Ravens Vs Bulldogs Away
N.E.W Ravens Triumph over Birmingham Bulldogs for a Slam
down finish to the League season
The match regarded as the last of the current season, began on time at 2.30pm at the Moseley Rugby Club in very hot conditions. The Bulldogs kicked off and soon gained possession from a scrum and scored a try, duly converted. Soon after Ravens got themselves on the scoreboard courtesy of a try by Ryan Smitheman. The conversion attempt falling marginally wide. A little further into the half and Bulldogs scored another converted try. At the restart Bulldogs knocked on close to their own try line but still managed to keep the Ravens out who also gained a penalty for a high tackle. From the next set Ravens scored a try powered over by Tom Fletcher which again only narrowly missed the conversion attempt. Later possession from the Bulldogs saw some terrific defence by the Ravens, Close to their own try line, to deny them a score.
As the conditions were very hot the referee sensibly called for a ‘water break’ in order for both squads to rehydrate. Following this short break the Ravens produced a great set only just failing to score another try. However, the next time the Ravens were in possession Rich Whitehouse scored a superb try created by his own mid field break from Ravens’ own half of the field. Rich Successfully converted his only try. Bulldogs were not to be denied their next try which was unconverted. Just before half time Bulldogs lost possession which Ravens took full advantage of with Brian Sibiya powering over for the final score of the first half. Rich Whitehouse narrowly missed the conversion making the half time score Bulldogs 16, Ravens 18 leaving it all to play for in the second half.
Following the half time pep talk from the Ravens’ coaches and a well deserved break from the punishing heat, the away team were forced into some terrific tackling to keep the Bulldogs out. Following great pressure from the Ravens came another try scored by Ryan Smitheman and this time successfully converted by Rich Whitehouse. Following a break from the Ravens 20 metre line, Rich Whitehouse again scored a try which he duly converted. After a missed kick off Bulldogs pulled a converted try back. The following kick off caught the Bulldogs off guard with Brian Sibiya gaining possession for the Ravens. Such was their pressure that Bulldogs ended up ‘dropping out’ from under their own sticks after being caught in possession over their own try line. There then followed, against the run of play, an interception try for the Bulldogs which they converted.
By this time Ravens, who were already short of some experienced players, were suffering injuries particularly to the captain of the day, Brad Sinclair, dropping the Ravens down to just 12 players. The heat was certainly taking its toll on both teams but once again Ravens’ incessant pressure almost paid off with another try following a kick to the opposition’s line. Ravens gained possession and another fine midfield break from Rich Whitehouse created another converted try. The following kick off produced a penalty to the Ravens from which a brilliant drive from 2nd row Harry Shelton allowed ‘maestro’ Rich Whitehouse to make another midfield break to score yet another converted try. Try as they did, Bulldogs could not break down the Ravens’ resolute defence with the whistle soon being blown after an absorbing contest. Credits must go to both teams for playing as they did in such hot conditions but it was Ravens’ tenacity and ‘never say die’ attitude that won the day. Ravens were making use of some fairly new and inexperienced players making the victory even more pleasing to the club and its attendant supporters and family. Ravens is a brilliant community club and has great family and supporters who support them through the good and bad, and we want to take this time to thank them for all their continued support.
Final score was Birmingham Bulldogs 28 and NEW Ravens 42. Ravens will now be playing in an away playoff fixture against Leamington Royals next Saturday 13th August.