Top of the table Five Ways met second place Rugby Welsh on Saturday in what was a game of two halves. With Ways having lost this fixture earlier in the season by a try, they were determined to defend their home ground. Unfortunately, outside center John Mounter could only muster 5 minutes of warm up before picking up an injury meaning that a shuffle was required to the starting line up. The more than capable Dave Potter stepped up to the plate and replaced Mounter.
From the Welsh kick off, after some poor passing and communication, Ways managed to let the ball bounce and fumble it's way deep into their 22. A neat little kick saw the Welsh winger gifted a try within seconds. Five Ways found themselves 0-5 down with under a minute played.
Rugby Welsh continued to turn the screw on Ways and a well worked move by the Welsh backs, off a dominant pack set-piece, saw their full-back race in for a score. 0-12 down, 20 minutes gone and Five Ways players still waking up from the shock.
Some good play toward the end of the first half saw Ways getting close to returning the blow, however, some good Welsh defence and helpful wind direction saw their efforts come to nothing. Further injuries sustained by Ways to No. 8 Nell Davies and fly-half Joe Brook didn’t help with the continuity of Ways game and, after mounting Welsh pressure, another well-worked backs try was added to the score sheet. 0-20 at half time.
Five Ways knew their performance up until half time had been poor and far inferior compared to their normal standards. After some stern words, Ways were keen to prove why they found themselves top of the league. Five Ways started the first half promisingly, with some strong running from James Mounter, Jess Banner and Kyle Mitchell. Ways continued to build the pressure until Jamie Wilkes went on a winding run through the Welsh defence, crashing over for Five Ways' first score after some good phases and a good break by Ian Chaston. 7-20.
Five Ways began to get a foothold in the game and built a good platform and numerous phases of possession. Some nice hands in the backs saw the ball end up with James Mounter who broke through the line and offloaded to Ian Chaston. After stepping the last man, he touched down under the post for the second Ways try and added the conversion. 14-20.
A momentary lack of concentration saw a cheaply given breakaway try by Welsh, meaning they restored their 13-point lead at 14-27.
With time ticking by, Ways starting to grow in confidence. They started to believe they could win it. With the momentum in their favour and the increased pace of the game, Five Ways scored a 3rd with the ball finding it's way wide from a quick penalty and Jess Banner crashing over in the corner. Unfortunately, even though they had shown good character to fight back, it was all too late for Five Ways and the referees whistle called a halt to the game. Final score Five Ways 19 - 27 Rugby Welsh. Plenty of things to work on after a fairly disappointing performance from the home side.