Braving a virtual monsoon unbeaten Matson visited the Athletic field on Saturday, looking to take a step closer to wining the league and ensuring promotion next year.
Wellington played with a strong wind at their backs in the first half, in torrential rain which made trying to play meaningful rugby near impossible. Matson held the early field position but Wellington were able to use the wind to relieve the pressure.
An early injury to scrum half Ben Price saw Tim Jenkinson come off the bench for his first match since the start of the season. After twenty minutes a nice move off a scrum saw the Matson left wing take a short line off his stand off to cruise in under the posts. The easy conversion made in seven nil to the visitors.
As the game wore on and puddles started appearing on the pitch, Wellington came more and more into it and maintained good field position for long periods. Jack Woodland playing in the unfamiliar inside centre slot tackled everything that came near him, and Liam Phillips once again put his body on the line foraging on the floor. On the stroke of half time Neville Pitman hit the line at pace five metres out, and despite nearly losing the ball in the slippery conditions was able to hang on and barge his way over the line.
The second half saw the rain ease off but conditions were still very difficult which meant there were lots of errors all over the pitch. Both sides had opportunities to score, but it wasn’t until 15 minutes before the end that Matson managed to maul there way over the line. With the conversion missed Wellington were still in losing bonus point territory. This was cruelly snatched away with two minutes to go when the league leaders managed to score a push-over try.
On the day Matson deserved to win but Wellington were certainly worth a losing bonus point.Next week sees the visit of Old Bristolians. Wellington will be looking to avenge a narrow defeat at their ground earlier in the season.