The 1st Xv took on Old Richians for the first time in several years following the oppositions successful promotion last year. The opposition now coached by ex Samoan international Gloucester player Terry Fanaloua
In front of a large and lively crowd OBs set out to ensure there excellent start to the season continued. The first ten minutes saw both sides test each others defences without score, before B's opened the scoring with an outstanding try. Attacking from inside there own half Jamie Duncan on the right wing got outside his man before dummying through a number of defenders and stepping in field. As he approached the opposition 22 he fed Tom Westray who linked with Matt Douglas to finish off a 60 metre attack. Rory Davis converted.
Five minutes later Andy Badcock picked from a scrum on half way showed real pace to get outside the opposition back row before feeding skipper Andy Green who put Simon Hunt through a hole. Hunty broke several tackles before feeding Jamie Duncan to go over in the right corner. At 12 nil everything seemed to be pretty easy. Despite some troubles at the line out, the scrum was dominant and the forwards were , making good ground with ball in hand.
A bizarre series of events then occurred which changed the game. During a ruck on the OBs 10M line the Richian's hooker found himself bound in. In an attempt to release a grip on his shirt he punched the arm of the player holding him. A long shrill blast saw the referee issue a yellow card to Tom Westray for appealing for a red card, and Red to the Richian's hooker for a punch. As often happens the loss of a player saw Richian's pull together and up there intensity. Pressure on The OBs defence then incurred a number of puzzling penalties, one of which was converted.
At 3pts to12pts at half time the chat was pretty relaxed, keep calm heads and keep doing what we were doing. A quick chat with the ref affirmed that he was happy with everything we were doing. It is ironic therefore that we then proceeded to concede 12 penalties and three further yellow cards.
Richians started the half well with Terry Fanaloua there play maker making good runs and offloads. Keen to run the ball from deep the quick left winger made a number of telling runs in front of the home crowd. Some inconsistent decisions from the referee caused both sets of players and supporters to become frustrated, with the Richians crowd being very vocal. This frustration grew as a potential high tackle was not given and Simon Hunt intercepted inside his own half to run in from 55 metres. Rory converted. 3:19
Richians came storming back with a penalty in front of the posts an unconverted try by their left wing. Now the fun really started as series of scrum penalties against OBs who were going forward saw the Richians No8 make good ground only to be tackled just short. After series of attacks OBs appeared to have turned the ball over only for the referee to deem we had come in at the side. Close quarter attacks on our line then saw 2 further penalties given and Jon Whiteman was binned. Richians then scored close in for the lead to be cut to a point 18:19.
From the kick off good pressure from the OBs pack in the loose just seemed to confuse the ref as further penalties gave up field position. A ruck on our 22 saw Richians attack, Kyle Clarke retreating did not want to penalised for interfering with play so dropped to the floor , play went on before the referee brought it back and binned Clarke for deliberately interfering with play. Whiteman rejoined the fray after only 6 minutes on the sideline. Someone was losing the plot!
Six minutes later an attack down the left saw Jamie Duncan go for the intercept on the 22m line. Despite knocking the ball up in the air the referee deemed it was deliberate and gave the fourth yellow card, but even more contraversially went under the posts to put Richians 25:19 up. Kyle Clarke returned having served his 12 minutes.
From the kick off the referee said there were 2 minutes left. Richians recycled and OBS collected a penalty. deciding to run the ball saw a penalty conceded for a technical offence on the floor of handling the ball more than once. A line out on halfway saw the ball disrupted and fantastic work on the floor as OBs forwards piling through drew another penalty in dead time. Under the new laws the line out has to take place. A line out drive then went within 2 metres before being illegally dragged down. Rory screaming at Greener for the ball released Hunty who drove through three tacklers to touch down to the right of the posts. 25:24 with the kick to come. Rory converted and the whistle went.
The relief was great but the words from the coaches on the belief and the problem solving ability of this side rang true. The 5th match winning score in the last minute of a game so far this season.
Best on ground Tom Westray for at least 70 minutes.
Next week sees table topping Coney Hill visit Fortress Failand
Updated 10:56 - 16 Jan 2018 by Jonathan Boxall