MATCH REPORT – SATURDAY 15 th SEPTEMBER 2018
TORQUAY ATHLETIC 43 BUDE RFC 13
Torquay Athletic won this third round of League fixtures quite comfortably in the end, scoring seven tries in the process. Their North Cornwall visitors had started the game in third place in the Table, following two wins, but this result now takes Tics' above Bude. Pace setters Honiton, who gave notice of their qualities in an impressive home win against Torquay the previous week did not have a game.
On a dry, warm and sunny afternoon Torquay were without Player / forwards Coach Lewis Harben, who sustained a mid week training ground ankle injury. However Bertie Turner returned at hooker and his solid lineout delivery provided a good platform from which Tics' would build a number of their scores. At loose head prop Liam Murray replaced the injured Lloyd Penhalagan.
Tics' just about shaded the first half in terms of possession and territory and led at the interval by 22 – 8. Bude were always competitive and enjoyed quite long spells of ball in the second half. However the difference between the sides was that Torquay always looked inventive and dangerous when playing with decent ball and when their players put real pace on the match Bude were unable to cope.
Indeed such happened within 3 minutes of the start when from a won lineout the forwards drove up the middle to set up a situation where the backs took over, moving the ball swiftly through three pairs of hands for left wing Arron Graham to score in the corner for 5 – 0.
However Bude replied almost immediately; securing possession from a spilt re-start kick and retaining the ball inside Torquay's 10 metre line before No. 8 Angus Hodges took the ball from the back of a ruck and picked his way through several would be tacklers to score 15 metres in from the right touchline – a soft try from Tics' point of view, so it was 5 point each in the seventh minute.
This stung Torquay into action and after Honiton conceded a penalty when defending a move started by Graham and Alex Jeffery the ball was sent safely to touch for a 5 metre attacking lineout. Torquay forwards' first drive went to ground a few metres short, but an alert Jon Woodhead picked up and bundled through for a 10 – 5 lead. Then a limping Issac Fahey was replaced at lock by Tom Whitford.
When Torquay were penalised for a high tackle full back and Captain Olly Denford reduced the arrears to 10 – 8 with a successful penalty kick in the fifteenth minute.
Two more attacking lineouts followed for Torquay as a pre-cursor to a scintillating and crowd pleasing try down the left. From a slick catch and delivery the ball was spun along the back line. A timely incursion by full back Tom Drake created space for Graham to have another dart and as he approached his opposite number he used perfect timing for an inside pass to Drake. The No. 15 used his cricketing skills to catch a ball that required him to be at full stretch, but when the ball stuck in his hands he had a clear path to the try line. A Mawgan Penrice conversion made it 17 – 8 on the half hour.
Bude then had their own opportunity to threaten the home side's try line with an attacking 5 metre lineout , but could not match the hosts' accuracy and an overthrow followed by a knock on eventually allowed Torquay to clear upfield.
A fourth bonus point try came just before the break.: Attacking from the half way line the forwards looked after the ball before No. 8 and Captain Jake Bury ran down the wider right channel and using right wing Jonny Brown on the touchline as a decoy he produced a cute show and go to split the defence with a straight run to the line from 35 metres out for 22 – 8.
From the re-start another couple of penetrating breakouts by Tics', showing excellent support to the man in possession, provided further excitement before the half time whistle sounded.
Five minutes into the second period Bude took ma quick tap penalty deep into the red zone and managed to stay on their feet in a drive which created a forwards try. 22 – 13.
Torquay were now in something of a lull and conceded three penalties in quick succession; meaning that they lost some momentum. Nonetheless their defence was now tighter and no damage was done to the scoreboard.; When the home side managed a further score in the 52nd minute it was the first time in the second period that they had actually entered the Bude half of the field with the ball in hand. However this again showed how Tics' were the better equipped side to convert opportunities into points.
Bude were penalised on half way. Jeffery took a quick tap penalty in centre field, made ground and fed James Wood, who benefited from Bude being caught on the hop. Although having Jonny Brown up in support Wood was able to exploit the lack of cover on his own to score, after picking a way to the try line. Penrice's converted for 29 – 13.
In the 57th minute Alex Brown made way for Alex Stafford as, with the result now seemingly secure, game time was given to the bench.
Torquay's sixth try came as the match entered its final quarter. Again it was from an attacking 5 metre lineout down the left. A secure catch by Whitfod set the platform and although the Bude pack tried to force the rolling maul into touch Bury peeled infield off the back to dot down. Penrice again converted for 36 – 13 and Josh Mackin made way for Ryan Dunn.
With eleven minutes remaining Graham was shown yellow for a late tackle, but Bude were not able to take advantage of the extra man. Instead they came undone a minute from full time, when they were trying to play catch up rugby and spread the ball from right to left. A lurking Wood showed appropriate anticipation and easily picked off an interception, allowing him to canter home form his own 10 metre line to score under the posts. The Penrice conversion making it 43 -13 was the last action of the game, which had been efficiently officiated by Newton Abbot whistleman Alistair Clark. His unfussy approach and clear demonstration of decisions suggest that he is bound for appointments at a higher level.
Tics' man of the match was nominated as Bertie Turner.
Next week sees a visit to Liskeard and Looe, who have a record thus far of one win, a draw and one defeat. They represent an unknown quantity. Supporters are welcome on a coach which will leave the Rec. at 12 noon sharp.
The Extras played a friendly versus Merit Table 1 opponents Brixham Crusaders (Second string) ahead of next weeks' Merit Table 2 SW home fixture at the Rec. against Plympton Victoria, kick off 3.00 pm. The result was a 59 – 0 win for the Fishermen.
The Colts had no game but will be in action next week at Torre Valley North, when Exeter Saracens will be the visitors for a Merit Table fixture – KO 3.00 pm.
15 – Tom Drake, 14 – Jonny Brown, 13 – James Wood, 12 – Alex Brown, 11 – Arron Graham, 10 – Mawgan Penrice, 9 – Alex Jeffery,
1 – Liam Murray, 2 – Bertie Turner, 3 – Josh Castleton, 4 – Jon Woodhead, 5 – Isaac Fahey, 6 – Shane Wakeham, 7 – Jake Bury (Captain), 8 – Josh Mackin.
Replacements: Alex Stafford, Tom Whitford and Ryan Dunn (all played).