Trojans Academy continued their National Colts journey this time with a trip to the West to take on Nailsea and Blackwell in a fixture re-arranged from the previous week in the last 16 of the Plate Competition.The Trojans squad and supporters boarded the coach for a rare Saturday fixture unsure of what weather conditions would await them at Nailsea. After 2.5 hour journey along the M4/5 and a number of B roads taking in some great views of the Somerset countryside including a Wedding photoshoot the squad arrived Nailsea where the rains of the previous week had subsided with the pitch looking in great condition.
Trojans were focussed in their warm up and their preparation as they shook the journey out of their legs.With both teams in the same position in their respective leagues the scene was set for a great game.
Skipper George C won the toss and made the confident decision to play uphill in the first half against a large Nailsea team who would know exactly how to take advantage of the slope. As the local crowd started to grow in number the game kicked off as the Trojans team looked up at the opposition high above them. Nailsea were soon kicking into space for their wingers to run on but the back three of Harry C, Sam W and dealt with this.Trojans soon lost 15 Harry C with concussion but his replacement Josh R came on and had an outstanding game. Soon Nailsea were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, 3-0 after 10 minutes. Nailsea were buoyed by this and started bringing their large pack into the game running at speed down the slope at Trojans.With George C, Will B and Tom N repelling them and pushing them back the home team started to struggle for ideas. Trojans were awarded a penalty which Tom KO scored, 3-3.
Undeterred by the number of late tackles and niggles from the Nailsea no20 and 3 Trojans pushed on and were not to be intimidated.
Tom KO and Ben S were always looking for space and to keep the ball moving dragging Nailsea across the pitch. Trojans were also dominating the set plays with their athleticism winning against the bulk of Nailsea. Soon the impressive George C crossed the line to take the score to 8-3.
Trojans were now dominating and camped in the Nailsea half with Dan W and Mikey G taking the game to Nailsea making gains every time they carried. Trojans won a scrum against the head and no9 Ben S fed the backs who released Sam W to score in the corner; 13-3. A penalty from Tom KO took the score to 16-3 at half time. As Trojans went into their half time huddle Skipper George C urged the team to stay focussed and to build on what they had achieved.
The second half started with Nailsea in determined mood but Trojans matched them equally and made their tackles as well as deploying good exit strategies.Tom KO pulled the strings at 10 probing back at Nailsea and asking questions of their defence.The pace of the game was starting to tell. Miles S was having his best game so far this season closing down Nailsea attackers and also taking every opportunity to pick up loose ball on the ground.
The game moved wide and on their next attack Trojans released Sam W on the left with 15 metres to run and three Nailsea defenders to beat which he duly did to take the score to 21-3.Tom KO kicked the conversion from the touchline and Trojans led 23-3. A resolute Nailsea came back up the hill against Trojans but the away team's defence held firm with No2 JT quietly going about his work. Trojans won the ball from a Nailsea line out and the ball made its way to Joe J who shook off the tackles from two Nailsea defenders to cross the line to take the score to 28-3 with Tom KO converting to make the score 30-3 with 10 minutes to go. Trojans made a number of changes bringing on Ollie JH ,Will O and Michael B into the backs and Lawrence C into the pack replacing the injured Will B who had played exceptionally well.
There was still time for one more Trojans try with the impressive Josh R twisting and turning from 10 metres out to cross the line for a well deserved try making the score 35-3 to Trojans.With the conversion missed the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the game.
Final score 35-3 to Trojans Academy.
The team were rightly proud and jubilant after the game knowing they had delivered their game plan and worked hard for each other for the duration of the match. They had waited for a win for over a month coming close three times but this was a big step forward and the performance of the season so far against a team that had sought to intimidate and dominate in tough conditions. It was also a great example of the whole squad ethos with the Academy.
It was hard for the coaches to pick out a MOM due to the squad effort but special mention should go to stand in skipper George C who led the team from the front not giving an inch and also Tom KO, Miles S , Dan W and Josh R who had great games.The squad retired to the bar to watch England play Scotland after the game.
Specials thanks must go to Nailsea and Blackwell who were great hosts throughout the day.
The Academy now go into the last 8 of the Plate with a home tie against Devon league leaders Ivybridge on Sunday 19th at 2pm.