Sunday February 6th February 2011
DK Squad – Will Squire, will hancox, Tom Parkes, Jake Whitney, Harry Bayliss, Dan Southall, Simon Gore, Tom Jones, Alex Brooks, Ben Aston, Ryan Healey, Matthew McGlaughlin, Joel Faux-Conduit, James Hadley, isaac latham, Calum Cavanagh, Matthew Acaster, james wheeler, Patrick Keen, Hayden Green. (Apologies for any omissions or errors).
Bredon Star came to Heathbrook with a reputation as a competent outfit preceding them. Events on the day confirmed what is required in order for DK to compete successfully against better teams such as this. Unusually, the first team pitch was allocated for the game and both teams rose to the occasion by putting on a show worthy of the setting. Thanks to the boys who turned up, but didn’t manage to get a game on this occasion. Their support is much appreciated. Also, good wishes to Luke Beddall for a speedy recovery from a neck injury sustained in training.
The match was played with half a gale blowing up the pitch towards the car park. This made lineouts almost impossible and kicks often either went too long or were held up or blown back. For much of the first half, the DK boys could barely get their hands on the ball and were constantly chasing opponents who were highly successful at keeping play alive, with good offloading in the tackle. Bredon committed relatively few numbers to the breakdown and were adept at coming away with the ball. This meant that they frequently enjoyed greater numbers across the field, to their advantage in both attack and defence. DK missed twenty-six tackles in the first half (Coaches’ figure), but tightened up in the second period, missing only six. Tackles made were, however, in much greater numbers and needed to be. All in all, this was a fast and hard-fought game of rugby and a credit to both teams, with Bredon running out worthy winners by four tries to one.
The pattern of play was quickly established from the start and even though DK had the wind with them (perhaps not much of an advantage), it was only a matter of time before Bredon were able to open the scoring, moving the ball wide one way and then back across the field to score in the left hand corner. With few handling errors, Bredon were able to keep the pressure on the home team. A DK kick downfield found the opposing full back who ran the ball to link up with his threequarters, leading to a try under the posts. Shortly before half time, Bredon scored for a third time to lead 17-0. A DK penalty was then taken short on the Bredon 22, but came to nothing, with an apparently planned move breaking down owing to poor communication followed by a knock-on.
The second half was much more even in terms of territory and possession. How often this seems to be the case, and slow starts continue to be something of a problem. A number of personnel and positional changes seemed to even things out and Bredon were content to play more of a containing game. Play was more disrupted by minor knocks and substitutions, but nevertheless DK were looking more threatening than hitherto. From a scrum on the Bredon 22, Rhys Hamilton came away with ball in hand to break through an attempted tackle and burst to the line under the posts to make it 17-7. Bredon came back strongly and after another run by Rhys inside his own 22, DK were penalised for holding on and Bredon took the three points. Shortly after, the game came to a rather anti-climactic end for DK with a fourth Bredon try through their backs, following a scrum.