Rams overcome injuries to secure win at Canterbury
Rams gain five points in a ruthless second half.
Match Report from Cameron Temple.
On a frost trodden afternoon in December at Canterbury rugby club a flurry of late tries for the Rams, to bring the score to 15 – 40, allowed them to continue their scintillating form.
The Rams started the day just one place above Canterbury in what was yet another clash between 4th and 5th place in the league.
However, The game was marred slightly once again due to injuries as Illingworth had to come off in the early stages of the second half, with what looked to be an injury that would keep him out for a lengthy period
The Rams head coach, Seb Reynolds, was understandably delighted with the win, as we caught up with him after the game, saying, “This was our best away win as a club. Canterbury are a really good side who play some fantastic rugby. We did a good job shutting down their attack and credit must go to Danny Batty and his defensive work he’s doing. It was a clinical and ruthless win that we’re very proud of as this is a really tough place to play rugby.”
Rams captain Robbie Stapley claimed the man of the match award as their pack were as dominant as ever, which was acknowledged by the Canterbury coach after the game as he said, ““they were outstanding in last quarter, although we had issues with how the referee interpreted things. But they’ve one of the best packs in the league if not the best so it was always going to be tough for us”
The Rams enjoyed a dream start to the game, showing no weariness from the journey down, as Bryant broke and popped the ball off to team newcomer, Ellis Jones, who ran the ball in calmly in acres of space to put the first points of the afternoon on the board.
Following this, the Rams settled into their usual game, going through the phases, as they slowly built their way towards the Canterbury try line, with a second try looking inevitable.
However, the home side, determined to not let the game run away from them so early on, broke out of defence due to the electric pace of Murray, who caused problems for the reading men all afternoon.
The freezing conditions were clearly having an effect on the players as the ball changed hands on numerous occasions over the first 20 minutes. This was until Canterbury managed to put together a prolonged period of possession, resulting in their winning a penalty within kicking distance and electing to take the three points, leaving the Rams with a slender two point lead.
The Reading men seemed to reply almost immediately as Sunley ran the ball into the corner after it had found its was out of the ruck, only to be denied by the whistle of the referee as his foot had gone into touch before he had reached the try line.
Once again the staggering pace of Canterbury’s Murray allowed them to escape from their own 22, as the momentum seemed to sway in favour of the home side as they pinned the Reading men back in their own half.
This was followed swiftly by a try for Canterbury as they found a way through, taking the lead for the first time of the afternoon.
Canterbury’s lead was short lived, as this time the Rams were able to bounce back almost immediately with a try of their own in typical Rams fashion following a line out and drive to the line as the away side re-established their lead, as Humberstone converted the try well from a tight angle, taking the Rams in with a four point lead at half time.
The Rams began the second half in high-energy fashion, and were not fazed by the unfortunate injury of Illingworth, and as they began to close in on the oppositions try line, Canterbury’s Rigby received a yellow card.
The Reading men took full advantage of this extra man with a hard fought try in the corner owing to some powerful work from the forwards.
Despite this, Canterbury were determined to show they weren’t beaten yet as they bounced back almost immediately as, following a sustained period of possession, Mackintosh burst through the Rams defence powerfully, shrugging off the attempted tackles of the opposition and taking the ball over the line leaving the game at 15 -19, well poised for an exciting finish.
However, the Rams, refusing to let their lead slip again, came back at the home side in tenacious fashion as the pack ploughed their way over the try line only to be brought back by the referee.
However, Rams were not left ruing this missed opportunity for long as the pack quickly restored the ball over the oppositions try line, and the conversion was greeted by a chorus of cheers from the Rams bench as they could surely no longer be caught.
The Rams finished the game in ruthless fashion with further tries from Vooght and a lunge over the line from Taylor.
The conversion was the last kick of the game as the Rams secured an impressive 15 – 40 away victory.
Rams 1st XV are at home this week, Saturday 16th December, where they play Clifton RFC.