Burton RFC 22 (15) Tamworth RFC 24 (12)
Tries: Josh Hart 2, Matthew Evans, Josh Wright
Con: Jamie Dutton
If Burton were to think that retaining the title as Staffordshire champions was going to be a breeze, then this encounter was to highlight the effort that will be needed this season. Tamworth started the stronger team and their quick agile backs looked a threat. This was rewarded by two early tries that both stemmed from missed tackles. The first Burton lost possession on their own scrum and the dangerous speed of the Tamworth centre punished this turn over. The second was the result of missed tackles on the 5 metre line. Then all of a sudden Burton switched on and they began to show their capabilities. A strong Burton scrum allowed quick ball to Josh Hart who scored in the corner. Then a second following a great ruck that drew Tamworth offside. The penalty was taken quick and Josh Hart caught the Tamworth defence napping as he sprinted to the line. All the emphasis was with Burton as the comeback was completed just before the break. Another strong scrum and quick ball from Oliver Corbett set Matt Evans off against their winger, a turn of foot and an excellent hand off and Burton had scored the 3rd and were now leading.
The half started with an excellent drive forward by Charlie Newcombe who broke several tackles and made good ground. However, it turned into a more dogged affair as both sets of forwards battled for possession. There was very little quick ball and a series of scrums and rucks were well contested in the middle. The Burton defence was tested by a good Tamworth kick and they stood firm a series of efforts fell short of the line. The pressure was lifted and Burton made ground, however, an unpressurised turn over left Tamworth with the whole width of the pitch to run in a excellent counter attack. Burton were punished further whilst recovering from the try and Tamworth extended their lead via missed tackles in the centre. Then when all looked lost Burton showed their strength and took the game to Tamworth. Burton responded and a great scrum and quick penalty was converted into a try by a determined Josh Wright. Burton looked dangerous in the final minutes but never seemed to secure the ball. The final whistle went and Tamworth were the worthy victors by 2 points. A good hard game of rugby played in a great spirit by both teams.