Blackheath 33 v Rotherham 17
Report from Rotherham Titans website
Rotherham Titans put in a much improved performance before going down 33-17 to high flyers Blackheath on a dark and dreary winters afternoon at Well Hall.
Despite the loss, which was their fourth in succession, Titans can take plenty of positives from a performance that pushed a good top-end side all the way.
Rotherham will however be frustrated with themselves that the occasional errors that are in their game at the moment resurfaced, and it was again either a poor decision here or a poor execution there which ultimately cost them a crucial victory at Blackheath.
The effort, determination and intensity was there in abundance and when the silly errors are put to bed, the victories will no doubt follow.
Blackheath’s opening score inside the first 10 minutes came about when a Titans 22 drop out went horribly wrong. The ensuing phases resulted in winger Jake Lloyd crossing the whitewash.
Six minutes later, from being deep inside the oppositions 22, Rotherham allowed the home side out, conceded a penalty from which the home side crashed over through a catch and drive from hooker Mike Perks. Suddenly Titans were 14-0 down and looking in deep trouble.
However, rather than taking the easy way out and rolling over away from home, Rotherham “bit down on the gum-shield” and mounted an enormously creditable comeback.
Before the first quarter elapsed Titans got themselves on the board.
From a line-out close to the line they drove up to the line, before spinning the ball out wide to winger Ben Robbins who finished off neatly in the corner. Hollingsworth’s conversion from the touchline was expertly nudged over.
Boosted by their success Rotherham impressed as they took the game to Blackheath, forcing them backwards with good pace and intensity about their work.
On the stroke of half time Titans reduced their arrears further when Hollingsworth added a 3-pointer from the tee, to send his side in at the break trailing 14-10.
The second half began well for the South Yorkshire side as their new-found energy and enthusiasm meant Blackheath had to defend with full vigour and hopes were high in the Rotherham camp of an unexpected victory.
However, the game changed one minute either side of the hour mark, when the home side ran in two converted tries from hooker Perks and scrum half Jack Daly to give the hosts a 26-10 advantage.
Despite the wind being knocked out of their sails Rotherham regrouped and showed great character to fight back and take the game to Blackheath.
They were rewarded for their endeavours eight minutes from time when following a terrific period of forward pressure close to the line the ball was spun out to Morgan Bunting who in turn found a pass to Sam Hollingsworth for him to race around to score.
However, at the death the home side had the final say when winger Jake Lloyd raced through for his second and Blackheath’s fifth try of the match.
Post-game, despite suffering another defeat, Titans Director of Rugby, Martin Jenkinson, was bullish in his assessment, “It’s no secret we’ve been in a dark place in recent weeks and we are still struggling to get players fit, particularly in the front row, but I think we made a big stride forward today.
“The boys stayed in the arm wrestle, we took a good side the full distance and the score line if anything flatters Blackheath.
“I am positive and these boys have got to be positive; I’ve just said to them that I’ve seen the first stride today for a side getting out of the trough.
“If we continue to work hard in training and if we keep the energy levels up, I firmly believe we will climb up this table and I’m certain of that.
“We are doing a lot of things right; some things this year have conspired against us, but you just have to get over that and crack on because all sides will have their ups and downs in sport.
“Next week we will travel to Old Elthamians for the win, and I’m convinced we are capable of achieving that.”
Referee: Alan Chandrachud
Yellow Card: None
Titans: Robins (T), Hollingsworth (T, 2C, P)
Blackheath: Lloyd (2T), Perks (2T), Daly (T), Cooke (4C)
Titans: 15 Sam Hollingsworth, 14 Dan Leake (Bacon 52), 13 Jamie Cooke, 12 Tom Bullough (Laxton 68), 11 Ben Robbins, 10 Morgan Bunting, 9 Connor Dever, 1 Toby Williams, 2 Jack Bergmanas (Defelitto 60), 3 Will Dennis (Armitage 72), 4 Elliott Ward, 5 Will Hughes (North 60), 6 Lewis Wilson, 7 Keifer Laxton (Waddington 59), 8 Zak Poole (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Agustin Defelitto, 17 James Armitage, 18 Alfie North, 19 Ben Waddington, 20 Tom Bacon.
