Rebels secure victory against Dartfordian Angels
Article penned by Ieuan.
The Rebels returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory over Dartfordians Angels in their first home league game of the season. Despite lacking composure at times, a robust defensive display helped the Southwark side to their first victory of the campaign as Charlie Bailey took charge for the first time (although he buggered up his shoulder at training so this was from the touchline).
Several of the Rebels league-winning side from last season took to the field last Saturday, joined by newbie Frank blast-from-the-past Michael ‘Ho’ Jennings, to face a familiar Darts side.
The home team started strongest with big carries from Ed and Jael but the first points of the afternoon came when the Rebels won a turnover in the Dartfordians half and quickly shipped the ball wide. Slick hands from the centres put Onyeka in for his first try of the season. Although Dylan was unable to add the extras from right out on the left touchline, he soon added a penalty to the Rebels tally, making the score 8-0.
Both sides struggled early on at the line-out but the Rebels were well on top at scrum time. The home side’s dynamic back row (and Ross) continued to win quick ball which was utilised well by their new look backline.
When Onyeka added his second try, again a race to the left corner flag, the Rebels looked to be cruising to a comfortable victory. As in often the case however, this newfound confidence saw the home side lose focus and invite Darts back into the game.
A messy few minutes of dropped balls and missed tackles culminated in a hack downfield from the Dartfordians fly-half. Rebels full-back Ieuan raced onto the loose ball but his clearing kick was charged down, falling straight into the hands of a grateful Darts player who galloped under the posts unopposed. At halftime, the Rebels still led but the game was finely balanced.
The home team began the second-half with renewed purpose and composure after on-pitch captain Chris Hodder
told them to ‘just calm down’. Still dominant at the scrum and running rings around the Darts backs, the Rebels enjoyed much of the early possession and territory.
Despite some loose handling and a little overexcitement in the opposition 22, the Rebels finally made their dominance count. A breakaway try from man-of-the-match Frank capped a domineering display in defence and attack. Onyeka would surely have completed his hat-trick had he caught any of the passes to him in the second half.
Running out of time and ideas, the Darts 10 attempted an audacious flick out the back of the hand inside his own 22. Unfortunately, none of his team mates anticipated this and he was forced to drop onto the loose ball before being smothered by the Rebels pack.
25-5 to the home side was a fair result. Dartfordians will certainly feel they left their ‘A’ game at home and will be well up for the return fixture whilst the Rebels showed real promised with plenty of room for improvement.