TORQUAY ATHLETIC 99 – HAYLE RFC 0
MATCH REPORT – SATURDAY 1st SEPTEMBER 2018
Torquay Athletic started life in the unfamiliar surroundings of Cornwall and Devon League (Level 8) with a resounding home win over their Cornish visitors.
It is true that Hayle were poor. They were not able to win much of their own lineout ball cleanly, were often dominated in the set scrums and were guilty of coughing up possession by simply being stripped of the ball on more than half a dozen occasions. That said they never stopped trying to defend against what was essentially an onslaught from first to last, save in the very latter stages when their inevitably tired legs could keep up no longer.
Conversely Torquay were extremely good – playing simple and effective rugby throughout. During the week backs Player / Coach James Wood had gone on the record in saying that the Team aimed to play a high tempo, attacking form of rugby, using the wide channels where possible.
In front of a healthy crowd, swelled by the Club's Junior Section, such was delivered to the letter with a swift offloading game that was timely and accurate in its execution. Such was made possible by tremendous support play, meaning that Tics' continuity simply meant that very often Hayle ran out of defenders in the appropriate locations.
Many of the fifteen tries came down the flanks, with wingers Jonny Brown and Arron Graham able to stretch their legs and the opposition; but where scores came down the middle of the pitch, such was made possible with unselfish offloading, using a player who always seemed to be in support. Good timing and running lines also caused havoc.
This process never waned. Quite often when a side is 50 – 0 to the good at half time ego's may take over with players busting to get on the score sheet, only to get stopped when holding on too long. Here this was not the case and but for another strangely disallowed try in the second period there would have been perfect symmetry to the performance, with eight tries in each half.
The scores came as follows:
Minute 1: From a scrum on half way after Hayle had kicked the drop out start direct into touch a missed pass found Jonny Brown in space in his wing berth on half way. He made it to literally inches from the try line, but when stopped a quick re-cycle and there was full back Tony McCarthy with a short walk – in.
4th minute: Centre Alex Brown runs a good line up the middle, splitting the defence and allowing fellow centre Jack Barnes in support to dot down under the posts.
11 minutes: From a won lineout forwards and backs combine with swift interplay and lock Isaac Fahey is in under the posts.
14th minute: Hayle again kick the re-start straight out and after Tics' work their way back upfield from the resultant scrum back Jonny Brown scores in the right hand corner for 26 – 0 and a four try bonus point.
This is followed by a period when the concession of three penalties in quick succession by Torquay allows Hayle to advance deep into the home 22', but they cannot win their own five metre attacking lineout and Tics' break out, eventually scoring through newcomer and Captain Jake Bury via a rolling maul in the 28th minute.
Immediately Joel Hempton replaces Jonathan Woodhead in the second row and he is soon involved on the half hour, his pass allowing Alex Brown to streak down the left wing to score from fully 40 metres out for 38 – 0.
37th minute: A textbook try using the narrow side with a pick up by Josh Mackin and two “draw the man and pass” executions putting Jonny Brown in from short range.
40th minute: More accurate interplay between backs and forwards to give scrum half Alex Jeffery a try under the posts. Half time 50 – 0.
Shane Wakeham replaced flanker Lewis Harben shortly after the resumption and in the 43rd minute the alert Jeffery picks up a loose ball down the left and darts through a couple of defenders from half way, before taking out the covering full back with an inside pass to the onrushing Fahey in support.
48 minutes: Jack Barnes scores under the posts following a long weaving run infield by Jonny Brown for 64 – 0. Then James Wood comes on in place of Tony McCarthy.
Next, Tics' counter attack down the right. A restored Woodhead (Fahey has retired) puts Jeffery away and when he is brought down in the shadow of the posts he is able to pop the ball up into the arms of Woodhead, who will not be stopped from short range for the eleventh try.
70th minute: Having had a seemingly good try disallowed after a chase on an excellent grubber kick ahead by Jeffery only a minute earlier Graham brings up the round dozen following a sweeping backs move getting the ball through the hands from right to left.
71th minute: Wood uses his ability to quickly recognise space and exploit the same as he runs through to create open ground on the flank for Graham to score again..
72 minutes: Tics' then run the ball back from inside their own 22' following Hayle's deep re-start kick. Jake Bury breaks a tackle to put the ball in Wood's hands once again and he runs 70 metres to score.
78th minute: Wood sidesteps Hayle's tired defenders to score again under the posts.
Fly Half Mawgan Penrice kept the backline moving well and kicked accurately to succeed with twelve out of fifteen conversion kicks. Final score 99 – 0.
Torquay will no doubt face tougher tests to come but this was a fine start. Next week Honiton (away) provide the first of those tests. Last term the East Devon side secured fourth place in this League and started the new season brightly with 3 – 59 away win at newly promoted Topsham.
15 – Tony McCarthy, 14 – Jonny Brown, 13 – Jack Barnes, 12 – Alex Brown, 11 – Arron Graham, 10 – Mawgan Penrice, 9 – Alex Jeffery
1 – Lloyd Penhalagan, 2 – Carl Turner, 3 – Josh Castleton, 4 – Jon Woodhead, 5 – Isaac Fahey, 6 – Lewis Harben, 7 – Jake Bury (Captain), 8 – Josh Mackin,
Replacements: James Wood, Joel Hempton and Shane Wakeham (all played)
The Extras took a squad to Exeter Athletic's new Ground to play in a three-way friendly with Sidmouth Two's being the other visitors. Two close games for the Second string gave all players a very worthwhile runout, with Exeter beaten 10 – 5 and Sidmouth Two's edging out Torquay by the same score . Meanwhile the Under 18 Colts had no game but start their Merit Table campaign next week (08/09) on the Rec. against Exeter Athletic with a 3.00 pm start.