Powerful Display on the Return to Bradwall Road
After a month on ‘The Road’ and following on from their excellent result away at South Leicester last week, Sandbach returned to Bradwall Road and found the going slightly easier against the other Leicestershire team in National 3 Midlands. ..... Only slightly easier though, as the free scoring Syston team who have scored 4 or more tries on no-less than 11 times this season (compared to Sandbach's 6) never let the home team relax for a moment.
Benny scores the opener
The opening 15 minutes of the game was a very close affair, with Syston spinning the ball across the park and testing the 'Bach defence. Similarly Sandbach were probing the Syston set pieces and cover defence looking for weaknesses and opportunities to exploit. Eventually after 16 minutes, simple rugby made the break for Sandbach; a ruck on the right saw the ball fly left, only for the attack to be reset and the ball come back to the right, where full back and eventual ‘Man of the Match’ Benny Elliot was handed a big overlap and yards of space to sprint in and score in the corner.
After the comparatively quiet opening the game then opened up, as on the very next Syston attack their forwards took control and drove Adam Nunney over for a fine score, converted by 1st XV debutant Billy Goggins.
Almost immediately Sandbach came back with an Elliot penalty goal, followed on the 24th minute by a Sandbach try to Richard Murray, converted by Elliot. ‘Muzza’ is in a rich vein (see what I did there?) of form at the moment: his elusive but very direct running style always seeming to break the gain line.
Muzza's Rich vein of form continues
The remaining 15 minutes of the 1st Half definitely went to Sandbach as their confidence grew and their running game hit its stride. On the 30-minute mark, after a delightful moment of fast improvised passing, veteran fly-half Will Cargill made a clean line-break and ran the 25 metres to score under the posts. Elliot converted Cargill’s try and added a second penalty 3 minutes before the break.
Syston score tries for fun however and almost on the half-time whistle David Torr put the ball down in the corner and young Billy Goggins hit another amazing conversion to close the 1st Half with Sandbach leading 25:14
The first 10 minutes of the second half were, like the first, a bit dour as the teams worked through the basics, but with no real penetration. Once the initial jousts were complete a penalty to Sandbach lead to an easy line-out win for Jack Seddon, who set up a rolling maul that trundled inexorably towards the Syston line. Just when a try looked certain, the maul collapsed….. but the referee immediately awarded a penalty try as the Syston 7 was adjudged to have deliberately collapsed the maul. Elliot took the extra points.
Sandbach followed this with another try from a set piece; this time a scrum to Sandbach trundled steadily over the line allowing Jack Seddon to retain control and drop on the ball as it crossed the line.
Syston still refused to lie-down though and they came back with a well-constructed attack that gave them a three man, mismatched overlap in the corner. A clever chip through gave Adam Nunney a simple touch down and allowed Goggins to pick up his 3rd conversion.
Ross Sutherland get collared by Syston MoM; Adam Nunney
At this point a hint of nervousness came into the Sandbach game as they became impatient for another score. A series of unforced errors and turnovers thwarted a number of try scoring opportunities for the home team. This profligacy (n.b. Ross Sutherland) is something that is best eradicated from the Sandbach game, sooner rather than later.
This poor spell came to an end as Joe Lorimer scored Syston’s 4th and bonus point try as just reward for some well executed ‘Pick and Drive’ phases.
In the final 10 minutes, Sandbach regained their senses and put together a series of attacks resulting in a perfectly executed catch and drive from a line-out that allowed Matt Beesley to score and demonstrate his new ‘Foetal Position’ try celebration.
Bees demonstrates his new celebration
The final Sandbach try came from Sandbach Player/Coach Simon Verbickas as he picked a clever line, reminiscent of his glorious past, to take a pop pass from Cargill and score under the posts. Elliott scored the extra two points and took his personal tally for the game to 19 points.
Next week Sandbach take their longest trip of the season as they travel down to Bedfordshire to face 2nd Place Ampthill, in what promises to be a tough encounter. Meanwhile at Bradwall Road Sandbach 2nd Team continue their challenge for the league title as they face Broughton Park 2s in First Division of the North West Intermediate League.