Blackheath: 15 Nick Foster (Ransom 54), 14 Jake Lloyd, 13 Alex Pickersgill (Staff 60), 12 Markus Burcham (Capt), 11 Craig Dowsett, 10 Mark Cooke, 9 Jack Daly (Foster 68), 1 Tom Williams, 2 Mike Perks (Fry 63), 3 Danny Herriott (Seward 41), 4 Jamie Ure, 5 Tom Stradwick, 6 Tom Baldwin, 7 Josh Poole (Owen 60), 8 Tom Burns.
Replacements: 16 Harry Fry, 17 Harry Seward, 18 Freddie Owen, 19 Ben Ransom, 20 Henry Staff.
Chinnor 34 v Cambridge 32
BY JACK JOHNSON, Chinnor
Chinnor record bonus-point victory to complete an unbeaten November
JASON Worrall scored two tries as Chinnor made it five games unbeaten with a bonus-point victory over Cambridge on Founders Day.
Josh McNulty, Sam Yawayawa and Nick Selway also crossed as the Oxfordshire side closed the gap to the frontrunners to make a bitterly cold day a little warmer.
The result means Chinnor finished November unbeaten, collecting 19 points from a possible 25.
The Thame-based side’s recent run has helped them move to within a victory of the National League 1 leaders after defeats for Rosslyn Park and Richmond.
Director of rugby Matt Williams made nine changes, three positional, from the starting XV against Plymouth Albion.
Dan Southworth, Joe Dancer and Ofisa Treviranus returned to the pack.
In the backs, scrum-half Callum Watson made his first start, while Caolan Ryan and Chris Elder came in to the side.
Chinnor made the slightly better start, but Cambridge took the lead on 12 minutes when centre Matthew Hema powered his way over, Lawrence Rayner converting.
That did not deter the hosts, though, who hit back four minutes later as prop McNulty was driven over from a lineout, fly-half Laurence May adding the extras.
Chinnor had been dominating possession and territory, but the crucial moment of the half arrived on 26 minutes.
Hema, impressive in the Cambridge midfield, was yellow-carded for taking Watson out in the air after the scrum-half had collected a high kick and the Oxfordshire side took full advantage of the extra man to score twice and lead 19-7.
Elder broke the gain line and Chinnor had loads of space out on the right. Quick ball allowed them to exploit it and Worrall raced over for his sixth try of the season, May adding the extras.
The home side were in control and, after the forwards sucked Cambridge in, Watson spread wide to Pete Laverick who sent Yawayawa diving over out wide for an unconverted try.
The visitors finished the half on top as they went in search of a reply but, despite seeing Carl Kirwan sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, a brilliant defensive shift from the hosts, which included a fine shot from Watson on his own five-metre line, kept them out.
Cambridge started the second half well and Joe Tarrant’s unconverted try reduced the home side’s lead to seven points.
The visitors had the bit between their teeth, but Laverick won a crucial penalty on half-way which allowed Chinnor to kick their way up the pitch.
A period of pressure took its toll eventually and, after patient work from the forwards, Ryan played in Worrall for his second try of the game. May converted from the touchline to make it 26-12 after 56 minutes.
Mike Mayhew’s unconverted try cut into Chinnor’s lead again, but the hosts always seemed to be in control and a May penalty kept the visitors at arm’s length with 13 minutes to go.
The Kingsey Road-based side are on a roll at the moment and there was still time for hooker Selway’s customary try on home soil – his sixth of the campaign. He joined the end of a driving lineout to go over for an unconverted score on 76 minutes.
Cambridge finished the match with the final score, Mayhew crossing again, but it was merely a bonus-point for the visitors as Chinnor rolled on with a third straight home success.
Chinnor: C Ryan, Worrall, Laverick, Elder, Yawayawa, May, Watson, Southworth, Selway, McNulty, Ramshaw, Ehizode, Dancer, Kirwan, Treviranus.
Replacements: Fidler, Pieterse, W Ryan, Marley, Ashby.
Cambridge: Tarrant, Green, Hema, Penfold, Henderson, Rayner, Creighton, Langley, Rayment, Peck, Conquest, Baxter, Bretag-Norris, Dawson, McCloud.
