Cents had to battle hard to win their latest victory against a strong visiting Western Super Mare on their first ever visit to the Stade de Bridge.Last season Cents played Weston at Hartpury because of the waterlogged state of the home sides pitch last year and on that occasion Cents were worthy winners although it was a tough encounter then.
Cents were expecting another close encounter this saturday because Weston had beaten Newton Abbot,Cents opponents last week,on their own patch the week before.This was a good result for them because Newton Abbot rarely lose on their own ground although Weston had lost their two other encounters.
The match turned out to be another good match played in the right spirit,on a good pitch and in excellent weather conditions.Right from the start Cents knew Weston would come at them through their big set of forwards so the home side kept moving the ball around from everywhere.This tactic worked well for the first half hour and during this period Cents built up a 20-0 lead and were playing well and hardly put a foot wrong.The home side started with two penalty kicks converted by Liam Hemming and then went on to score two tries by Capt Liam Hemming and one by Ryan Townsend.Liam's try was a fine individual try when his trade mark pace saw him ghost through a gap in the Weston defence.Liam also converted his own try to put Cents well in command 10 minutes before half time and as like last week it looked as though the home side would build a big lead.However, Weston came back strongly in the last 10 minutes of the first half and virtually camped in the Cents '22'.The away side had a number of line outs near the Cents try line but failed to score from their trade mark catch and drive tactic.The Home sides defence was superb at this stage and snuffed out any hope of the big Weston forwards driving them over their own line.Weston had three kickable penalties during this period of play which had they kicked instead of trying to score from catch and drive lineouts,if they had kicked these penalties it might have led to a different result later in the match.
Cents survived the late pressure from Weston and were worthy leaders at half time by 20-0.Cents quick start had Weston on the back foot but their recovery meant Cents were in for another interesting second half like last week.
The second half turned out to be another show of fine rugby with hardly any mistakes made by both sides.However Weston had the majority of the play in the second half and had Cents defending throughout the half.The Cents Defence was excellent and despite Weston' best efforts held firm apart from one occasion when the away sides forwards managed to engineer a converted try from close in on the home sides try line.This score came after 50 mins and Cents survived until the very end of the match and the home sides supporters were left wondering what might have happened if Weston had taken the kickable penalties just before half time.
However, despite Cents excellent rear guard action the home sided managed to break out from defence in the final minutes and ran in a fine try finished off by Luke Dilley another new signing to Cents ranks.The try was created from deep inside the home sides defence and spanned the length of the field.The try was converted by Liam Hemming for a final score line of 27-7 to the home side.
This was another fine win from Old Cents and shows they intend to have a better season than last year.The victory was built on a good team performance especially from a defensive point of view and puts them in good shape for next weeks local derby against Old Pats.Cents go to Cheltenham knowing they will have to put some work in to keep their momentum going.