Shipston kept up their push for promotion from Midlands 3 West (South) with a resounding 71-0 victory over Woodrush on Saturday, much to the delight of the partisan VP's day crowd. The win maintains the Rams' second position in the league and keeps them four points above nearest rivals, Old Leamingtonians, with a game in hand as well.
It was a bright start for the home side, who quickly went on the attack and looked dangerous with ball in hand from the onset. Within the first couple of minutes the Rams were camped inside the Woodrush twenty-two and an attacking lineout almost saw them power over the line, only to spill the ball forward before grounding. Harry Clark was forced to limp off from the field after only a few minutes with a sore hamstring, so Dan Taylor came on as an early replacement on the wing.
Woodrush were not to be denied some early possession themselves and strung a number of good phases together to work their way slowly back up the field. Shipston's defence was rock solid though and the visitors were finding it difficult to make any penetration, consistently being met with strong tackles and a quick defensive line.
Shipston scored tries early in the game to set the tone and they continued to dominate throughout, winning the battles and the scrum and lineout to give the Woodrush backs nothing to work with. The only area of disappointment for the Rams was the breakdown in the first half. They didn't commit enough numbers early on and found themselves competing for scrappy ball at times, something that will need addressing before the upcoming fixtures.
Shipston racked up 11 tries in total and there were hat tricks for Tobi Faulkner from fullback and also Joe Treadgold, who was making his debut for the Rams on the wing after impressing for the second team in the previous few weeks. Joe's performance on the wing was brilliant and again highlights the strength in depth at the club currently.
In the forwards Will Gasson and Aaron Neal were very strong in the back row and Charlie Hollies-Everett was as industrious and workman-like as ever, giving Shipston a great platform to throw the ball around and play some good rugby. The Rams continued to play right until the final whistle and eventually ran out 71-0 winners on the day, capping off another victory with a healthy looking scoreline.
There were a number of notable performances as mentioned, but MOTM this week goes to Leo Brice. He was a behemoth in the second row, winning lineouts for fun and carrying the ball in attack all day, rounding off a fine individual performance by racing away from 25 metres to score under the posts.
Shipston travel away to Alcester next Saturday, looking to avenge a loss and a poor performance from last season. Kick off at 3pm