Wellington entertained Bude at The Athletic Ground in what was a highly competitive encounter, the Cornish visitors were keen to avenge the 21 – 27 loss at the hands of The R&Bs earlier on in the season, writes Allyn Chetland. The R&Bs made numerous changes from the previous week; Sandy Kiddle replaced the injured Shane Jordan, Jason Rowlands replaced the unavailable Ryan Marke, Will Hinchcliffe moved to the back row to replace Chris Kitto with Regan Walker starting in the second row, Tyler Hart had to withdraw from the team following a wisdom tooth extraction with Chris Batts replacing him on the wing & Josh Hancock returned to the squad after a few weeks on the side-lines due to injury.
The visitors took an early 0-3 lead after the R&Bs conceded a penalty at a scrum. The R&Bs responded via an unconverted try by fullback Alex Davey following a period of prolonged period of pressure on visitors line. Two more quick tries followed for the R&Bs, the first from Will Hinchcliffe, which was converted by Davey after a superb team attack and the second was an unconverted try from Joe Dyke following a well organised attacking line out to take the score to 17-3. Despite these set backs Bude kept in touch with a converted try of their own to reduce the arrears before Nev Pitman crossed for an unconverted bonus point try just before the break to give the R&Bs a halftime 22-10 lead.
The second period was a hectic and error strewn affair, the visitor’s confidence was growing as the R&Bs fell on the wrong side of the referees decisions on numerous occasions and cut the R&Bs lead to 7 points following a well taken unconverted try. Stung by this set back the R&Bs responded with an unconverted try by Regan Walker who crashed over wide out to extend the lead to 27-15. Bude responded with period of pressure on the R&Bs line & were reduced to 14 when Captain Patrick Jarman was sent to the sin bin following a series of team penalties. Bude took full advantage and were awarded a penalty try soon after to get back within touching distance of the R&Bs once again. However, following another attack Davey settled the R&Bs nerves with a well taken penalty 5 minutes from the end of the game to take the game beyond Bude’s reach. Final score 30-22 to the R&Bs.
The performance wasn’t the prettiest but the objective of winning with a bonus point thrown in was achieved. The R&Bs played some sparkling rugby at times, scoring some excellent tries, but credit where credit is due they just could not shake the tenacious Bude off their tails in what was a full bloodied league encounter. Another great squad effort from all involved, Sandy Kiddle making his first appearance for a number of months due to work commitments, thoroughly deserved to be named the R&Bs man of the match in the club house afterwards with Danny Lee not far behind him in the pecking order.
Next week sees The R&Bs play 2 games in 3 days. First up on Thursday they travel to North Petherton RFC to take on Gordano in the Semi-final of the Somerset Vase KO 7.30pm. Gordano will be an unknown quantity for the R&Bs, they are challenging for honours in the equivalent northern league to The R&Bs, currently occupying top spot, so it should be a classic old cup encounter.
On the Saturday Hayle make the long trip to the Athletic Ground. The Cornish side are languishing near the regulation zone so once again The R&Bs will have be prepared for a tough battle as Hayle try to put some distance between themselves and the teams below them.
Team: J.Rowlands, J.Dyke, L.Wadham, S.Kiddle, R.Walker, W.Hinchcliffe, L.Phillips, D.Lee, T.Jenkinson, P.Jarman (c), G,Hodgson, B.Gamlin, N.Pitman, C.Batts, A.Davey, J.Hancock, C.Jenkinson, J.Weeks