Well, to get the feeble excuses out of the way, Kingsbridge are artificially low in the league having been deducted five points earlier in the season for a misdemeanor.
And I have to say that looking at them today it is hard to see why, even with the five point deduction, they are as low down as there were. They looked quite a bit larger than us and played with strength and speed and as a team that wanted to win. Their scrum, in the first half at least, pushed us around, in the second half we started to hold our own.
I had thought we were playing at home, the ground looked familiar but the noise and cheering of the action was not, it sounded and looked for all the world as if the whole of Kingsbridge had come for an afternoon out at The Rectory. The club house was heaving with three teams at home and all those jolly people from Kingsbridge. If it had been a cooking contest we would have won hands down with Jo Pond and Joy McGowan laying on a delicious selection of three different meal choices.
The rugby action.
Inside five minutes Kingsbridge scored and converted through a catch and drive move. The conversion was a good one from close to the side lines.
Despite their prop being forced to stand up a number of times in the scrums the pressure on our scrum caused us problems, they pushed us back and they turned over the ball a few times. Then on twelve minutes their forwards scored again from a five meter scrum. The conversion was missed.
From then on till the twenty fifth minute we held them out and attacked ourselves a number of times but never really looked like scoring.
On twenty five they collected a penalty in front of the posts to go ahead by 0~15.
Then came the moment that may have made the difference, we put in ten minutes of attacking for Ozzie Flowers to go over on the top side from a close in ruck. I was right there, he went over by at least two feet and a foot in, their number 6 was hanging on to him. The picture shows what looks like a good try, though I must say the referee was also in a good position to see. Afterwards their scrum half said to me Ozzie had scored it and the picture shows him also there to witness the event.
Anyway, for some reason the referee disallowed the try.
Had we got the try it might have lifted our spirits and dampened theirs slightly, these little things can change a game. As it was the try was not given.
They broke out, kicked a good long kick then got a line out, from it the ball whizzed down the line and the try and conversion took them to 0 ~ 22 up at the break.
Things looked bleak.
After the restart we put in a huge effort and it was twenty three minutes before they even got in to our half. We battered and battered at their line, they had a player yellow carded for repeated foul play, and still we battered, the odd ball was dropped or knocked on but we retook the ball and battered on again. The truth was they were good in defence and it seemed as if we were just not large enough, there was no lack of effort or grunt.
Then on twenty three they broke out, won a line out on the top side and from the catch they drove at our line, sent the ball out wide then back in with a short pass and over the line from a few yards out. The conversion was simple. 0 ~ 29.
To the crack of thunder overhead and lightning to seaward again we attacked as before and got close a number of times. Then on thirty four minutes our forwards closed in again on their line for prop Ignatius Oberholzer
to burrow over the line for a try.
The conversion attempt was from out wide and missed the target.
Fortunately a white wash avoided.
They attacked back from the restart, we defended a couple of line outs well, towards the end they put in a lovely cross field kick from one side to the other and directed at their winger, it looked for all the world like a try from the moment it left his boot.
It came down ten feet short, I think their winger took it, but Ben McGowan
had positioned himself to a ‘T’ and took him man and ball and the effort was snuffed out.
Not long afterwards the whistle went for full time.
Had we played the first half as we did the second we might have made it a much closer game, I don’t think we would have won, to be brutally honest, they just seemed too powerful, large and with more determination. It is often said “They wanted to win more than us”, I am sure we wanted to win as well but they wanted it more.
Sadly Ivybridge sneaked ahead of us in the league thanks to a twelve points better points difference.
Last match next week, Bideford at home.