Big league win and 2nds through in Cup
Midlands 2 West (South)
Old Laurentians 81 – Upton on Severn 0
OLs fell short of their record score in league action, posted in January 2010 when they scored 93 points against Old Coventrians, and on this occasion Upton were unfortunate to find a near full strength OLs team in rampant mood as they ran in thirteen tries to demolish courageous but outclassed opponents. But Upton stuck to their task gamely and never stopped tackling right up to the final whistle in an attempt to stem the flow.
Their problem was that every time they took out a green shirted player there was another on his shoulder, OLs support and offloading play proving irresistible. This momentum was maintained for the whole game, 45 of the final points total coming in the second half.
The first points were on the board after just two minutes when Glenn Todd finished off a strong drive from a lineout with the touch down; and with less than ten minutes gone, Iain Wallis had sent Danny Murch and Ben Wiles over for tries with props Chris le Poidevin and Ollie Cowley prominent in both.
Wiles then came into the line to send Troy Owen over after a sixty metre touch finder by Bean had set up the position; and when Murch finished off a series of sweeping attacks with his second try, OLs were 31-0 ahead with less than thirty minutes played. Wallis brought the first half to a close with a try, cashing in on fine approach work by Owen, and OLs were comfortably in command at 36-0.
OLs were on top in all elements of the forward battle, led by a storming performance by the back row of Adams, Orbinson and Todd who drove through the Upton defence and turned over possession constantly. After one turnover, quick hands along the line gave Lee Hersey a yard of space which he accepted with relish to power along the touchline and beat several defenders before touching down for a fine try,
Down to seven men after a yellow card for Adams, OLs pack won a scrum against the head and moved the ball quickly to Simon Bayliss, who had just joined the action from the bench, and he finished the move with a try wide out.
Upton tried for a consolation score when their skipper O’Neil had a pot at goal from a penalty but his kick fell just short. OLs ran the ball from under their own posts and after several phases of play Bayliss went over under Upton’s posts to bring up the 50 points.
Four more tries came in the last ten minutes, the first to Hersey before Bayliss added two more, the first capitalising on a beautifully flighted kick by James Collins, for a four try haul in just forty minutes of action; and Dom Hammond was up to touch down the final try after a series of drives had taken play sixty metres up field to the visitors’ line.
Jon Bean chipped in to the final score with eight conversions, two further attempts bouncing back off the posts. As well as Simon Bayliss making a major contribution from the bench, the same was true of Ben Nuttall and Cain Jones, the latter coming on to play in the second row for his 1st XV debut and further enhancing a growing reputation with a fine all round display.
A sterner task awaits OLs this Saturday when they travel to take on mid-table Bedworth, kick off 2.15pm. The following Saturday they will welcome Huntingdon & District to Fenley Field in the quarter final of the Midlands Intermediate Cup.
Warwickshire 2nds Cup
Rugby St Andrews 2nds 10 - Old Laurentians 2nds 20
Old Laurentians 2nd team progressed through to the semi-final of the Warwickshire Cup with a hard fought victory against their local rivals. St Andrews looked up for causing an upset and competed hard from the outset.
The away side looked at sixes and sevens, being very slow to react, particularly to kicks over the top. Good pressure from the Andrews, and weak defence, saw them score a converted try.
The experienced OL’s pack started to take control however and it was from a set piece catch and drive that the first OL’s score came. A penalty was kicked to the corner, Reeve found Gleghorn in the line-out and Andrews had no answer to the drive for the line. Veteran Pike controlled the ball at the back of the maul to touch down. O’Brien adding the conversion.
A dire first half continued with neither side able to string together many phases of play. Penalty attempts were exchanged with the Andrews kicker successful to give them a 10-7 half-time lead.
The second half saw a much improved performance from Laurentians, but any chance of a flowing game was scuppered as OL’s incurred the wrath of the referee. This seemed to galvanise OL’s, who attacked with greater speed and precision than at any point in the game. A penalty was won, converted by O’Brien to level the scores. This was quickly followed up by an O’Brien drop goal to give OLs the lead before he completed a full house, spotting a huge gap in the Andrews defence to stroll over for a try, again converted by himself. This gave Laurentians a 20-10 lead, that the home team never threatened.
The second team continued their unbeaten start to the season and achieved the objective of progressing to the next round, but an improvement will be needed for them to reach the final.
PICTURES BY RAY TODD