Bude brought their strongest XV based on a chunky and experienced pack of forwards to the Athletic Ground last Saturday knowing a victory would go a long way in securing their own league survival, writes Allyn Chetland.
It was quite obvious to all watching what tactics the visitors would use and the response Wellington would need to employ to counter this threat. The game started with visitors on the attack but this was easily dealt with by Wellington defence. The first score of the match came via George Hodgson who crossed for a try after fine & quick attack by Wellington. Tom Hawkings made no mistake with the conversion.
Bude responded with a converted try following a period of sustained pressure on Wellington line by their forward pack which was only their real opportunity of the half. Wellington bounced back and produced some fine attacking moves but could only convert one of these chances when Hodgson scored his second try of the match wide out following a series of quick rucks and fine passing by his team mates. The extra points could not be taken. On the stroke of half time Wellington had a chance of extending their lead but agonisingly the penalty attempt hit the post and the chance was lost making the halftime score 12-7 to Wellington.
Immediately from the restart Wellington went onto the attack once more exerting a vast amount of pressure on the visitors, gilt-edge scoring chances came and went unfortunately with overlaps spurned and knock ons with the visitors line at their mercy. As the game wore on the experienced Bude pack started to bring their experience to the fore and take a vice like grip on the game.
As a result Bude scored an unconverted try to even the scores. Both teams then traded penalties, with Hawkings being on target for Wellington to take the score to 15 points each. Wellington started to lose composure and discipline, winger Jamie Hayman was asked to leave the field of play for an act of foul play and captain Dan Moore also had to leave the field with a nasty knee injury.
Down to 14 players Wellington conceded a series of penalties and started to lose composure getting dragged into an arm-wrestle up front. Bude exploited their numerical advantage to cross for a converted try which was to be the last score of the match making the score 15-22.
A desperately disappointing result for Wellington who now sees the fight for league survival becoming more desperate. For 55 minutes Wellington were the better and more expansive team but could not capitalise of this advantage which ultimately proved to be costly.
Injuries to Dan Moore & Tim Jenkinson are concerns for forthcoming games and winger Jamie Hayman will be absent for the rest of the season following his red card. With no game this coming weekend Wellington will be looking to re-group for their next fixture, away to Sidmouth on the 25th March.