Pack Broadsides Broadstreet
Rams seal victory against lively attacking play from Broadstreet.
Match Report By Cameron Temple
Photo Credit - Paul Clark
The day began with an air of expectancy around the ground as the Rams were coming off the back of an impressive 47-24 win at Tonbridge Juddians. The atmosphere soon soured due to an injury to Ollie Cole during the warm up. Fortunately, disaster was averted as Veteran Rams player and Maiden Erlegh P.E. teacher Jez Flynn took to the bench. The game itself began with the home team starting the brighter as they took an early lead owing to a simple drive from the pack, and No.2 Ben Henderson stretching the ball over the line as his forwards asserted their dominance early on, which was to become a key feature of the rest of the game. The try was converted by Tom Humberstone to further add to the Rams early lead.
Broadstreet seemed to be finding it difficult to find their feet defensively giving away 4 penalties in the first ten minutes, one of which Humberstone took the opportunity to take three points only for it to be skewed wide much to the dismay of the crowd and with talk of a non-existent wind playing a part according to some of the home fans. The power of the Rams pack made it seem like it would be a one-sided afternoon, until Craig Nightingale was sent to the sin bin for an illegal tackle and Broadstreet swiftly took advantage with Murray scoring a try on the 17 minute mark.
Broadstreet’s Hodgson missed the conversion leaving the Rams with a slender 7-5 lead. This was followed by a prolonged period of dominance for Broadstreet and 20 minutes into the game some skillful handling from the wasp’s loanee Umanga almost lead to a try for the Birmingham men only for it to be held up on the line by a resilient Rams defence. Even with their sin binned man returning, Rams still struggled to maintain possession as the pace and movement of the Broadstreet back line was almost overwhelming. But 30 minutes into the first half, Rams seemed to regain a foothold in the match. Once again having shown immense power in the scrum, a darting run from Illingworth came to nothing following a sloppy pass just inside Broadstreet’s 22. The first half appeared to be ending as a scrappy affair with Broadstreet’s Umanga the only player looking capable of causing damage until, much to the delight of the home fans, on 40 minutes, the Reading men drove to the line following a line out, with man of the match Matt Weller getting the try to give the Rams a 12-5 lead going into the break.
There was a feeling of frustrated potential amongst the Rams fans at half time, which was not helped by Broadstreet’s strong start to the second half as Umanga set to work once again making piercing runs through the opposition defence. However, Broadstreet were once again left ruing their missed chances as the Rams increasingly impressive pack secured their 5th penalty try of the season to take the score to 19 – 5. This penalty try also lead to Broadstreet’s Snowden being sent to the sin bin, although it did not seem to affect their attacking flair as Thatcher scored Broadstreet’s second try of the afternoon following a line out and drive over the line after 52 minutes. Following this, the game entered a period of back and forth between the two teams, but after 58 minutes three consecutive penalty scrums were rewarded by a try for Scrum Half Greg Illingworth. Broadstreet replied on the 62nd minute mark as a sudden burst of explosive pace from Corrigan allowed the away side to break through the Rams defence as the move was rounded off by Eastgate and converted by Hodgson to bring the score to 26-19.
The flame of hope for a comeback was soon snuffed out as the Rams pack dominated the final 20 minutes of the game with further tries from Ben Henderson and Greg Illingworth and a final touch-down by Ollie Foxley, combined with the trusty boot of Humberstone, sealing the Rams a comfortable victory, scoring 47 points for the second week in a row. There was even time for the 40 year old club legend Jez Flynn to come on in the final few minutes and play a brief cameo role, although he was not able to add further to his club record 101 tries. It was a thoroughly deserved victory for the Rams on an afternoon that could’ve been much closer due to some lively attacking play from Broadstreet.
Next week Rams welcome Old Redcliffians to Old Bath Road. Kick off at 2.30pm.