Away league games are never easy and having never played The Argaum before this was a trip into unknown for Wellington, writes Allyn Chetland. Preparations were hampered somewhat with numerous players from the previous week’s squad being unavailable. Brad Field & Chris Batts were unavailable to travel whilst Ben Gamlin & Lee Wadham both fell foul to an illness bug with backrow man Danny Lee once again filling in at the unfamiliar role at centre. A further setback was Captain Paddy Jarman having to withdraw from the starting XV 30mins before KO, again due to illness. Tim Jenkinson stepped up from the bench to replace with Joe Dyke taking over the Captain’s duties.
On a heavy, undulating, wind-swept pitch The R&Bs played up the slope against the elements but despite these factors being against them went onto play some excellent rugby especially in the first 20mins of half, dominating all aspects of the game. The weather worsened towards the end of the half which did dampen The R&Bs attack but they did go into half time 19 points to the good via tries from Chris ‘Choo Choo’ Kitto and two by Micky Norman with Alex Davey converting two of three tries.
Now playing down the quite substantial slope and with the wind at their backs The R&Bs continued in the same vain in the 2nd period as they finished the 1st half – well on top. Argaum had no real response to the pace and continuity that was on display from The R&Bs, the hosts rarely threatening The R&Bs line throughout. The bonus point try came via Tyler Hart, who was making his first appearance for the 1st XV this season, which was converted by Davey, come soon after the interval. The R&Bs went onto score four further tries via replacement Sandy Kiddle, who came on for Regan Walker, Corey Jenkinson, Danny Lee & Tim Jenkinson. Davey converted two to take the score to 0-50. With the weather taking a further turn for the worse and with hosts experiencing numerous injuries the ref decided to call a halt to proceedings 10 minutes early with player safety at the fore front of his decision.
Josh Hancock stood up to plate again playing in the unfamiliar role of tight head stabilising the scrum well whilst Liam Phillips & Corey Jenkinson were thorns in the host’s side all afternoon. Martin Walker, brother of Regan, made his 1st XV depute when replacing Jason Rowlands with 25mins to go. One concern for The R&Bs is a nasty injury to Phillips which required a trip to the local A&E and numerous stiches with 20mins of the game remaining, it’s not known yet if this injury will prevent him taking to the field yet next week.
Credit must go the referee from Plymouth who had an excellent game throughout. Both sides were in agreement that they would be more than happy to see this ref again.
Next week sees The R&Bs entertain Plymouth Albion Oaks. The Oaks are currently lying one league place below The R&Bs in 4th place this sure to be a tough test for The R&Bs.
Team: J.Rowlands, J.Dyke (c), J.Hancock, R.Walker, H.Ramsay, C.Kitto, L.Phillips, M.Norman, C.Jenkinson, T.Jenkinson, G,Hodgson, D.Lee, E.Stalker, T.Hart, A.Davey, M.Walker, S.Kiddle, P.Jarman