Sat 16
2nd XV - Rebels
20
-
21
League
Westcombe Park 3rd's
Rebels vs Westcombe Park

Rebels vs Westcombe Park

By Callum Whitton
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Episode XXII Jar- Jar Boevinks


Rebels V Westcombe Park III’s

Following last week’s combined effort from the Southwark ‘Chancers’, the Rebels returned to the

cage for this crucial end of season clash with Westcombe Park III’s. Potentially needing a win to

avoid relegation, the home side were fired up by captain Glen Boevink’s misrememberings of the

reverse fixture earlier in the season. Some notable absentees from the Rebels line-up included front

rowers Chris Hodder and Alex Dark, who turned out to be sorely missed. Familiar names filled much

of the rest of the team sheet with Jamie O’Connor stepping in at 10.

Despite the magnitude of the game ahead, the Rebel’s warmup lacked its usually intensity, which

told in the opening exchanges. A strong start from Westcombe’s hard running centres and sizeable

pack put the visitors on the front foot, although it was the Rebels who opened the scoring. Pete

Halliwell, chosen to kick at goal after a hard-fought game of rock, paper, scissors, expertly

dispatched an early penalty to give the home side a 3-0 lead.

The half continued with typically outstanding runs from Rebels Ed Ugboma and Sam Waterton, not

to mention a few customary box kicks from scrum half Ieuan Cox, but the dominance of the

Westcombe scrum soon started to tell. After a succession of penalties gifted the visitors field

position, they were able to drive over from 5 yards out. A penalty try was awarded for the back row

losing their bindings although the strength of the Westcobme front row meant the referee had a

number of offences to choose from. The conversion was added leaving the Rebels trailing 7-3.

A series of dynamic Rebels attacks followed as the home side worked harder than George Osborne

to close the deficit, which they managed thanks to a second penalty from Pete. At 7-6 the Rebels had

their tails up but Westcombe fought back in a predictable manner. Their experienced and – to be

polite – substantial front row continued to dominate, drawing penalty after penalty and almost

ripping Charlie Bailey’s arm off during one particularly brutal drive. He fought on valiantly for at

least 30 seconds.

The visitors ended the half with an impressive catch and drive, finished off by their energetic, if

somewhat erratic, scrum half in the right hand corner. The extras coolly added from right on the

touchline, Westcombe lead 14-6. Despite excellent carries from Tom Simmons and Israel Sotonwa,

to name but a few, by half time Westcombe’s scrum dominance was starting to tell.

The second half began with the away side, spurred on by the overdue appearance of the sun,

throwing the ball wide with abandon. As solid as their pack were in the scrums, they were no match

for the Rebels forwards in open play meaning turnovers aplenty and no score from the opening

exchanges. Despite conceding an inordinate amount of penalties at the ruck, the Rebels slowly

ground their way back into the game.

As time ticked on the home side desperately needed a score and it came from the unlikeliest of

places. For the first time in the match the Rebels won a scrum – Ieuan at 9 was so baffled he forgot

to pick the ball up, leaving No.8/prop/hooker/scrum half Glen to craftily hook it back to Jamie. He

set off on a trademark run, supported by Pete who then found Israel on the inside with the flanker

bursting through from 30+ yards. Pete ‘metronome’ Halliwell added the extras making in 14-13. The

Rebels were back in the game.

Responding to a resurgent Rebels, the visitors reverted to a more direct game plan, continuing to

utilise their dominant scrum. Some wild passing prevented them taking advantage of good field

position leading one Westcombe player to bark at his own pack “we’ll do passing training on

Wednesday, stop dicking about!” but the Rebels were unable to break out of their own half.

When the away side’s breakthrough finally came it was from a familiar source. Some sterling Rebels

defensive work resulted in another 5-yard scrum, from which the Westcombe pack barrelled over.

Another penalty try was given and, although I’m certain the extras were added, the ref was adamant

the score remained 19-13. A dejected Rebels side still had plenty of time to turn things around but

with almost every scrum resulting in a penalty, they struggled to get any traction.

All that remained was to throw caution to the wind. A tap-and-go from 10 yards off their own line

preceded countless attempts to fling the ball wide, culminating in Niall Flannery’s only attacking

touch of the ball – an ambitious flick inside as he neared the touchline. Thunderous carries from Pat

Jalloh and Aaron Flash followed but it was all in vain as the away side’s defence held strong. The 19-

13 (or was it 21-13) final score leaves the Rebels teetering on the brink at the foot of the table but,

though their set pieces need some work, there is no doubting their spirit.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 16, Apr 2016

Kickoff

15:00

Meet time

13:30

Instructions

Meet at the cage at 1.30pm to help get the pitch ready. Glen is captain on the day and is on 07701395379

Competition

Premier West