Bulls crush Spalding up front setting up second half rout
Hard work pays off as opponents tire
Playing in the Senior Vase for the first time for some years, St. Ives travelled to Spalding, a team they last played in the 80s. The hosts play at a similar level in their region, so as expected the game started evenly.
added the first points with a penalty following a collapsed maul. But, from the kick off Spalding struck. A clearing kick from the restart was fielded easily and run back through a number of soft tackle attempts, resulting in a try under the posts, duly converted.
Ives refocused and set their attacking stall out. A simple move out the back saw Jack Blackley
, who had a fine game at 15, free Albiee Tayedzerwa. The latter had a couple to beat, but skipped through to score in the corner.
Shortly afterwards, Ashbridge made a fine break in midfield. Support swept the ball right, then left for Blackley to dot down on the left.
Spalding tried to attack through the middle, but came up against the new steel in Ives defence that is Gabriel Edwards
. On his debut for the 1sts, Edwards made some crunching tackles and turnovers to the delight of his watching cheerleaders.
Having held the opposition out, the Bulls then played with great continuity to score another good converted team try, finished by Ashbridge.
Relaxing as the break beckoned, Ives were disappointed to allow runners around the defence to score in the corner. Half time 12-20.
Worse was to come as Spalding started the second half well. They executed their own backs move with precision and scored a converted try to bring the game back to a one-pointer.
At this point, front rower Tommy Newman
returning from a long layoff, began to make his mark. Complemented by Stuart James
, Adam Scott
and Josh Dear
, the strength up front crushed the spirit out of the hosts pack. Any scrum was driven yards and the ball taken by the Bulls, regardless of put in. The Ives backs were enjoying the break as they watched their colleagues march the opposition around the paddock.
When the ball was released, patient play swept the ball one way, then the other. First, Newman found himself alone on the left wing to finish off a move. Next Tayedzerwa was released and with a flamboyant dive finished in the corner. Newman popped up again on the left to finish off another great team effort.
With the opposition back peddling, skipper Ollie Bartlett
showed either his ruthless streak, or mercy, when he asked Ashbridge to kick a penalty in front, rather than opt for another scrum.
Continuing to pin their opponents back, Ives opted for two scrums from penalties late in the game. The first took them from 30 metres out to within 10 metres of the home line. The second took the ball to the line for Bartlett to pick up and complete the rout. John Naylor
took over the kicking duties to score his first points for the club.
After the game, the opposition coach complimented the Ives team for the structure and pace of the game. “At half time, I thought we had a chance, but St. Ives stepped up a gear and deservedly took the game.”