13 try's maintains a healthy scoring rate at Grimsby.
I'll match your 5 tries and raise you 2!
What’s better than having a winger in fine scoring form? Having two wingers in fine scoring form!
If last week, Right Wing Zed Richards set the bar high having scored five tries; this week Left Wing Sam Rees, returning from injury, took up the challenge and raised the bar by two. Sam’s seven try haul was the positive on what was a scrappy attacking display by Ionians despite scoring thirteen tries!
From the moment the two teams took to the field, it was always going to be a game where the forwards had to front up and set the position for the backs to do their magic. The pitch, looking on the smaller side of the regulation boundaries, alongside the damp and drizzly conditions, was going to help the home team gain some parity. Ionians took the field however, knowing they are the in-form attacking team of the league. Despite Ionians being around 3 stone lighter per man in the pack, and with age on their side, even with Ray Morris starting at 6, it was clear that they were going to be the more mobile.
From the off, it was the forwards sizing each other up and trying to take some control for the first 10 minutes. The return of Max Hinson in the front row, replacing in form Captain Will Gaunt in the starting line-up owing to a dodgy stomach, and the presence of influential back rower Pete McGlynn allowed Ionians to get some go forwards. Defence was strong and on 15 Minutes, a first opportunity to spread the ball wide arose. Sam Rees benefiting from quick back hands to score in the corner. Adam Bouncer missing the conversion. In similar fashion, Rees again scored, rounding the winger with a gliding run and outpacing the fullback in the corner on 20 minutes. Bouncer again missing a tough conversion.
It wasn’t until the 25th minute which saw a Forward on the team sheet. charlie allenby showed a great turn of pace, receiving the ball in the centres from Richard Holmes to break through the line and finish off the move. Bouncer unfortunately did not bring his kicking boots to Grimsby as he continued to miss his conversions therefore the score remained 0-15.
Rees scored his hat trick on 27 minutes, this time showing his strength, as he forced his way over the line with two would be tacklers trying to take him down. At this point, the opposition forwards were saying can you stop using your backs, to which we (the forwards) thought can you stop using your scrum. Early scrum exchanges were tough with the weight advantage and the ‘experience’ going in the home sides favour. A few pointers from Forwards Coach Danny Hague soon set us right and the tides turned as Ionians started taking some against the head, and forcing the larger pack backwards. On the back of such a scrum, Outside Centre Zac Berril went over on 38 minutes for an unconverted try. Rees again went over for his fourth try shortly after the restart. A break by Scrum Half Brad Willingham down the blindside, and drawing the opposite winger before cleverly offloading the ball to Rees saw the conclusion of the half.
At half time, Coach Ferguson wasn’t too happy with the sloppy play as lots of ball had been dropped, and patterns were not being executed. Despite the difficulty to play the phases practiced over the last few weeks owing to the broken nature of the game, the call was made to sharpen core skills to keep pride in the defence. Rob kingston replaced Brad Willingham at Scrum Half and off went the whistle for the second period.
Grimsby upped their game for the first part of the half, and through some Ionians errors and continuous scrums they had largely the possession in the first 10 minutes. On 50 minutes a double front row Substitution saw Prop Will Dennis and Hooker Will Gaunt take the field. Where’s there’s a Will there’s a way (sorry!), and this substitution was the catalyst for Ionian's dominance in the scrum. At this point Ionians started taking hold of the game, and that man Sam Rees was once again on hand to finish a move down the wing to score in the corner. Charlie Parkinson having taken over kicking duties slotted the conversion.
Things were only to get harder in the pack for the home side when the big hitter Alex ‘The Train’ Torkington came on at No.8. His go forward led to a break, which almost resulted in a try down the left flank. On the recycle of the ball, swift hands were used in the backs to get the ball to Zed Richards. A rare moment of possession was all that Richards needed in order to get his name on the scoresheet for the fifth game in succession. He stepped 4 would be tacklers to somehow get over the line untouched for a try close to the posts. Again converted by Parkinson.
His try was the last contribution for Richards as he was replaced by strong tackling Chris Glover. The call for no try’s resonated around the Ionians team and despite some trickery, unconventional kick off’s and failed ‘intimidation tactics’ by Grimsby, they kept strong. On the back of solid forward defence, Sam Rees was able to capitalise, and score another two tries. Both converted by Parkinson, the last (his seventh) on 68 minutes was arguably his best of the day. He received the ball from a kick off, having just scored his sixth. He then proceeded to glide past three players, take the opposing winger on the outside, and then step inside to slice like a knife through butter between fullback and player to score under the posts. This left a stag do on the side lines howling for more!
More came in the way of charlie allenby who dotted down for his second try from the back of a well worked catch and driving maul from a line out on the 5 metre line. Parkinson duly adding the extras. On the 80th minute, Aiden Calvert also managed to score a solid solo effort. Receiving the ball on the opposition 10m, he handed off one tackler, crashed through another cover tackle and then showed pace to go over unopposed on the 80th minute. The conversion however was missed, but the 'zero points against target' was achieved.
MOM was Sam Rees (rude not too despite him leaving without buying a jug!), however other notable mentions were Prop Ryan Platten who had his opposite number in the air on a few scrums; No.7 Pete McGlynn who never stopped running and tackling all game, and Inside Centre Rich Holmes who’s decision making, lines of running and slick hands allowed many of the tries to be scored outside him.
Next week will be a true test of how far the Buccs have come as they travel to Malton and Norton to take on their 1st XV in the Yorkshire Cup Clash. 3pm kick off at the Gannock, Malton.