Uxbridge early errors prove costly as come away on wrong side of 15-7 score line
London French strike early to take spoils on wet afternoon in Barnes
Uxbridge made the trip down to Barnes to face a London French team relegated from the league above in the first league game of the season.
Buoyed on by an encouraging performance against Watford the week previous, the team entered the game in high spirits. In challenging conditions, wet under foot and the ball like a bar of soap neither team managed to make an early impression.
Uxbridge found a well drilled defence in French and the home sides snipping around the edge of rucks and traditional French flair was being snuffled by the bridge defence. Eventually the home side’s possession paid off and opened a twelve-point lead with a clever kick and chase which bounced kindly, and a well taken try following Bridge trying to play too much rugby in their own 22.
Bridge regrouped and changed tack, keeping the ball in hand much more and taking the game to French, using the same pick and go tactics that they had employed. Strong running from Sam Dillamore, Niall McLaughlin and Tom Rainey were beginning to make inroads.
A period of sustained pressure followed and a superb tackle from centre Isaac Williams broke up play in midfield and the ball was kicked through to the end zone. Tom Redrup back from injury managed to get his hand to the ball and dab down. Fly-half Dean Poland added the extras.
As half time drew near, the Bridge onslaught continued but were unable to get across the line and French survived with their nine lives in tact.
The second half saw conditions get worse and a reinvigorated Les Blues come out and turn the screw. Despite much pressure, the Uxbridge scrum and defence held firm, and restricted any points.
The second half was a scrappy affair not doubt unaided by the conditions and with time ticking away Bridge continued attacking, but unable to make the breakthrough after several promising visits to the oppositions 22.
Chasing the game and with a minute to go, French got a penalty which bounced off the cross bar and crept over to take the score to 15-7 and deny Bridge a losing bonus point.
In all a frustrating afternoon with the team recognising that the early mistakes cost them, and the ongoing need to be more clinical in opposition territory.
Next week Uxbridge First XV are away to Mill Hill (k.o. 3pm) and the Second XV are away to Chiswick Fourth XV (k.o. 3pm). All players are asked to make themselves available for the squads.