1st XV - Report
Warwickian beat a spirited Cov Tech
Warwickian put in a mixed performance to beat a much changed but impressive Cov Tech side 43-19 to stay within 4 points of league leaders Coventrian's
The day may have started earlier for the players but the match was 15 mins late kicking of due to the late arrival of the opposition. If Warwickian were hoping to take advantage of the visitors disorganisation not only did they struggle to breakdown the well organised Tech defence but they also conceded a sloppy try against the run of play.
This was a massive shock to the home support who are used to better things from their charges and Cov Tech continued to frustrate the home side for the first 20 mins of the match until stand in skipper Steve Twissell kicked a penalty to calm the Warwickian nerves.
This really did settle the home side who for the next 20 mins played some of the best attacking rugby of their impressive season to well and truly blow the opposition away. The first try came from a well worked penalty move in which the ball was given to prop Tony Tate who shocked the Tech defence by delivering a really nice inside pass to the hard running Tom Robinson. When Robinson was brought down inches short of the try line it gave try scoring machine Will Godwin the easiest of pick and goes to dot down. Steve Twissell converted and lead 10-5.
Prop Tony Tate who was a tryscorer in last weeks 12-10 win over higher league Rugby Welsh was again involved in the 2nd Warwickian score of the afternoon. It was his break standing in at first receiver that disorganised the Tech defence enough to see the ball finally end up in centre Jamie Bearmans hands. He went past the remaining defenders to dot down under the posts. Twissell kicked the easy 2 pointer and Warwickian had a bit of breathing space for the first time in the game.
The contribution of prop Anthony Tate who was last seasons player of the year has again been immense but for different reasons. Tate who was born on the 2nd of April 1980 and is the 3rd of 4 kids from fallow hill, has really impressed this season showing some deft skills with ball in hand. The former Sydenham pupil who incidentally isn't adverse to winning top award after once winning the endeavour auto mobile technician and MOT tester of the year has so far had another massive season doubling last years try scoring tally in the process. I myself would like to apologise to Tony for not giving his try last week the credit it deserved and only hope this has gone some way to righting any wrongs....Anyway back to the game...
Warwickian put the game virtually out of Cov Techs reach with their 3rd try in a blistering 14 minute period of total rugby. Will Godwin finished the move with a dazzling side step and turn of pace but it was the combination of fast hands and offloading from backs and forwards that gave him the opportunity to score his second of the match and 12th of the season. Warwickian didnt want the half time whistle to come but it did with the score at 24-5 to the home side.
The whistle gave the visitors time to catch their breath, regroup and come up with a game plan that would slow the home team down. The game plan centred on keeping the ball in their forwards and not giving the opposition time to breath, they also committed numbers to the breakdown to counteract Warwickian attempts to produce quick ball for their backs. This worked very well and completely disrupted the home teams game plan meaning they had to work from scraps instead of being able to work with the type of possession they has in the latter part of the first half.
To the home sides credit they did manage to put a couple of good attacks together that lead to the MOM Joe Metcalffe making a scything break, his pass found the sprinting Luke Beverley to run in from 22 yards virtually unopposed.
However normal service was resumed and for the next 10 mins and Techs abrasive approach was rewarded with 2 tries that although could be looked at as deserved came more from sloppy defending than being well worked.
Warwickan closed the game out firstly by bringing on the experience of coach Nick Cameron in his first game since November to bring a little calm to the proceeding and secondly by scoring what could be looked at as a contender for the already impressive list of try of the season. With Tech again camped on the Warwickian 5 metre line some outstanding patient defence saw the visitor deviate from their pick and drive game plan and drop the ball. Coach Cameron was the first to react to the ball and it was his pick up, strong carry and offload that saw Warwickian via 7 or 8 pairs of hands cover the full 100 meteres to score. The ever impressive John Carter was involved a couple of time including grounding the ball over the whitewash. Twissell who had missed the earlier conversion was back on target with his 5th successful kick of the game.
Warwickian finished the game well and were rewarded for 10 minutes of good rugby with the final score of the match which came from coach Nick Cameron who dotted down after a lovely pass from no 8 Ricky Bearman found him in space. Twissell completed the scoring for the day by converting and the game finished 43 pts to 19.
Coach Nick Cameron said afterwards “Straight after the match I was really disappointed with the way the game had gone and felt we had possibly tried too hard to live up to the hype the team is getting. I thought we could have made things a bit easier for ourselves by playing to our game plan rather than trying to arm wrestle with them round the fringe and we've conceded 3 sloppy tries because of it. However on reflection I think I was a little harsh and probably didnt give the opposition or the lads the credit they deserved from their performance. I challenged the lads to get 50pts and bag the bonus point which they almost achieved playing some fantastic rugby at times. I suppose what I should be looking at is that we've just scored 43 points vs a very much improved team with only effectively 15mins of good ball to play with in the entire match – as a coach you cant argue with that conversion rate!”