RUGBY: Old Laurentians hosting Oakham and hoping for quick return to winning ways
League leaders Oadby just too strong in last week's defeat
Midlands 2 East (South)
Oadby Wyggestonians 34 Old Laurentians 12
OLs travelled to Oadby on Saturday hoping to repeat the home win against the same opponents last September, the only reverse suffered so far this season by the league leaders, writes Bill Wallis.
OLs had no less than seven changes, positional and personnel, from that earlier win and came up against an OW’s side in fine form.
Their win was based on a powerful pack, who threatened OL’s line every time they came within striking distance and who made life uncomfortable for their opposite numbers in the set scrums, a situation made worse when OLs lost experienced prop Olly Cowley to injury inside the first ten minutes.
OLs started on the front foot but OWs struck first with a penalty after 12 minutes on their first foray into OL’s half. But OLs hit back to take the lead with a try by Chris le Poidevin, who supported a sniping break by scrum half Sam White to go over for a 5-3 lead.
OW’s forwards set up the next score, first driving a set scrum then taking it on towards the line and getting over in the corner, a touchline conversion putting them back in the lead at 10-5.
When an attempted OL’s clearance kick was charged down close to their own line, the home pack then set up another try, again converted with a fine kick from wide out and OWs were 17-5 ahead, the score staying that way until half time.
Eight minutes into the second half, OLs fought their way back into contention, the pack taking on the home eight from a lineout close to their line and driving over for Charlie Seager to get the touch down, White converting to reduce the deficit to 12-17.
OLs were well in the game at this stage, pressure in OW’s half forcing several penalties and close in lineouts, but the home pack defended well to keep OLs at bay.
From one attacking lineout, OLs failed to secure the ball and were driven back towards half way before OWs released their backs to cross in the distant corner to lift their lead to 22-12.
OLs had defended well up to this point but they crumbled twice in the last five minutes and OWs crossed for 2 late tries, one stemming directly from a dropped pass as OLs attacked, to secure their bonus point and the win.
These late scores did give the score a slightly lopsided look that was harsh on OLs, but they had been beaten by the better team on the day.
They now have to lift themselves to face the challenge of Oakham, who visit Fenley Field on Saturday, OLs having won the earlier fixture at Oakham’s ground.
The squad should be reinforced by players returning from injury and extended holiday breaks and will be optimistic of returning to winning ways.
OL’s 2nd XV were denied a run out after Rugby Lions pulled out of their scheduled Warwickshire League game. They would have profited from a run out before facing tough opponents away at Kenilworth this weekend.