RUGBY: Pack lay foundations for comfortable win over Leamington
Malvern will provide stern test this weekend
Midlands 2 West South
Leamington 17 Old Laurentians 42
A comfortable win for OLs which would have been by a greater margin had their kicking been more accurate, as only two of the seven tries scored were converted, writes Bill Wallis.
Dominating from the first whistle, OLs went ahead after six minutes when Matt O’Connor decisively finished after a series of phases had Leamington on the back foot.
Leamington got three points back with a penalty before OLs went further ahead after Rafa Cruz on the left wing fielded a cross kick from Jon Bean to set up the position from which Troy Owen crossed for 10-5.
After Ben Varney was just held up after weaving his way through to the line, OLs pack heaved Leamington back over their line from a scrum 10 metres out and Andy Orbinson touched down for a 15-3 lead.
Ben Roach added three points with a penalty before James Orbinson was next to score, scattering would be tacklers as he surged over from 20 metres out, Roach adding the goal points to increase the margin to 25-3.
On a rare foray into OLs territory Leamington got over for a try, converted to leave OLs 25-10 ahead at half time.
Jordan Bunn ran in for OLs next try after Cruz did well to run a Leamington kick back before James Orbinson combined well with Dom Hammond to send Bunn over and lift the score to 30-10.
Ben Anderson intercepted a Leamington pass as they tried to run the ball out under pressure and the lock forward galloped in from 30 metres out, Roach converted and OLs were 37-10 to the good.
Matt O’Connor went over for his second try after a sweetly worked lineout play ten metres out from the line for a 42-10 lead before Leamington, who never gave up on what had become an unequal struggle, took advantage of OLs indiscipline to cross for the game’s final score.
OLs pack laid the foundations for this win with a dominant display, lock Cain Jones and the back row of the Orbinson brothers and O’Connor a constant threat to their opponents in defence and attack; and wing Rafa Cruz, another of the club’s pool of young talent, showed up well in what was his first start for the team.
Next up this Saturday is the visit of Malvern, one of the league’s front runners, who will provide a stern test of OLs recent form.
U16s Warwickshire Cup: Club and school rivalries played out in the final round-robin match of the U16s Warwickshire Cup on Sunday, with Old Laurentians progressing to the quarter-finals with a 16-15 win against Newbold.
Despite having developed from mini rugby, the two sides had never met before and a very close game ensued.
Chris Gillott crashed over to put Newbold ahead but OLs replied with twoScott Price penalties for 6-5.
Max Smith intercepted a pass and ran in from 40 metres to extend the OLs lead to 11-5 at half-time.
Newbold put their big ball carriers to work in a series of pick-and-go drives deep in the OLs’ half. With the scrum-half stranded, quick-thinking Nick Taylor starting a classic draw-and-pass backs move which saw wing Scott Hendry cross the whitewash, 11-10.
A try from Daniel Lunse saw OLs extend their lead to 16-10 after 20 minutes, but Newbold replied with another try from wing Hendry for 16-15.
Newbold desperately tried to find a way to score, but OLs held on in an absorbing game, played in faultless spirit by both sides. The difference was probably OLs’ success at the break-down, particularly in the second half.