide twice only for 2 great last tackles by Jack to prevent a try. On 25 mins, totally against the run of play, Tiverton conceded a soft try after a missed tackled on their 22 which allowed the 8 to get behind the defence as he scored near the posts for a 7-0 deficit. Tiverton were back in the red zone soon after with the forwards going through the phases, driving through the visitors defence and on 30 mins the pressure told as Wayne was on the end of several rucks to pick up and score for 7-5, this was repeated 5 mins later, again after the forwards kept the ball with Wayne and Stoney just being stopped short only for Ed to pick up at the base to drive over for a 10-7 lead at the half.

The restart was spilt and allowed St Ives to get early pressure and a speculative long pass bounced kindly for their winger to score and go into a 14-10 lead. Tiverton were keeping the tempo high, even in the muddy conditions, and they were keeping up the territorial pressure and that coupled with great defence, never allowed the visitors to get any worthwhile momentum. On 50 mins, Tiverton were back in front with a long-range try after they had kicked long from defence. Jack took the ball on the 22 and ran back beating a defender before passing to Skelds to take the play into their half. When he was half tackled the offload found Henners to Tom who found Mark on the outside to run in a great try near the post with Matt converting for a 17-14 lead which was fully deserved. St Ives then took 2 injuries in the front row so uncontested scrums were enforced. Tiverton brought on Blaker, and John Whiteway to make his first appearance. It didn’t make any difference as Tiverton continued to break the defence with strong running and support as they scored the bonus point try when, after successive mauls–Skelds touched down for 22-14. With the visitor’s frustration evident with the penalties they were conceding, Tiverton had one in front the posts which Matt kicked for a 25-14 leading into the last 5 mins. Tiverton kept the spectators on tender hooks by conceding a converted try late on, when for only the second time in the game they missed successive tackles near the line for the 8 to score leaving it 25-21. Although the visitors won the restart ball, Tiverton shut down their options with first up tackles and then managed to turn over ball on the last play which Ed kicked the ball out for the victory and 5 points.

It is hard to pick out individuals after this team effort but the Ed and Wayne combination at 8 and 9 caused problems to St Ive’s all afternoon, Jacks defensive work at fullback was immense with 2 stand out last tackles, but everyone played their part in the win.

Ashley Down Old Boys RFC vs Bream RFC

17-17

Today marked the first game for new signing Marc Bibby from Zimbabwe. Bream started the game a man down as Wallace Patteson was taken ill just prior to kick off, however, they played with great intensity early on making things difficult for Ashley Down, the outcome, an early penalty opportunity, which was slotted home by Rhys Evans. Things just went the visitor’s way first half, with good ball carries from Andy Cooper and Duncan Adams, also Jake Scott created great ruck opportunities, which eventually led to Breams first try scored by Liam Brady, conversion kicked by Rhys Evans. The visitors stepped up a gear and before long had the ball close to A.D.’s touchline, persistent play finally led to Bream’s second try scored by Zac Hancock, again converted by Rhys Evans. A late push by the home team saw them awarded a penalty just before halftime, which they kicked.

Halftime score, Ashley Down 3 – Bream 17.

Well, second half goes to Ashley Down, early on it was very evenly contested, but eventually A.D. broke through and scored, they kicked the conversion. The game then ebbed and flowed both ways until one of the Breams players was yellow carded for one of the new rulings that came out this season, (that he wasn’t aware of). Then a little bit of niggling led to one of A.D.’s players getting a red and one of the visitor’s players getting a yellow, Bream were now well under the cosh with 2 players off to A.D.’s one, but their defence held well, that was until a late push by the home team saw them score a second try with just a couple of minutes on the clock, in fairness, from out wide it was a great kick, the scores now even. Bream kicked off from the restart and after a minutes play the final whistle went.

Final score Ashley Down 17 – Bream 17.

Other Results:

North Petherton Ladies RFC vs Yeovil Ladies RFC – Won 29-0

Portishead Town FC vs Bishops Lydeard – Lost 5-2

Chards 2s vs Minehead Barbarians 2s – Lost 14-12

Taunton Wanderers vs Frome 3s – Won 32-29

WSM 2s vs Tor – Won – 38-8

WSM 3s vs Wells 2s – Won 55-0

WSM 4s vs Gordano 2s – Won 46-7

Bath Saracens – Friendly

Karuta Sportswear would like to congratulate all members of their Clan on their results over the weekend and wish them all the best in their upcoming fixtures this week.

Interested in joining the Clan? For more information call 01934 419901 or email info@karuta-sportswear.com info@karuta-sportswear.com

 

Photo Courtesy of Jim Brown Photography

About the Author

troyhannam@hotmail.co.uk

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