RUGBY: Midlands Under 18s call-up for Dan Price
Old Laurentians lack ideas as Southam notch up season's first win
Midlands 2 West South
Southam 14 - Old Laurentians 12
Report by Bill Wallis
Before this match, Southam had lost every single one in the league so far, 13 in total. They deservedly ended this sequence against an OL’s side who seemed to be bereft of ideas to counter committed, resilient opponents.
It started well enough for OLs when after just 4 minutes, Jordan Bunn intercepted a Southam pass and sprinted 60 metres to score, Jon Bean converting for 7-0. OL’s supporters sat back in their seats in Southam’s fine new grandstand expecting more of the same, but a further 70 minutes passed before the next score as the game degenerated into a prolonged midfield skirmish with defences on top and little by way of constructive attacking play.
OLs huffed and puffed their way through amidst a litany of dropped passes, charged down kicks and passes straight into touch. The Southam pack was growing in confidence and they began to impose their will on the OL’s pack, progressively getting on top in the tight.
Half time came and went with no further score and the game was drawing to a close when the Southam forwards penetrated deep into OL’s territory and after several drives for the line were held they released their backs, who took advantage of an overlap to go over wide on the left, the conversion was kicked and the scores were tied at 7-7.
OLs went straight back on the attack and for probably the first time in the game put together a consistent passage of attacking play that finished with Troy Owen crossing. The straightforward conversion attempt was missed but OLs were 12-7 ahead as the game moved into added time at the end.
Just needing to hold on to the ball as the clock ran down, OLs lost possession after the re-start, Southam attacked their line and their pack muscled over for a try to level the scores. The conversion went over, the final whistle sounded and Southam’s team celebrated like they had just won the league, having pulled off a thoroughly well-deserved win.
Missing from OL’s line-up was one of their top performers of the season so far, Dan Price, who was involved in Midlands trials over the weekend which ended with him winning a place in the Midlands Under 18 squad. A fine achievement for a gifted player who has been with OLs since he started in the Under 7 team, 12 years ago. With several Midlands games scheduled over the next month, it means that OLs will be without his services for some weeks, a setback for the run-in to the end of the season but one the club is pleased to bear.