Well-oiled machine takes Worcester apart in 45-17 victory
PICTURES BY STEVE SMITH
Midlands 1 West
Newbold 45 Worcester 17
Worcester are fancied to do well in this league, and contributed tremendously to this match. They have plenty of skill and pace and are a more than competent side, writes Sean O’Brien.
However, Newbold simply took hold of the game from the kick-off and like a well oiled machine, they took Worcester apart.
The ever-playfull now retired ex-Bold favourite Mark Hyde was on water boy duty, and was on great form, reminding those on the touch line with him just how annoying he was. Great to have him around.
Sitting second in the table is a fine start, behind Old Halesonians - next weeks opponents - on points difference only.
Newbold‘s scrum did enormous damage, and Ben Dawes and Danny Facer in the loose were like a couple of wrecking balls putting Newbold on the front foot early in the game. The backs joined in the fun and looked very sharp. Good to see new Dad Ethan Wookey in full flight on a few occasions and Ed Spencer on his debut making a return to the side. He had a very solid afternoon.
Dan O’Brien scored a penalty to get the scoreboard moving, before Phil Reed, sharp as a knife capitalised on a Worcester error in their 22. Dan O’Brien made it 10-0.
Danny Facer managed to keep pace with a scrum that was advancing at great speed, to secure another pushover try, Dan O’Brien adding the conversion to make it 17-0.
At this stage Worcester hadn’t really managed to get their mitts on the ball at all. When they did though they looked sparky and skillful, with backs that could really shift and handle the ball well.
Newbold won a penalty, kicked to the corner, and Stuey Houghton came up smiling with the ball in his hands by the corner flag.
Worcester responded with a penalty themselves and then a back peel from a line out got them into well earned double figures, and 24-10.
In between all these scores Newbold were putting themselves to work admirably. Shout outs may be unfair given that the whole squad played well, but Nick Walton gets a mention for earning the man of the match award for his ball carrying, big defensive hits and his graft at the breakdown. He was like an angry caveman at times. Also, KJ was KJ. Enough said there.
For the second week running Newbold’s opposition had to go to uncontested scrums, and like last week this stunted ‘Bold’s progress and interrupted the flow of the game as a spectacle. Ben Nuttall came on at half time last week and this, and has only been in one proper scrum.
Ben had great fun running at the Worcester defence to really good effect, and following one such trundle there ensued six or seven phases, the ball moving right and left. Phil Reed picked a pass of his toes and heard Nick Walton bellowing is his ear. Reed delightfully popped the ball into his path, and the big man claimed his first of the season.
Dan O’Brien spotted a gap in Worcester’s defence and scooted through for a nice try (and conversion) of his own.
Then Lee Lightowler went over right in the clubhouse corner for the final try of the game after more good flowing rugby. The conversion summed up Dan’s kicking on the day. It sailed through the uprights, taking his personal tally to 20 points.
The most satisfying aspect of the match from Newbold’s point of view was that they controlled the game so well. Though Worcester came back into it, Newbold dealt with it and regained the upper hand. They scored through the backs and the forwards, and the line out was much better than the previous week. The scrum was a thing of beauty (if you like that sort of thing).
This week it’s away at Old Halesonians then, also relegated last season from the Midlands Premiership, and also 100% for the season. Newbold’s (ex)-Vets (and I) will be there in numbers in support, on the way back from a golfing trip. Could be another fun afternoon, if a bit messy.
Sutton Coldfield 2nd XV 26 Newbold 2nd XV 43
An excellent result for Newbold in the Warwickshire 2nd XV Cup.
A young side travelled over and dealt fancied Sutton a real blow.
Sutton scored first however with a try down the blind side, and they were showing that they could play.
Newbold’s defence was excellent though, particularly the two tearaway flankers Charlie Reed and Finn Williamson. Someone described them after the game as just being horrible to play against. What a lovely compliment.
Newbold played good old fashioned ‘kick to the corners’ rugby, and used their good old fashioned locks Simon Smith and Mickey Pails to get quality line out ball to attack with.
Josh Cooke pulled the strings, Ed Scott found and made space, and the talented Manny Sidhu claimed a beautiful hatrick. Louis Smith also scored in the second half to secure the victory despite Sutton doing plenty of attacking themselves in the period.
The over-riding point about this game was that the players all absolutely loved their run-out under the leadership of Simon Smith and are ready for a tough fixture list ahead.
The only negative for Newbold this weekend was that the 3rd XV never got a game because Old Coventrians 2nd XV pulled out on Friday.
Onwards and upwards then, away with the First XV next week to take on Old Halesonians 2nds.