Replacements: Mayhew, Meek, Sloot, Rawlings, Adamson.
Cinderford 24 v Old Elthamians 18
Report from Cinderford website
Cinderford edged out Old Elthamians in a tense affair that remained in the balance right up until the final whistle.
The visitors were on top in the early stages and a well-executed lineout catch and drive saw them open the scoring after seven minutes with an unconverted try from prop Austin Hay. The home side soon replied in similar fashion when hooker Joe Mullis went over, with Dan Pointon adding the conversion. OE’s responded with their second try to re-take the lead with second-row Adam Batt going over, which Ollie Bryant converted.
A yellow card for visiting prop Tom Concu saw Cinderford take full advantage of the extra man with two well-taken tries before the interval. First after a sustained spell of pressure the ball was eventually moved out wide and when Ed Bogue broke through his pass put Sam Smith away to score after 36 minutes. Then more good handling saw full-back Ed Sheldon step back inside the cover defence to score, with Pointon converting to make 24-12 at the interval.
The second-half turned into a battle of attrition between the forwards, with the visitors having the better of the territory. Bryant was able to reduce the deficit with two penalties in the 55th and 60th minutes, but Cinderford defended resolutely and were not to be denied a first-ever victory over their opponents.
Cinderford; Ed Sheldon, Sam Smith, Terence Babarinsa, Jack Hayes (Capt), Ed Bogue, Dan Pointon, Jimmy Williams, Ollie Dawe, Nathan Taylor, Tim Brockett, Jack Shields, Dale Lemon, Matt Lane, Matt Gilbert, Harry Hone.
Replacements; James Elliot, Joe Mullis, Jonny Holliday, James Dean, Will Mansfield.
Darlington Mowden Park 66 v Birmingham Moseley 8
By David Lawrence – Birmingham Mail
Moseley’s slippery slide down the National One table continued with a fourth straight defeat. And with this latest being their heaviest pummelling of the season, a few alarm bells could be ringing around Billesley Common ahead of next week’s match with a Chinnor side who head to Birmingham looking to stretch their five-match unbeaten run.
It had all looked so promising in September when an opening-day mauling of Hull Ionians heralded a new era under the guidance of director of rugby Adam Balding. Eleven tries were scored that day, albeit against a poor visiting side, and there have been promising glimpses since then, notably in the narrow 9-5 defeat at the hands of high-fliers Blackheath last weekend.
But there have also been some stinkers, with the capitulation at the hands of Cambridge the week before springing to mind. Billesley Common had been something of a fortress until then – that aura was well and truly shattered that day.
Now it is down to Balding and head coach Pete Glackin to lift the players once again following their dismantling by a mid-table Darlington side. Admittedly, Moseley were still in contention going into the final quarter but, after conceding nine tries in a game, questions should be asked. Poor discipline and yellow cards have been to blame many times this season but that wasn’t the case on Saturday.
Aquile Smith scored Moseley’s solitary try midway through the first half, dotting down in the corner after the pack had dominated at the scrum – something they did for most of the opening period. The only other points came from fly-half Ben Palmer, who slotted over a first-half penalty.
In contrast, Darlington ran in three tries through hooker David Nelson, winger Morgan Passman and centre Oliver Walker, with Warren Seals kicking the other points for a 24-8 advantage at half-time.
Moseley’s hopes of claiming anything seemed to lie firmly on the shoulders of their pack but their dominance in the scrum was not repeated after the break as changes in personnel appeared to favour the hosts.
And with that solid platform to work with, the Park backs had a field day, running in a further six tries with wing wonder Passman leading the way with four. Scrum-half Euan McKirby and full-back Callum Irvine also made it on to the scoresheet, as did Seals, whose success with the boot meant he finished with 26 points – more than Moseley have managed in more than four hours of rugby.
DARLINGTON: Irvine (Biasuzzi, 65), McTurk (Moloney, 37), Walker, Dixon, Passman, Seals, McKirdy; Appleby, Nelson, Darkintis (Duffy, 34), Davies, Vaioleti, Grange, Craggs, Hodgson (Cade, 58) Reps: Law.
