BRAINTREE RUGBY UNION FOOTBALL CLUB 2019/20 SEASON.
Any copy queries to BRUFC Publicity Officer John Troup on 07860-179347.
UPMINSTER…15 BRAINTREE…46 (London 3 Essex)
RAMPANT Braintree continued their fine start to 2020 with a scintillating victory over Upminster in east London on Saturday.
Upminster won the toss and chose to kick into the challenging elements in the first half hoping to take a tactical advantage in the second.
They ended up regretting their decision as Tree tore into their hosts, winning the lion’s share of territory and applying pressure from the very start.
After missing two long range penalty kicks, one of which came back off the upright, they scored their first try after a 22 drop-out was run back at the hosts allowing fly-half Dan Olley to score under the posts, with Elliott Swallow converting. 7-0.
A couple of minutes later Upminster threw a risky pass that was picked off again by man of the match Olley for another try under the posts, with Swallow again doing the honours with his boot. 14-0.
Further pressure from Tree’s pack then forced Upminster into conceding a penalty for not rolling away that was ruthlessly despatched by Swallow. 17-0.
On the half-hour after several phases of play by the forwards in midfield a slick backs move and a lovely weighted pass from Darren Page put Swallow in on the half-way line.
He outstripped his opposite number and then the full back for pace to cross the line in the corner but put down under the posts, Swallow’s conversion making it 24-0 to the visitors.
A further converted try extended Tree’s advantage to 31-0 before the home side finally rallied and posted two converted tries of their own to reduce the deficit to 31-14.
After the break it was the visitors’ turn to play up the hill and into the elements and it looked like it would be a tough half as Upminster scored another unconverted try after a pick and go put them over in the corner. 31-19.
Tree were determined to keep control of the points and put on a fantastic tactical performance to not only negate the conditions but dominate their opposition.
Further unconverted tries by number eight Cameron Kerr and a third for Olley followed. 41-19.
But the pick of the scores came from a line-out driven up the field and through a further three phases before being sent the width of the pitch for Swallow to score again in the opposite corner. 46-19.
BRUFC Head Coach Jamie Clarke said: “I thought it was our best overall performance of the season in testing conditions. To win both halves against a team who are third in the league was very pleasing.
“We dominated the breakdown and executed our tactical game plan perfectly. I was really proud of that performance and from 1 to 18 every player gave everything.”
Turning to this Saturday’s home clash with struggling Ilford Wanderers at Robbs Wood he added: “Regardless of their current position they are always tough opposition so we will prepare accordingly and look to maintain our present form.”
BRUFC: Whyatt, Swallow, J Levy, Worster, Page, Olley, Culham, T Colebrook, Baker, R Levy, M Pickles, Mlambo, Lee, Humphreys, C Kerr. Reps: D Coote, Wright, Murray.