Frampton welcomed Gloucester side Widden Old Boys to the Stade de Fram on Saturday afternoon with Frampton looking to get their show back on the road after their heavy defeat of the previous week. Fortunately the rain of the previous 24 hours had abated, although the pitch was sticky and conditions were very murky.
Widden started strongly and only a good covering tackle into touch in the corner prevented them from taking an early lead. Frampton were looking to move the ball wide on every occasion. It didn’t always come off, but it was pleasing to see such ambition in the trying conditions. Frampton did take the lead after five minutes when Lewis Oakley finished off a sweeping move to touch down behind the posts. Lewis converted his try. Frampton extended their lead after 15 minutes when Morgan Stiles scored after another sweeping move. The conversion by Oakley took the score to 14 points to nil.
Widden were reduced to fourteen men when one of their centres was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on. A couple of try scoring chances went begging for Frampton, but they did manage to score their third try by Tom Curnock in the corner just before Widden were restored to fifteen men. The conversion was missed.
Unfortunately for Widden they were reduced to fourteen men again, this time permanently, when their centre was yellow carded for a second time for the same offence of a second deliberate knock on. Despite Frampton going close on a couple of occasions, there was no further scoring before half time, which arrived with Frampton leading by 19 points to nil.
Frampton went searching for the bonus point try, but it took until the hour mark before they were able to break down a dogged Widden team. Following a series of five metre scrums and lineouts the Frampton forwards stormed over the Widden line in a driving maul for Brandon Ball to touch down. The try was converted by Lewis Oakley.
Frampton went on to score a further three tries before the end of the game through Morgan Lewis, and Tom Curnock and Lewis Oakley who both scored their second tries of the match. Oakley converted two of these tries to leave the final score at 45 point to nil. The only blot on the performance was the red card shown to replacement Joe Bennett five minutes before the end of the match for a disagreement with an opposition player on the floor.
This was another very good performance by the young Frampton team. The conditions were trying, but they showed a willingness to run with the ball at every possible opportunity. What is so pleasing is the number of former colts now playing first team rugby. It was one of these players, Ryan Giddings, who was given the Frampton player of the match award. Ryan was brought into the team at scrum half following an injury to Kieran Tucker, and played like an extra back row forward. His tackling from the base of the scrum put great pressure on the opposition, he carried strongly, and distributed well considering the conditions. Well played.
Next week Frampton are away to Cheltenham North in a rearranged match following the postponement of the original game at the end of October.