MOSELEY: O’Brien, Smith, Joyce, Fatiaki, Davetanivalu (Roach, 40), Palmer, Jolly (Arr, 58); Foreman, Biggs (Tanner, 49), Tideswell (Dimen, 49), Russell (Maloney, 37), Crofts, Wright, Xiourouppa, Lawrence.
Hull Ionians 7 v Sale FC 36
BY BRIAN NORMAN, Hull Ionians
I’s have no answer to the Brady bunch
The result of this fixture was determined well before Sale scored their bonus point try, after half an hour of play, with the visitors having had a total monopoly on possession and territory and it looked as if their power and pace would inflict Ionians’ heaviest defeat of this, or any other, season. Such ignominy was avoided thanks to a monumental defensive effort by the hosts, lead by Peters, Makin and Tincknell and an inevitable decline in the clinical efficiency of the visitors.
Sale took ten minutes to break Ionians’ resistance; winger Brady finished a flowing move and they repeated the same drill two minutes later for Brady to grab his second. Ionians gifted Sale their third try when Hughes dotted down after an attempted clearance was charged down and the bonus point score came after Ionians’ Brown was binned and Sale worked the resulting penalty to Mulchrone to crash over.
The visitors pack added a further score, hooker Longmore claiming the touchdown, and at 0 -31 home supporters feared the worst. Eventually Ionians stemmed the flow and the hard pressed forwards worked a rare scrap of possession into the hands of centre Minikin who was able to spirit his way to the line.
Sale again had more of the ball in the second period but it was more evenly contested than the first. The only points came after the hosts had produced 30 minutes of stout defiance. Sale produced a passage of free-flowing rugby which allowed Brady to complete a hat-trick with a totally unnecessary showboating swallow dive over the line, for a final score of 7 – 36.
This was a thoroughly “professional” performance from Sale, which is not surprising given the personnel involved. A very clear game plan was well executed, not only when they were in possession, but they had clearly done their homework on Ionians and had a plan to shackle both James Tincknell and Lewis Minikin. Minikin, in particular, was very closely marked, making his try even more exceptional.
Once again there was no doubting the effort and commitment that Ionians put in. The forwards were competitive in the tight and tackled themselves to a stand still. The back-line did their damnedest, with James Tincknell a colossus, but before long it has to become evident that trying to run the ball the length of the pitch is extremely difficult and requires more energy, pace and guile than is currently available. Admirable in intent but futile in execution.
Next week I’s are down in Plymouth, the scene of one the most exceptional performances and victories the club have achieved. Here’s hoping.
Rams 27 v Rosslyn Park 20
Match Report by Richard Ashton, Rams
Photos courtesy of Paul Clark S2S Photography
The visitors, who sat top of the National One table before kick-off, had built an early 14-0 lead, but were gradually ground down by a relentless Rams side who ended with a try bonus-point.
And Reynolds said: “It’s probably our finest hour. The guys are creating their own journey and blazing trails for this club – we’ve never been at this level, so to play Rosslyn Park, a historic club, on our own patch and to get the result, you have to cherish those moments. It’s because of our respect to them that it means so much to get the victory.
“We felt if we could be in the game at 60 minutes, we could put them under pressure and that proved fruitful.”
It was Rosslyn Park who took a seventh-minute lead when they were awarded a penalty try after the hosts illegally brought down a rolling maul, second row Connor Stapley sin-binned for his infringement.
Things got worse for Rams when prop Cameron Zeiss was yellow carded for a no arms tackle, and an Arthur Ellis score extended the advantage further, Craig Holland adding the extras.
But the hosts struck back when Tom Vooght went over at the back of a rolling maul, going into the break 14-5 down. Andrew Humberstone kicked a penalty to cut the gap, only for Henry Leonard to reply in kind.
Replacement Rams prop Niall Kidd barrelled over from close range to give his side’s increasingly vocal supporters hope, only for a second Leonard penalty to make it 20-13.
However, as the game entered its final quarter, Kidd and fellow replacement Sean McDonnell-Roberts took charge of the scrum, earning a penalty try three minutes from time to level matters.
Humberstone missed a long-range penalty as time ticked down, but Rams forced one final chance as they went through the phases. Another penalty was won five metres from the line on the left touchline, but instead of going for the posts, they chose to take a scrum and earned another penalty try to snatch a thrilling victory.
