Searing Seconds make a winning return
10:00am Thursday 25th October 2012 in Sport
WHITCHURCH 2nds 0pts SULLY SPORTS 2nds 57
AFTER three weekends without a game, Sully Sports Rugby Club Seconds were eager for action in perfect weather and ground conditions.
Setting their stall out right from the start, they scored in the opening minute, with lock Ian Moore finishing off a sweeping inter-passing move originating from deep in their own half.
A minute later and, at the first scrum of the game, the Sports' pack demolished the home eight, driving them off their own put in, and it looked very ominous for Whitchurch prospects. As a result of this initial scrum, one of the home props left the field injured, and on came the player coach at outside-half, with a centre going into the pack, thus resulting in passive scrums. This provided the home team with good possession for the remaining 78 minutes and, as it transpired, the Sports' forwards also dominated the line-outs, rucks and mauls.
With the abundance of ball produced by the pack, Sports' sharper, quicker backs cut the home threequarters to shreds, and the only surprise was that the visitors did not score a lot more points. Many chances went begging, especially in the first period, as players often tried too hard, and opted for the spectacular chip kick rather than simply keeping the ball in hand and using the supporting runner.
It took another 20 minutes for Sports to register their second try when, from a scrum 40 metres out, a blindside move saw winger Scott Williams' pace and sidestep put him in at the posts. Outside-half Mike Saunders added the conversion.
Over the next 10 minutes the Sports had two “tries” disallowed as flanker Harry Moyle was judged to be in front of Saunders when he deftly chipped to the line and then prop Andrew Penberthy was judged to have been given a forward pass; this was all before the pressure yielded a try for scrum-half Mike Mees, who finished off a move in which just about all Sports' players handled at least once.
After the half-time talk, the Sports played a much more basic game, carrying and supporting the ball to release the backs as soon as the home outfit were on the back foot. The Sports' threes were also devastating on the counter, running back any relieving defensive kicks that failed to find touch.
Tries came at regular intervals and, from a scrum on the home 22, the forwards went blind; after two drives, the ball was switched inside where Saunders jinked in for a try, which he also converted.
A few minutes later Whitchurch, on a rare incursion into the Sports' 22, lost possession, and the ball was quickly moved out to full-back Craig Hanley, who outpaced the defence in a 75 metres run to the posts. Saunders added the extras.
Again, another turnover on the Sports' 10-metre line was superbly moved right across the field, and Williams set off on a 40 metres weaving run, and expertly switched the ball to Saunders on the home 22. This gave him an open run to the line for a try and conversion.
The home defence was tiring under the constant Sports pressure and, trying to work the ball out from their own line, they lost it again and a few quick passes saw prop James Jenkins crash over for a try.
As the game drew to a close Whitchurch mounted an attack but, throwing a desperate pass in the Sports 22, Hanley intercepted to sprint unopposed the 70 metres for his second try, converted by Saunders.
Right on time, Hanley fielded a kick deep in his own half and looked certain to score his hat-trick, only to be caught metres out. However, Saunders was on his shoulder to take the offload and get his hat-trick try. Replacement flanker Scott Mills added the conversion to cap the Sports' best display of the season so far but praise must go to the whole side for their great teamwork and their concentrated efforts on using and supporting the ball. Whitchurch also deserve praise for their efforts as they never gave up trying to stop the overwhelming onslaught from a vibrant Sully Sports.
Club Notes: On Saturday, October 27, the 1st XV, after last week’s tremendous league victory at Hartridge, are on the road again, with a tough SWALEC Bowl game at unbeaten Cambrian Welfare. The 2nds are also away to Cardiff High School.
It was good to see so many supporters last Saturday cheering on both sides, and everyone is reminded that there is a “Halloween Nite” at the Sully clubhouse this Saturday.
Best wishes go to coach Grantley Harris, who left the club last week.