Springheeled Jack scores hat trick in impressive Weston display
Seasiders defence of county cup commences in impressive style
Weston fielded a side with a number of players who have regularly been on the fringes of the first team and they repaid the faith and aspirations of the club and coaches with an energetic display of great rugby with the ball being worked to the wide channels as often as possible.
Weston were on the attack from the kick off and worked the ball through three phases before attacking down the left wing. Winger Troy Hannam
got the ball inside to Jack Woodland
in support and his speed and swerving run took him past the remaining defence to score the opening try. Chapman made the conversion.
Weston defended well, turned the ball over and set up another series of attacks and Woodland applied the finishing touch to score his second try. This time the conversion attempt hit the upright.
Attacking again from the kick off Weston ran the ball well and there was a tremendous surging run from loose head prop Ramaz Rukhadze, who was to trouble Petherton with the power of his running throughout the game. This time the ball was worked to the right and after some very skilful passing exchanges Watkins crossed out wide for Weston’s third try. Chapman’s conversion hit the upright again but this time the ball went over and Weston had a comfortable lead at 19-0.
North Petherton finally began to exert some pressure of their own and they had the better of the exchanges in the last ten minutes of the half and in time added on for injury bundled over for a try at the posts which was converted.
Weston’s discipline deserted them in the opening ten minutes of the second half and they gave away several penalties , two of which were converted to bring North Petherton within six points at 19-13, but this was as close as they were to get.
Weston re-established control; and Woodland was on hand to rescue a ball from an untidy line out. He made ground and when tackled laid the ball back neatly. Two phases later he was on hand to take a short pass and drove over scoring as he stretched out for the touch down, thus completing his hat trick. Chapman’s conversion was good and Weston continued to apply pressure form the restart.
Great forward work brought Weston close to the line and another short pass came to Bignell who forced his way over near the posts. Chapman got the extras and Weston had opened up a twenty point lead.
A further out break of indiscipline saw replacement scrum half Bennett sent to the sin bin and Petherton exerted pressure from the penalty. They drove relentlessly at the Weston line but the defence of the home side was superb and they eventually turned the ball over and regained possession. Instead of kicking for touch the Weston backs opted for adventure and a long pass was picked out by North Petherton who had just 10 metres to go to the try line for a consolation interception try. They made the conversion but from there on, despite being down to 14 men the game was all Weston.
An enterprising chip by Chapman to the wing was missed by winger Watkins but the bounce was kind and the ball was collected by Chapman and he scampered through the remains of the defence to score near the posts, converting his own try.
In time added on another sweeping move by Weston’s backs was finished by Caton who scored Weston’s seventh try and Chapman converted to bring his personal tally to 17.
Weston will be pleased to have got through what might have been a very tricky encounter with old rivals North Petherton who played with great determination right up to the end. Weston’s strength in depth has been tested and been found up to the task.
This game was very special for club stalwart Matt Burns
who played in the centre tonight and has played wing and full back. This was his 65th first team appearance and earns him his club badge. The club congratulates him.
Mike Bennett who hails from the same area of New Zealand as head coach Glenn Dickson made a very creditable debut at tight head prop.
Weston return to the league campaign next Saturday with an away fixture to Bristol side Cleve in the South West Premier League.