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Under 15's - Match centre

North Bristol RFC
Minchinhampton
Sun 24 Mar 11:00 - Friendly Full time

NBRFC 43-24 Minchinhampton 24th March 2019

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North get back to winning ways in end-to-end thriller

NBRFC 43-24 Minchinhampton 24th March 2019

North get back to winning ways in end-to-end thriller

(sorry this is long...lots of tries!)

After last week's bruising encounter against Berry Hill, North lined up against Minchinhampton expecting another tough match and keen to prove their mettle as they edge towards the BJC final in a few weeks' time. With clear blue skies overhead and the spectators bathing themselves in warm sunshine, James Bennett blew his whistle and the visitors kicked-off from the meadow end.

The initial chase was short-lived, as the ball flew straight into touch, and North set up a scrum on the half-way line. Scrums were uncontested due to lack of props on the Minchinhampton side, so North dealt with the scrum quickly, and Tom Bennett kicked deep into the visitors' half. After a sustained period of forward pressure, North were rewarded with a try; Jamie driving over the line, propelled by his team mates, to make the score 5-0 (unconverted).

The visitors hit back immediately, regaining possession from the restart, and a fast centre breaking through the North line to score under the posts. Despite the favourable angle, the try remained unconverted, leaving the score at 5-5.

A beautifully floated restart from James put the visitors under immediate pressure again, with Chris arriving fast and ripping the ball to give North possession. North capitalised, the forwards driving the ball up the pitch and putting pressure on the Minch line, before unleashing the backs, and James dashed over the line for North's second try of the match, unconverted, making the score 10-5.

North unleashed their power again from the visitors' kick-off, with Max driving into their half. After some valiant Minch tackling, the ball was worked back to Tom Bennett, who spotted the opportunity to attack down the wing and, drawing his man, he span the ball out to George. George lit the afterburners and scorched from the half-way line to the 22 before releasing the ball back inside to Tom, running hard on his shoulder. Tom dashed for the line, completing a well worked try. With the light breeze causing problems for the kickers, the conversion missed again to make the score 15-5.

The visitors had seen enough, and after restarting and regaining position, one of their backs scorched down the blind-side past most of North's forwards and several backs before scoring under the posts, leaving North wondering where the tackles had gone. The conversion proved elusive yet again, making the score 15-10.

North retaliated from the restart, with Luke charging up the pitch to the visitor's 22 before driving into the opposition and off-loading to George, who accelerated down the line and across the pitch to score under the posts. James stepped up and slotted the conversion home, giving North a 12 point lead at 22-10.

The game swung back the other way again after the restart, with the visitors' speedy centre again receiving the ball on the half-way line and scorching through the North defence to score. With the conversion, the score tightened to 22-17 just before the half-time whistle.

After a strong team talk, majoring on tackling and speed to the ruck, Alfie did the honours and kicked-off the second half. Minch stormed back into the North half, but Mack made an excellent try-saving tackle and, springing to his feet, ripped the ball off his opponent before heading back the other way. Minch tackled well and held North within their 22 for a good while, but North kept pushing, and eventually Ollie, then Max and George made excellent drives up the pitch before Finn took the ball and smashed his way over the line. Alfie's conversion made the score 29-17.

Much as in the first half, the match continued to ebb and flow with neither side managing a sustained period of possession. Minch scored a converted try next to make the score 29-24, and then North returned the favour, with Max picking up the ball from the base of a 5m scrum and driving through the opposition to score. The conversion made the score 36-24. Max had a taste for it now, and just before full-time, he tackled, picked up and drove through two of the opposition before slamming the ball over the line. James slotted the conversion home to make the score 43-24, and despite a period of pressure from the visitors, that's how the scoreline stayed.

This was a close match, much closer than the scoreline would suggest, and played in a sporting manner by both teams, both playing with 14 men on the pitch due to the visitors' reduced squad on the day, and Isaac and Max having to adapt as a 2-man back row. North's attack looked potent throughout the match, and many of the tries were well-worked moves, several players connecting well to keep the ball alive. Importantly, they tightened up their defence in the second half, with players committing to tackles and working hard to contain Minch's fast runners. That kind of energy and physicality in defence will become increasingly important over the coming weeks.

Tries:
Jamie, James, Tom Bennett, George, Finn, Max (2)

Cons:
James (2), Alfie (2)

Win a Maximuscle training session with Anthony Watson

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Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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