1st XV - Report
A game of two halves sees Warwickian tighten grip on second place
Warwickian moved into second place in Midlands 5 West South with a hard fought win over Trinity Guild at a packed Hampton Road.
Warwickian kicked off with the wind at their backs and immediately looked dangerous with the ball in hand. After several phases of play the ball came out to the backs and a lovely bit of play between John Carter and Chris Dunne saw Jamie Bearman sear through the gap round the fullback and place the ball down under the posts. Nick Cameron starting his first game since injury in November dropped the conversion.
The blistering start seemed to give Guild a bit of a kick in the pants and they were soon in the Warwickian half moving the ball wide at every opportunity. However the weakness in the Warwickian defence exposed so well by Stoke Old Boys in their last league game was not their this week as the impressive defensive line speed snuffed out everything guild threw at them. A couple of infringements by Guild saw Warwickian make 60 metres from the boot of Cameron and from the in suing line out they unleashed Andy 'Horse' Scott into the midfield. Guild sensing danger immediately killed the ball and switched off thinking the 3 pointer was coming however a quick tap from Cameron saw him pop to the motoring Steve Twissell who crashed over the line for the second try of the match. Twissell then got up and slotted the touchline conversion.
Warwickian were now flying and if not for a couple of poor decisions with the try line begging saw them stay at 14- 0. However it wasn't long before they were on the board again when great work from Scrum Half Luke Beverley found Nick Cameron switching play wide who in turn found Joe Metcalffe in space. His mazy run found found him one on one with the full back who he beat easily to score his first, first team try for Warwickian. Steve Twissell again converted and the scoreline was an impressive 21 – 0.
The rest of the half was played out with Warwickian in total control and when the ref blew for half time the score was 21 – 0 and the home team were playing some of their best rugby of the season.
The half time team talk was a simple one for coach Nick Cameron “more of the same and don't for a second take your foot off the gas as these are still a good team now with nothing to lose”
If the first half was one of the best of the season the second was one of the worst. Sloppy play and defence at the first breakdown of the half saw the Guild winger in space with the try line in front of him. As he made his way towards the try line the covering defence seemed to have cut off his route but a superb step inside saw him just have the strength to get over. The conversion was missed but Guild had the early score that gave them all the momentum.
They had their second 10 mins later when again poor defence saw the visitors on the foot and good ball saw them crash over in the same corner. The conversion was again missed but Guild were now looking likely to overturn the 11 point deficit quite quickly.
Warwickian have had to dig deeply in previous games this year and their desire to keep their unbeaten home record saw them get back into the game. It was this effort and resolve in the middle of the second half that started to frustrate guild and probably ended up winning the contest.
However the home team weren't to know that and when Guild score again go it lead to a nerve racking final 10 mins which has to be said wasn't pretty, was strewn with unforced errors and indiscipline but the defence held firm and Warwickian had their win.
Every player played their part in the win but there were some notable performances in both halves. Firstly the contribution of forwards Tony Ellard and Mark Bray was outstanding and in the backs Scrum Half Luke Beverley and centre Jamie Bearman were superb.
Coach Nick Cameron said “Firstly Id like to Thank Tommy Harnett for organising the old players do, Ill apologise now for the second half but hopefully they were happy with the first half and the win. As for the game it has to be one of the most frustrating games I've ever played in. We've gone from total dominance in the first half playing some brilliant rugby to almost throwing it all away in the 2nd half. Unfortunately in the 2nd half we showed how inexperienced we are, our decision making was poor and our discipline wasn't great. That said the lads will hopefully learn more from that match than than winning it 40 – 0, because we had to change our game plan to counteract the problems we were causing ourselves. We have Wellesbourne in 3 weeks and its vital we keep the pressure on Coventrians so a win is a must”.