Reflecting on the impact his substitutes made, Reynolds said: “The two props who came on, Niall
Kidd and Sean McDonnell-Roberts, really took the game to them in the set-piece and it was a great finish.
However, we also need to mention the starting props (Jack Steadman and Zeiss) and hooker Ben “Henderson, because they laid the foundation in the first half.
Reynolds continued: “We’re enjoying being at this level, but we’re under no illusions it’s tough. Every team we play is tough, and if we drop our level for five minutes you’re punished, as we were in the first half. We didn’t start well, but fair play that was because Rosslyn Park were fantastic. They dominated us and put the ball into the right areas, they forced sin-bins and penalties. We had to grind our way back into the game.”
A feature of the final stages of Rams’ victory was the noise generated by their fans, who were swept up in the emotion of a dramatic fixture.
Reynolds said: “I can’t speak highly enough of the support we get. We actually said at half-time about coming towards the clubhouse (in the second half) we wanted to give people something to cheer about and the players were highly motivated by that.
“We wanted to take the tempo up and play some rugby and put the pressure on Rossly Park. We did that and while it was a bit tense at times, we gave the crowd a great finish.
Meanwhile, Rosslyn Park Director of Rugby Kieran Power was gracious in defeat, stating : “It was a great game. It’s disappointing, but we got a bonus-point and we’ll go again next week.
“In the second half we struggled with our exits and our game management. We probably played too much rugby and they won penalties and pinned us back. It was one of those games where it was a tale of two halves.”
Rams remain third in the table as they head north to Sale next Saturday, aiming to follow up their impressive victories at Darlington Mowden Park and Rotherham Titans earlier in the season.
But Reynolds warned: “They’re a very good side who’ve had some impressive results – they beat Richmond at home.
“They’re big boys who play some good rugby and they dominated Blackheath at home as well, but we’ll go up there and give it a good bash.”
Tries: Vooght 34, Kidd 59, Penalty 77, 80
Penalty: Humberstone 46
Yellow Cards: C Stapley 10, Zeiss 19
Tries: Penalty 11, Ellis 25.
Conversion: Holland 26.
Penalties: Leonard 51, 69.
Yellow Cards: Holland 46, Spencer 73.
Half Time: 5-14
Star Man: Robbie Stapley (Rams)
Referee: Harry Walbaum
Rams: Leicester 7, Rossiter 7, Bryant 7, Humberstone 8, Corrigan 7, Seers 6 (Hayhow 16, 8), Cole 7
Moates 60, 7); Steadman 8 (Kidd 51, 8), Henderson 8, Zeiss 7 (McDonnell-Roberts 8), Taylor 7, C
Stapley 6, Guttridge 7 (McDonell-Roberts 21, Guttridge 32, Crame 60, 7), Vooght 8, R Stapley 9.
Rosslyn Park: Robinson 7 (Edwards 66), Scott 7, Cheeseman 7, Munro 7, Edwards 7 (Leonard 46, 7),
Holland 7, Lewis 7 (Gash 60, 7); Traynor 7 (Wade 77, 6), Vaughan-Edwards 7 (Hughes 66, 6), Doran-
Jones 8 (Lovell 69, 6), Twomey 8, Gillanders 7, Freeman 7, Ellis 8, Spencer 7.
Richmond 30 v Plymouth Albion 31
By Tim Forrester, Richmond
Richmond conceded their third straight defeat, falling to a dramatic 31-30 loss to a courageous Plymouth Albion side.
After holding a lead of 27-7 in the 55th minute, Richmond will be exasperated that they managed to lose the game in extra time. They will take some consolation that they played very well to set up what seemed a match winning lead but nerves seemed to set in during the final half hour.
Plymouth took their chances and their final try was a fine one. Richmond do take two points from this game and, with Rosslyn Park losing, this takes them back to the top of the table with a pack of clubs closing in behind.
Richmond made five changes to the side, which lost by a point at Sale. There were yet more changes in the backs, where injury has bedevilled the squad. However, this afforded opportunity to Morgan Ward, back after a period of unavailability, and Louis Molloy, making his debut after a sequence of strong performances for the Vikings. In a late change, Andy Boyce replaced Toby Saysell.
