Westbury travelled to Bath Saracens and managed to secure a bonus point win, running in 6 tries to Saracens 4. The match did not start well for the visitors when, within 3 minutes of the kick off, the home team outflanked Westbury to touch down in the corner. It took 10 minutes for standoff, Aaron Vaughan, to settle Westbury’s nerves when he scored their opening try after a quick tap penalty, followed by good work by blindside flanker Ryan Knight, who charged up field and offloaded to Vaughan for him to score and convert his own try. Saracens retook the lead when Westbury were penalised for hands in the ruck 8 – 7 to the Bath side. 5 minutes later Saracens pulled further into the lead after a very nervy Westbury team allowed them to dominate the play to score a converted try.
Westbury clawed their way back into the game when Westbury’s openside flanker, Ferran Adams, took the ball on the run to crash over the line and bring Westbury within 3 points. Then virtually on the half time whistle Ryan Knight took another tap penalty, and from about 15metres out, wrong footed the defence and scored under the posts. Vaughan added the conversion. Westbury had snatched the lead away from the Saracens 19 – 15 at the break.
At the restart centre Dan Telford, playing his first start for the Westbury 1sts, gathered the ball in his own half and seeing space, outpaced everyone to score under the posts, giving Vaughan an easy conversion.
Not to be outdone Saracens came back at Westbury and with some fine handling from them and missed tackles by the visitors, scored a converted try 26 – 22 and still in the game.
Westbury brought on Reece Ball, his first game after a long injury. Ball was soon into the game and receiving the ball just outside Saracens 22 metre area, literally danced his way to the try line, leaving the defence clutching at air to score. Vaughan again converting. Ball got in on the act again when Westbury won a scrum against the head, moved the ball out to him to score Westbury’s 6th try. Vaughan once more adding the extras 40 points to 22 and the game should have been over but Saracens were to have the last say when Westbury took their foot off the gas and lost their shape in defence. Handing the home side 2 tries, converting one and earning themselves 2 loosing bonus points. 40 – 34 at full time.
When Westbury got their play right they were very good with the back row of Ryan Knight, Nathan Brown and man of the match Ferran Adams leading by example, but there were times during the match when they lost concentration and, unfortunately, gifted the opposition tries. Westbury will celebrate the win, which moved them up the table, but there will be much to work on in training.
Match Report by Paul Couzens