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1st XV - Match centre

Saffron Walden RFC
Fullerians
Sat 18 Aug 15:00 - Pre-season Full time

Excellent First Day of Pre Season rugby as Walden enjoy themselves in the sun.

A Good performance by all 29 players, with some more work on the training pitch and several players still to return, things look good for the new season.

Director of Rugby – Match Report vs Fullerians Sat 18 Aug 18

Walden hosted Fullerians on Sat 18 Aug 18 with both sides looking to put into practice all of their pre-season hard work. 4 x 20 mins was the order of the day and with a healthy crowd it was Walden who started with great attacking intent and scored from the very first KO. Paul Marshall playing at 10 picked out Mark Kimberley with a superb miss pass, Kimberley transferred the ball to Rob Booth who timed his pass to wing Oscar Norman who cantered in from 30 metres. Walden’s second try came after a turnover deep in their own 22, Paul Marshall saw space around the ruck area and sidestepped 2 Fullerians ruck defenders before offloading to Brad Baker who made big inroads into the Fullerians half of the field with Norman on hand to run in his second try in 4 mins. Kimberley again converting for a 14-point lead to SW. There then followed a period of pressure where the big Fullerians pack put the smaller Walden pack under pressure at scrum time, when eventually the ball was moved to the Fullerians midfield backs who crashed over form 10 metres. After some scrappy play in midfield Walden won another turnover at the breakdown where the ball was moved swiftly to rampaging second row Baker and with a superb offload put Kimberley away for his first try which he converted. Straight from the restart Ben Stapleton’s excellent work at the breakdown created another turnover whereby the ball was moved quickly to flying wing Norman and with a mazy run was finally brought down metres from the opposition line who managed a sublime offload to Kimberley for his second try, Kimberley kicked a superb conversion from wide on the left. Score at the end of the first quarter Walden 28 Fullerians 7.

At the start of the second quarter Walden made 7 changes, 5 up front and 2 in the back line. Fullerians immediately fumbled the restart and Walden went through the phases 17 times with excellent recycling of the ball before Fullerians scrambled the ball to touch. A superb LO take by Charlie Potter allowed Walden to exert more pressure with further phases. A penalty was given to Walden 5 metres from the opposition line with Mark Kimberley Capt in the absence of Tom Pryke electing for a scrum, Matt Holden playing this quarter at No 8 forced his way over with Kimberley again adding the extras. Another LO take by Potter close to the opposition line allowed the forwards to build up a head of steam with Holden again forcing his way over collecting his brace. Kimberley failed to add the conversion his first miss of the day. Walden pushing the score out to 40 points to 7.

The third quarter saw James Bovaird, Gordon Leonard and Adam Clark make their first appearance of the day with more changes again testing the strength in depth of the Walden squad. A sustained period of pressure saw Fullerians work the phases and score wide on the left, with the conversion being missed. From the restart a solid scrum on the Fullerians 10 metre line saw Brad Baker now playing at No 8 take on the opposition defence and with
Another excellent offload put flanker Will McGinn away for another Walden try. A superbly executed LO saw Ben Stapleton catch the ball at the tail of the LO offloading to Baker on the peel who was held up a couple of yards short of the Fullerians line with Adam Smith barreling over from short distance. Connor McCabe kicking the conversion. Score - Walden 52 Fullerians 12.

With Walden looking to finish strongly, Doug Olaga made his first appearance of the day and immediately made an impact with some big tackles and strong ball carries. However, it was Fullerians who scored first with a clever LO move releasing their hooker who dived over in the corner. Following a LO steal by Charlie Potter, Matt Holden made a strong surge up the middle before offloading from the floor to Mar Kimberley who ran an excellent support line to spring in for his hattrick try from the half way line, he also added the extras taking his match total to 27 points. With Walden looking to finish strongly, Rob Booth who had shown attacking intent all day from deep ran back strongly before Olaga beat a few defenders before passing to Adam Miles to get over the gain line, Holden collected the ball off Miles and with an outrageous back of the hand off load caught on the bounce by McCabe Walden finished the game with an excellent try.

Final score line Walden 64 Fullerians 17.

A very good performance from Walden with 29 players taking the field over 4 quarters. Counter attack from turnover ball was excellent along with their offloading game. Set piece and kicking strategy will need to be worked on if they are to be an improved outfit this season.

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