RUGBY: Wrong tactics prove costly in game Newbold know they should have won

Lloyd Warner making a break
Lloyd Warner making a break

Pictures from Saturday’s game against Sandbach at Parkfield Road

PICTURES BY STEVE SMITH

Ben Thompson winning a lineout

Ben Thompson winning a lineout

Midlands Premier

Newbold RFC 20 Sandbach 36

Newbold looked at this game, aiming to gain some of the potential spoils. With home advantage and a fair crowd of followers, the stage was set, writes Paul Bale.

However a blustering wind against, in the first half, dictated the home side would always be on the back foot.

Ben Nuttall with Stuart Houghton

Ben Nuttall with Stuart Houghton

They kicked off and forced immediate pressure on the visitors. A forced box kick was superbly caught by Declan George, Danny Facer took the ball at speed and Ben Nuttall and Ben Dawes continued forward. Dawes drew his man before releasing to KJ Henry who evaded the remaining defence to touch down.

Newbold’s normal superiority in the scrums was met with an equal resistance, nullifying the usual advantage, however coming away with the ball, only to be penalised for not releasing in the tackle. A long-wind assisted kick deep into the home side’s 22, was well gathered and passed inside, the tackle released the ball to the opposition and their winger, secured the score, 5-5.

The visitors continued to use the wind well. A high up and under left the home side in disarray as the ball bounced between them. The kicker retrieved his own kick and carried on for 5 - 12.

A missed tackle then allowed the visitors’ fullback to cut back in and score under the posts, the extras added for 5-19.

Dan Facer on his way to a try

Dan Facer on his way to a try

Newbold won the race to their kick off, securing the ball and making good ground with both forwards and backs involved, resulting in a penalty in front of the posts which Ethan Wookey comfortably dispatched, 8 - 19.

The visitors kicked off, Newbold secured the ball well, however a dropped ball, a hack through from Sandbach and a race for the line produced a well taken opportunist try for Sam Winstanley also converted on the stroke of half time. 8 - 26

Sandbach’s centre made good ground to halfway, but the proceeding scrum allowed Lloyd Warner to make good ground. Facer in support, took the pass and ran the 40 plus yards to make the score, wide 13 - 26.

Venturing into Newbold territory for the first time of the second half, Sandbach won a penalty and converted for 13 - 29.

A lineout on the visitors’ 22, well won by Ben Thompson, was shipped out to the threes as far as Warner, who shot forward, a cheeky dummy and a sprint to the line to touch down, Wookey adding the conversion, 20 - 29.

Newbold back in the game, needed only to go through the phases, keeping possession and kicking for territory, however it was Sandbach who took control, denying themselves kickable penalties, opting for the scrums. A five-yard scrum, from the home side’s line was vigorously defended, repeatedly until their replacement flanker finally squeezed over for a converted try, 20 - 36.

Credit to Newbold, their heads stayed high, attacking back into the opponents’ 22, for the last play of the game, forcing a knock on five yards from the line.

Newbold produced the ball at the rear, however instead of trundling the ball through the forwards, the decision to go wide led to a dropped pass, denying Newbold a score. Final Score 20-36.

Sandbach go away knowing they played the elements correctly, Newbold know that this was a game to be won but the wrong tactics and decisions cost them dearly.

Saturday Newbold travel to high flying table toppers Birmingham Solihull at Porthway, This team are well capable of beating any side in the league and this could be a good time on Saturday to realise it.