Despite Five Tries Spalding Loses out to Stronger Team on the Day
Despite playing excellent rugby - errors and lapses in concentration Spalding let the game slip through their fingers - allowing Rolls Royce overtake them in the League
Despite scoring five tries and in patches playing excellent rugby, Spalding through a catalogue of errors and lapses in concentration self-destructed and instead of coming away with a first away win of the season, earned a solitary bonus point dropping down the league to fifth place with Rolls Royce moving above Spalding.
Back leading the team from injury was Captain, Dan Adams. Also returning was Jason Steels in the forwards along with Richard Grew at lock and with past captain’s Richard Cooke and Ryan Chappell both on the subs bench with Macauley Crane, Spalding were fielding a team more than capable of a good performance.
The home side had the better start with Spalding being caught offside at a ruck and the penalty kick going over followed shortly afterwards by the Rolls Royce forwards driving upfield controlling the ball for the opening try and conversion.
But Spalding responded within five minutes as they mounted pressure and fly half Willis Ingleby sliced through Rolls defence. However from the kick off Spalding’s defence seemed to go asleep and with missed tackles there was space out wide on the left for a simple run in and five points.
A quick response was needed and it came following good work by the forwards with Jason Steels, relishing his return with his thrusting carries always gaining territory, the ball was spread wide and a long pass out to right wing Ben Shields saw him touch down near the posts but the conversion was missed.
As the half hour approached Spalding looked to counterattack with left wing Gav Sharman in space and Conall Mason on his inside but the pass by Harry Sharman was read and the interception left Rolls with a simple run in. This was followed shortly afterwards by Rolls having a scrum on the five metre line and with their front row gaining ascendancy they drove forward for a seventeen point lead
Rolls then lost their dominant prop to a yellow card for not releasing and rolling away at the tackle area. Spalding kicked the penalty for a lineout, but they knocked on as they drove forward and a good scoring opportunity was lost.
Coach George Reid at half time started to call upon his experienced bench with Richard Cooke replacing Edward Williams but Spalding’s catalogue of errors continued to blight them. In possession and driving upfield the ball was lost. Rolls hacked it forward and with Spalding’s defence in disarray the home team gratefully picked it up and ran through.
Captain Dan Adams showed how a simple game plan move can work with an excellent break through Rolls midfield defence to score under the posts but the conversion was missed.
Spalding now started to control the match through their forwards picking and driving with hooker John Barrett full of running and Harry Cole breaking tackle after tackle with his carries and Harry Sharman helped himself to two tries in quick succession and the home team’s lead had been reduced to 10 points with 25 minutes remaining.
Instead of building momentum as Spalding looked to take control for an away win further errors, lack of concentration and poor execution killed off any chance of a comeback.
From the restart kick Will Shields failed to gather in the ball, leaving a simple run-in which was gratefully accepted by the home team.
Both Ryan Chappell and Macauley Crane were on and from the restart kick Chappell caught the ball at pace with the ball having travelled just beyond the 10 metre line but the referee called it back awarded a scrum to Rolls and unfortunately this was not the only poor judgement on the day by the ref.
With play opening up Rolls took advantage to build some pressure. Conall Mason looked to have cleared his lines, with a relieving kick into open space, but it was picked up by the opposing left wing and with no defence in front of him the try was scored. Next, a Spalding lineout 15 metres out from their try line. The throw was tapped back from the jumper to scrum half Ben Shields having moved from the wing, but their hooker ran through the line, intercepted the tap and scored.
Spalding were still creating opportunities and from a lineout Harry Cole carried forward, releasing Harry Sharman to claim his hat trick.
In patches Spalding were clearly the better team, being more than capable of winning this away match. But too many errors, lack of concentration at key times and poor execution they left themselves with too big a mountain to climb.
Team:- Kev Hudson, John Barrett, Josh Caley, Richard Grew, Harry Cole, Edward Williams, Jason Steels, Harry Sharman, Will Shields, Willis Ingleby, Gav Sharman, Dan Adams, Tom Wilson, Ben Shields, Conall Mason Subs;- Richard Cooke, Ryan Chappell, Macauley Crane