After two disappointing performances, Richmond started in lively fashion, winning their first two lineouts and displaying some neat handling skills. Plymouth then came offside at the first scrum and Tom Hodgson kicked ahead. From there the pack took over, driving steadily forward until the deserving Jeremy Cunnew splintered off to burrow over.
Richmond suffered a blow in the 8th minute when leading point’s scorer Rob Kirby came off with a shoulder injury. Lewis Dennett stepping in at fullback. However, once again it was the forwards who set up a second score in the 12th minute. The second scrum of the match resulted in a home penalty and Hodgson again found touch twenty metres out, this time on the far side. Albion managed to stop the drive but Richmond stayed patient and a lovely pass by Jamie Gibbs allowed Dan Kelly to step inside his man for a good try, converted by Hodgson.
Richmond continued to dominate and a deft kick by Chris Allman and a break by Gibbs both set up good positions. However, when Plymouth had a scrum on their 22, a big Richmond shove resulted in a penalty conceded. Lewis Pearson, a strong Albion presence all afternoon, made good progress from the lineout and Richmond conceded a second penalty. Eight metres out, the Plymouth forwards drove forward before a heap of bodies collapsed just short of the line. Referee Charlie Gayther awarded both a penalty try and a yellow card to Andy Boyce.
Despite this set back, Richmond conceded no further points in this half. Seemingly pushing back the Plymouth defensive line at will, dominant at the scrum and secure at the line out, Richmond looked full of confidence. Allman was a lively presence in the loose and one of a number of clean breaks saw him lope clear to the Albion 22.
Hodgson then slipped a well-judged outside pass to Cam Mitchell who cut in for another good try. Fly-half Hodgson, who had an excellent game, converted the score and added a penalty in the last minute of the half.
Despite a couple of knocks requiring change in the forwards, Richmond continued in confident mood and added a bonus point try within five minutes. Hodgson ghosted through a gap and threw out an exemplary pass to winger Molloy for his first league try. However, at this stage, Richmond’s game started to unravel. Having put themselves under unnecessary pressure in an attempt to create an overlap, Richmond conceded a soft lineout penalty. The defence worked hard but, after the second of two tap penalties, Joe Snow wriggled over and Connor Eastgate converted.
When Richmond followed up the kick-off to pressurise Plymouth just outside their 22, they were awarded a penalty and an immediate chance to restore their three score lead. However they opted instead to kick towards the corner. With the cold wind now picking up, they ended up only just over the 22 and the lineout then failed. Plymouth now had the momentum as Richmond started to make more and more small errors. Richmond had chances to clear but hooker Jamie Salter scored in the 56th minute after a forward drive from the lineout. Twelve minutes later, the home defence just opened up and Josh Skelcey ran through the hole from twenty metres, Eastgate converting to take the score to 27-26.
Tom Pashley provided a brief moment of cheer with a rampaging run, well supported by the dependable Jake Parker. A Plymouth ‘lazy runner’ blocked the pass and Hodgson kicked the penalty with four minutes to go. Plymouth then conceded a penalty at the kick-off but Richmond still could not hold out. The final action of the game was a scrum in the home half. Plymouth secured their ball and good hands set winger Alex Ducker clear on the outside. He was hauled down in the 22 but the ball went loose off hands and bobbled towards the line. Substitute Skelcey was there first to get the touch down. Was it a knock on? The officials conferred at length before the try was awarded and Plymouth had completed a remarkable turnaround for a win.
Meanwhile, the Richmond Vikings continued their incredible unbeaten run, claiming a 29-7 victory over Wimbledon.
Richmond’s next fixture is away to Cambridge next Saturday 7th December.
Richmond 30 defeated by Plymouth 31
Tries: Cunnew, Mitchell, Molloy, Kelly
Conversions: Hodgson 2
Penalties: Hodgson 2
Richmond Men’s Results:
Richmond Vikings 29 defeated Wimbledon 7
Richmond XV 0defeated by Oxford University 15
Richmond Jutes 50 defeated Rosslyn Park 7
Richmond Women 0defeated by Loughborough Lightning 34
Richmond Women 2nd XV 5defeated by Loughborough Lightning 2nd XV 22