Burton blown away by Bournville
Burton fairly beaten. Lead and then bonus point slip away.
Burton couldn’t match the power of Bournville and defeat sees them slip to fourth on the table. The rain held off at Bournville and the wind picked up to give Burton an advantage after the break.
Liam Hucknall fielded the Kick Off and Eddie Nicholls clearance was spilled on half way giving Burton scrummage put-in. From an ensuing penalty Harry Titley found touch on the twenty two. The ball was scrappy from the line-out but Loz Betty carried well to reach the twenty two where a penalty was awarded. Titley stroked over the kick with only four minutes on the clock.
From the re-start Nicholls again cleared but the return diagonal kick from Bournville was a beauty and gave Burton a five metre lineout to defend. Bournville tapped the ball but were hustled back ten metres by Burton before the home side were awarded a penalty. Burton successfully defended he drive after the lineout, but a third penalty was taken quickly and a converted try was scored.
The Burton scrummage was solid and they were awarded a Free Kick. After Bournville conceded a penalty they were penalised ten metres for commenting on the decision giving Titley a shorter pot at goal to take three points.
Burton spilled the re-start and an off-side player played the ball giving Bournville a penalty. Oddly the home side went for goal rather than a lineout and missed the target. Burton knocked on in goal and there was a five metre scrum. The Eight and Nine released the Right Wing who after a bit of juggling regained control and scored a try. The kick narrowly missed leaving the score at 12-6 to Bourneville.
From the Kick Off; Hucknall injured his ankle for a third time this season and was helped from the field. This is hugely frustrating for an influential player who has developed a great affinity for the club this season. Lewis Sturgess came on at No. 8 and made a substantial number of solid carries. Burton were awarded a penalty, Titley found touch. Jack Neale took the ball at the front and Burton set up a driving maul only to knock on at the back of it.
The first quarter of the game had been action packed and not surprisingly the second quarter was less eventful. Neither side seriously threatened to score. There was some good progress through the forwards, including James Davies and Alex Gale; picking and going, before an attempted long pass was carried behind the Three-Quarters on the wind.
Dewi Williams was hit by a fierce tackle which the home supporters cheered, however the Wing shrugged it off before making a ten metre carry. Bournville were very strong at clearing rucks but just before Half Time great work form Ed Henry forced a penalty but Burton couldn’t capitalise.
Where there had been two distinct periods of play before the break, afterwards there were three and the first of these saw Burton start with a bang. Bournville kicked back over half way from the whistle, Joe Gazzard gathered near the left wing and ran forward. An attempted tackle around the shoulder region his progress little but he made forty metres before passing inside to Neale. The Flanker spun around and flipped the ball to Nicholls on a loop and the Scrum Half touched down under the posts. Titley converted.
Gazzard was available because Staffordshire had returned a Not Guilty verdict following his Red Card in the Whitchurch game and there was no suspension. The Lock stole a lineout before Titley kicked into the opposing twenty two using the wind leaving the Winger no option but to hack the ball out of play. The throw was long but Pancho Zeleme secured the ball and set up a ruck. Left Wing Williams took the ball on a great line inside Fly Half Titley but was hauled down by a high tackle. Tiitley’s penalty attempt was successful and Burton led 16-12.
Matt Davies was brought on to replace Alfie Grant on the Right Wing. Joe Briggs was injured and replaced by Adam Smith who went to prop, with Zeleme moving to Flanker. The middle period of the second half was all penalties, one of which Bournville were able to convert from thirty-five metres.
Despite being against the wind Bournville made the better tactical kicks and applied some pressure to Burton. From one of these Burton cleared to half way, but Bourneville countered well down a narrow channel against the Left Wing and scored a very neat try. The conversion narrowly missed but the home side were now back in front.
Burton’s injury toll on the day increased further as Betty left the field with a shoulder injury and Grant returned with a re-shuffle putting him on the Wing.
The final period of the game saw Bournville take the game away from Burton. After several phases in the Burton half Bournville were awarded a penalty for off-side and claimed another three points. This stretched the lead to seven points leaving Burton in bonus point territory of they could hold out.
Bournville were dominating proceedings and Nick Oxley did superbly to slide along the floor and gather a kick in the twenty two. Burton conceded a penalty which the hosts kicked to touch. The ensuing maul was driven forward and infield but Burton held up and a five metre scrum was awarded. The Burton scrum held out and after the next breakdown tempers flared and the enormous replacement Bournville Lock was shown a Red Card.
The Bournville No 8 made a 20 metre carry before the ball was spun out across the backs. Grant read the situation and went for the interception but couldn’t hold on to the ball. Whereas the scores could conceivably have been levelled if the ball had stuck, instead it was a scrum to Bournville and their Eight and Six had the power to surge towards the line which set up a try and took away Burton’s hopes of anything from the game. On balance the result was the right one as the home side were worthy of their victory.
Bridgnorth top the league through Points Difference, ahead of Bournville and have a game in hand. Burton sit in fourth, five points behind the leaders. Next week all eyes will be on the result of Burton v Bridgnorth.