Old school rugby returned to the Chicken Shack as Eunice did her bit to make conditions difficult. The wind was still strong and the mud underfoot meant that a free-flowing game was never in the offing and this would be one for the purists.
What a game for the veteran Adam Scott to return at hooker for his first 1st XV outing for a good while. Congratulations to him on putting in a sterling shift alongside props Josh Dear and Bradley Robinson.
Playing with elements in the first half, Ives started well. Strong defence put the visitors under pressure and along with the soap-like ball, numerous knock-ons and dropped passes meant scrummaging was the order of the day.
Despite the initial pressure, Ives did not trouble the scoreboard.
The ‘Boro 10 had a fine game throughout, evidenced by his quick thinking to snuff out an Ives attack by intercepting a pass and sprint upfield. Ives were on the back foot and ultimately stopped a series of attacks by offending in front of the posts. Wellingborough took the 3 points without hesitation.
The Bulls pack was making all efforts to breach the gainline, but the visitors’ defence held firm and the slippery ball was often wrested away from Ives’ hands.
The ‘Boro stand off employed a decent kicking game, putting the ball onto the surface on many occasions, which Ives struggled to deal with. From one such foray into the home 22, a loose ball from their own lineout caused all players to hesitate. Bar one. The ‘Boro player snaffled the ball and took a direct line to go over untouched for the game’s first try, which was converted.
Shortly after, Ives were again pinned by their own line. Disaster struck when an lineout overthrow was caught by a ‘Boro forward who simply dived and skidded his way over the line.
As the half ended, Ives only real chance went begging as strong defence held Shaun Mundy up on the line.
Half time 0-15
As the conditions underfoot worsened and the ability to distinguish the players from either side diminished, the game turned into a mud-fest.
Ives had the better of the play, but could find no way through.
With territory aided by countless penalties against the visitors, they could still find no way through until the final 10 minutes.
Keeping all penalties in hand, Mike Brennan tapped and went and with great support from Oli Watts crashed over.
It was to be too little too late for the Bulls as Wellingborough held on for a victory deserved on their first half performance and the stand off’s game management.