A sharp warmup gave us the preparation we needed for what we knew was going to be a big game. Beccles were unbeaten so far this season (9 from 9) and were sitting pretty at the top of the table. A VP lunch beforehand gave us a bit of an audience as well so it was shaping up to be a good contest.
We came out firing with the strong wind in our favour and were able to pin them back early on. An excitable Adrian took their 9 late and received a yellow 2 minutes in. That said we kept pressure and possession and stayed camped in their 22. An early shot at goal unfortunately slid wide but a few minutes later we got our first try through Samuel Brabazon, and Louie made no mistake with the conversion.
The first half remained intense but with no change to the scoreline. We dominated possession and played in the right areas of the pitch. But unfortunately we just couldn’t seem to get over. Most of the half was played within their 10m line. Our defence was brutal and we caught them continually behind the gain line and they just couldn’t exit.
We were disappointed not to have scored more but pleased with our defence at half time. But we were dubious as we knew what Beccles were capable of and they were now to have the strong breeze in their favour.
Early on in the second half a loose ball found Callum Stapley and he opened up the defence and ran 50m to dot down under the posts for a converted score.
We unfortunately went down to 14 men as Brabz was penalised for a deliberate knock on but if anything this ignited our defence. They just could not make any ground and eventually an error or forced kick would give possession back to us. Any kicks were well collected and counter-attacked by our back three.
Ball in hand we looked strong but occasional errors held us back. Philip Ascough constantly found their defence flat footed and was able to make a nice couple of breaks through the middle with good footwork. As we moved into their 22 things started to come together and after prolonged pressure Alex O’Brien found his way to the whitewash.
They realised it needed to be now or never for them with 20 minutes to go and their intensity increased. A scrum on our 5m line was deemed to be worthy of a penalty try for them to make it 21-7.
With 10 to go, we knew we had to put them away. The prospect of a bonus point win against the unbeaten league leaders was too good not to capitalise on. Bulldozing runs from Heze, Ethan, Oscar and Jay allowed us to continue to make ground and put us in the position of scoring.
They say forwards decide who wins a match of rugby, and the backs decide by how much. As a back, I’m torn on this one, but the pack worked phenomenally hard in set piece and in the tight channels to secure the ball and keep us moving forwards. From there, a combination of Louie, Benny, Jackson and Alex O’Brien put together some pinpoint passes to feed Brabz for 2 tries within the final 4 minutes to round off a well-deserved hat trick for him and a well deserved win for the meds.
Personally, the defence today was probably the best I’ve ever seen a medics defence and it shut down an extremely good team completely. There was a lot of heart shown and the feeling at that final whistle is the reason why we play each week. Top, top effort fellas.
MOTM: Brabz — three for he
DOTD: Adrian — binned within 2 minutes