Seasiders score 'lucky' thirteen tries in awesome performance
By Pete Sloman
A season's best display sees Weston reverse their earlier loss v Newton Abbot.
Full match report by Tony Russell, photos courtesy of Andrew Collins
No one saw this one coming!. Games between the two sides have been traditionally close, with honours about even, and fifth placed NAB had inflicted Westons’ first defeat of the season at their ground in October and according to the press, arrived full of confidence that the double was a realistic goal.
Nothing was farther from the truth as the home side, playing their best rugby seen for many a year, scored thirteen tries in a performance that must have delighted the decent crowd.
The recent bad weather had rendered the main pitch unplayable and the game was moved to the second team pitch on Drove Rd. which was in excellent condition.
Weston took the lead after three minutes with a corner try following good back play and an elusive run from Jones, who could doubtless have scored but instead offloaded to full back Bennett for a gift from a metre out in his 100th. game. Mackay converted into the tricky wind with an excellent kick, the first of his nine successes.
The visitors responded five minutes later. Protracted pressure following a line out on Westons’ five metre line eventually resulted in a score for Mortimore which Avery –Wright was unable to improve upon. The score stayed at 7-5 until the twentieth minute, with no sign of the carnage that was to follow.
NABs’ scrum appeared solid enough and possession was equal although Westons’ forwards and backs were beginning to make inroads, working in tandem with a high speed, close supporting game, keeping the ball alive. Eaton scored followed by a Watkins touchdown in the corner, and his second followed on the stroke of half time for the bonus point try and a 26-5 lead.
The home side wasted no time after the restart. Burge found himself in acres of space after the play had moved from side to side, and the agrophobic hooker sold an outrageous dummy to create a run in for Somers, one of three possible recipients. Bennetts’ scored his second three minutes later following a sublime off load from Watkins to ease Weston out to 38-5. The next 15 minutes brought a hat trick for Jones on the other wing with tries on 50, 55 and 65 minutes, all converted to move the score on to 59-5.
The visitors, to their credit battled on but every time they tried to progress, they ran into an impenetrable defensive wall as Weston seemed to have players all over the park, and when they attacked, there was always a support runner to take the offload and create space.
Eaton scored his second after 69 minutes. Three minutes later visiting scrum half Newman squeezed over for a seven pointer as NAB visited the Weston end, but the home side responded on the restart. The ball was won and in a backs move reminiscent of a French side of the 70’s, Arnold shot over in the right hand corner for arguably the best try of the day in his final game before emigrating….a fitting farewell.
Morrissey joined the try scorers after 75 minutes and Sparks after 78 minutes to complete the Weston scoring.
Newton had the last word with a last minute try as the visitors revisited Weston territory and Newman benefitted from a huge hole that had appeared in the defensive wall….for the first time on the day…something for the coaches to work on ?!!!
No man of the match! No names no pack drill! This had been a total team effort with backs and forwards interacting. The passing along the line was crisp and accurate, the running lines were good, and the forwards set piece was as solid as ever combined with a tremendous work rate in open play. Wouldn’t it be good to see this every week!
Weston team.. Bennett, Watkins, Smee,(Arnold), Edwards, Jones, Mackay, Waldon, Swann, Burge, Hobbs (Donegan), Somers, Russell, Eaton, Morrissey, Sparks (Glen).