Match Report - Towcestrians v Newbury
Newbury give Tows Title blues
Newbury Blues travelled to Greens Norton Road on Saturday and came away with an unlikely victory to upset Towcestrians title charge and inflict a League double and Tows only Home defeat of the season in an ill-tempered game.
Tows started in the worst possible way attempting to clear their lines shortly after kick off, the kick held up in a strong breeze to come down in the arms of the Newbury winger who fed the Blues pacy full-back who out-paced the defensive cover to score, unconverted, to give Newbury an early 0 - 5 lead.
Towcestrians then started to assert themselves and quickly gained the upper hand in the scrum, playing multiple phases but found themselves unable to penetrate a resolute defence, with Tows camped in Newbury's 22 a penalty was conceded and with Tows declining the pot at goal, the ball was sent into the corner for the line out, another series of penalties conceded by Newbury eventually led to Tows driving over in the corner, no.8 Liam Wilkinson the scorer, again unconverted for Tows to turn around with the wind now at their backs for a 5 - 5 half time score.
Tows started the second half in similar fashion, with ascendance in the scrum and playing the majority of the rugby, eventually the Blues defence cracking for the outstanding Wilkinson to go over again in the corner to put Tows in front 10 - 5, further good play and solid pressing defence led to a scrum on the Blues 22, and with an 8 man show the Newbury scrum raced backwards and crumbled, with the large home crowd fully expecting a penalty to be awarded, the ref waved play on, the ball bobbled free and into the hands of the Newbury backs who saw an opportunity and ran the ball, excellent interplay eventually led to a near length of the field score for the Newbury full-back under the posts.
Tows now threw everything into the final quarter and despite dominating territory and possession found the Newbury defence too difficult to breakdown, along with some streetwise efforts from the Blues front 5 to disrupt and slow the ball at every available opportunity, again going largely unpunished by the generous referee.
Tows remain 5 points clear at the Top of the league with just 4 games to play, after the game Tows Director of Rugby commented "it was great game, hard fought by two very committed sides, but when you dominate the game like we did and not come away the victory it does leave you scratching your head, the lads effort was brilliant and we juts couldn't get it over the line"
Tows seconds came back from Nuneaton with a 24-10 win having blooded a couple of Colts and the Colts beat Vipers 41 - 17