On a stunning early spring afternoon at The Croft, Burton Under 12s entertained Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club and a touring school side, The Bishop Wand Church Of England School, from Sunbury, Middlesex.
The Bishop Wand CofE School 0 – 17 Sutton Coldfield RFC
In the opening period of the first match, Bishop Wand enjoyed some good possession and territory. Several attacking runs from both sides ended in error and turned over possession, in the main due to good defending and covering from both teams. Towards the end of the first 15min half, after a scrappy few minutes play, Bishops conceded a 5m scrum and Sutton went over to open the scoring. In the second period Sutton edged possession and chances, and despite some spirited defending from Bishop, Sutton eventually won the game 17 -0.
Burton RFC 7 – 7 Sutton Coldfield RFC
Burton were lively and assertive in the opening exchanges, playing the game in Sutton’s half. But despite several attacking forays by Burton’s forwards and half backs, Sutton conceded little territory and defended well. As the half wore on Sutton started to dominate the game, and pinned Burton back in their own half for long periods. Possession continually changed hands as each team tried to move the ball whilst the other defended quickly and determinedly.
Several times Burton cleared their lines by kicking out of defence and on several occasions the home team chase was good enough to draw the penalty. The Burton forwards demonstrated their power in a series of scrums, pushing their opposition of the ball, but credit to the Sutton pack – they retained possession and their backs tried to use the ball. Late in the first half, following an important defensive break out run from Niall Collett, Burton conceded possession and Sutton went over in the corner for the opening try. Despite another good attacking move and penalty from Burton, Sutton held out to reach half time 0-7 up.
Burton kicked off the second period determined to score early. In the first moments Sutton started to put pressure on the home team deep in their own half but the Burton backs defended well, denying Sutton twice in the corner with last ditch tackles. Burton battled hard to try and get out of their own half, with some great midfield runs from Liam O'Toole, Millar Pride and Harry Roden. A storming run from Jak Mumford ended deep in the Sutton half and despite conceding a penalty Burton started to change the momentum of the game. Burton’s forwards continued to be strong in the scrum and after they won another penalty the ball was moved wide to Zak Fellows who cleverly changed the angle of attack by cutting inside with speed and agility, beating several Sutton defenders to level the score.
From the restart Zak Fellows caught the ball and set off on another run, almost getting around the outside of Sutton and only a very good tackle stopped another Burton score. The game is evenly matched from here on with both teams tackling well. The match ended without further score, the draw was a fair result between two evenly matched teams.
Burton RFC 14 – 0 The Bishop Wand CofE School
Burton were immediately on the attack from Bishop’s kick off, with good strong runs from the forwards, and half backs. Burton soon won a penalty following a bullocking run from Tom Rutherford, and from that penalty Jake O'Toole ran hard and direct into the Bishop pack, knocking several players back before being brought to a halt himself. A few minutes later Bishop won a scrum but the pressure from the Burton forwards was telling and the backs followed up with quick tackles to force a knock on and a scrum. Burton won the scrum with a powerful shove, and the ball was moved out to Zak Fellows who, after another penetrating break, was tackled just short of the line but managed to pop the ball up to Josh Kent to score. Great break and great support play.
The game moved from half to half with both sides enjoying some good possession but neither could force a scoring opportunity. The final passage of the first half saw the Bishop’s number 12 burst from deep in his own half and surge towards the home team try line, only some desperate but effective tackling stopped the visitors from levelling.
In the second period Bishop continued to attack the home team and started to gather some momentum. But Burton remained composed and eventually started to exert their own pressure. As the game moved on, Bishop kicked out of defence but straight into Will Bower's hands who caught the ball confidently and began several counter attacks. Bishop resisted the pressure and eventually moved the game back into Burton’s half, only to concede a penalty. Burton kicked the penalty long into the Bishop’s half, chased the kicked enthusiastically, and only brave defending from the visitors denied Burton another score. Unfortunately for Bishop this was a temporary reprieve. Another strong scrum from Burton led to a series of quickly taken Burton penalties. Attacking runs from Stephan Jones, Niall Collett and Will Bower maintained the momentum with Millar Pride eventually going over for a hard fought but well deserved try.
Burton ran out 14-0 winners, but Bishop were resilient, spirited and determined throughout the encounter.
25th March 2012.