MGM 34 - New Brighton 5
Three on the bounce for the in-form Machine
For audio match report, click here.
The Mighty Green Machine steamed on to a third successive victory today, with a thoroughly efficient 34 – 5 victory over leisure peninsula favourites New Brighton.
New Brighton have either recruited a good number of younger, svelter players than normally pull on their jerseys, or their local chippies have all gone into receivership, as it was a (relatively) young, athletic New Brighton team who took the field today.
So keen were they to get out and warm up (if that is ever anything other than a theoretical possibility at Fortress Hall Road), that they badgered MGM skipper, Dave “Dave” Bentham for the key and headed down there whilst most of the Machine were still enjoying their pre-match cigar and port.
Still, no matter, Benno’s boys strolled nonchalantly to the Fortress for kick off, promptly lost the toss and, playing into a strong North westerly wind, took the game by the scruff of the neck from the first whistle.
The Machine won today by playing tough, intelligent rugby throughout the game. Playing into the wind they controlled possession and played a high-tempo short game, well marshalled by scrum-half Mark Molloy, punching the ball up close to ruck and maul, drawing the visiting defence in before unleashing the backs.
Playing into the teeth of the gale, the first half saw tries from Joe Spencer, James Cropper and evergreen skipper Benno, all of which saw good combination play and strong finishes, with Jonny Mulholland knocking over one of the conversions, in very trying conditions.
clever, controlled first half really clinched the game. The MGM turned round 17 nil to the good and kept playing disciplined rugby. Even when Elliott Lloyd had been sent to the bin for an off-the-ball misunderstanding, the Machine maintained control and never looked like letting the game slip.
A further second-half try from Joe Spencer, and one from Josh Goodall, both keeping up impressive try scoring streaks, saw the lead further consolidated. The Machine’s defence was resolute throughout, holding up one drive by the big New Brighton pack over the line, until it was finally breached far out on the left flank, when the defence just ran out of numbers.
With the last play of the game wing forward the Man of Bronze finished things off with his first try of the season. After a typically bullocking run from Elliott was cut short by a scything tackle, he offloaded to Josh who found the aforesaid Man of Bronze ten yards out. Bouncing the desperate tackle from the full back, he scored, magnificently, close to the posts, leaving Jonny Fantastic with a simple pot at goal for the extras, to close the game.
So, a very good performance today, from a remarkably youthful Machine, which boasted only a handful of grizzled veterans. And that is the beauty of the Machine: like Theseus’s ship, or Trigger’s broom, you can replace its constituent parts but the Machine abides. Vive le Machine!