Wellington made the short trip down the M5 last Saturday & made it two wins out of two on the road with an impressive performance away at Withycombe, writes Allyn Chetland. The hosts’ side was much changed from the one that lost heavily at league leaders the previous weekend and were very keen, and confident, that they could take the spoils especially has they had not lost at home for some time. For R&Bs Harry Ramsay, who was so impressive in the win over Torrington, was a late withdrawal due a wrist injury with Sandy Kiddle replacing him in the squad, Corey Jenkinson came back in at scrumhalf for Brad Field, Joe Dyke returned at hooker with Liam Phillips shifting to the backrow and Tyler Hart replaced Nev Pitman on the wing.
The game was preceded by a minutes silence to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Playing up the slope and against the elements in the first half the R&Bs knew this half would a good test of their temperament and discipline. A bone crunching tackle in the opening minutes of the half on his opposite number by flanker Danny Lee set the tone for the R&Bs and the rest of the team were more than eager to backup this approach throughout the match. Early pressure by the R&Bs nearly resulted in a try but unfortunately the ball was lost forward over the try line. Following a penalty the R&Bs kicked for an attacking lineout. Second row Regan Walker powered over the line for the first try of the game following an irresistible & unstoppable rolling after the R&Bs had claimed the lineout, the touchline conversion just went wide. As one would expect Withycombe, with the elements in their favour, did have periods of prolonged pressure in the half but stalwart & heroic defence by the R&Bs held them at bay until the half-time whistle blew – score 0-5 to the R&Bs at the break.
With the elements in their favour the R&Bs turned up the pressure and intensity in the second period going onto dominate the majority of the half with Withycombe hardly threating the R&Bs line throughout. The second try of the game came from centre Ben Gamlin after an elongated period of pressure on Withycombe’s line. Alex Davey was successful with the touch line conversion to extend the R&Bs lead to 0 -12. This score galvanised the R&Bs further who went onto exert further pressure on the hosts which resulted in series of penalties being conceded. Davey coolly slotted two penalties between the posts to further extend the R&Bs to 0-18. The R&Bs were now well on top and put the game well beyond any doubt when Chris Batts crashed over for a try after great work from Chris Kitto & replacement Tim Jenkinson. The conversion from the touchline hit the post. There was no further scores & the score remained 0-23 at the final whistle.
Once again the whole squad can be proud of their contributions in this excellent away win. Up front Chris Kitto impressed at No.8 and should have been named man of the match in the clubhouse afterwards, Joe Dyke & Ryan Mark also showed up well. Out behind Corey Jenkinson is improving game by game whilst Alex Davey continued with his good form at fullback. Despite this win the R&Bs unfortunately drop down to 3rd place in the league after Saltash gained a bonus point win at Hayle.
Unfortunately no game this coming weekend, the R&Bs will return to action on the 25th Nov when they welcome Wessex to The Athletic Ground.
Team: R.Mark, J.Dyke, L.Wadham, W.Hinchcliffe. R.Walker, D.Lee, L.Phillips, C.Kitto, C.Jenkinson, P.Jarman (c), T.Hart, B.Gamlin, G.Hodgson, C.Batts, A.Davey, J.Hancock, T.Jenkinson, S.Kiddle