RUGBY SLIDESHOW: Newbold v Derby

Pictures from Parkfield Road on Saturday

Pictures by Mike Baker

Newbold against Derby on Saturday, with KJ Henry, Nick Walton and Ben Nuttall in  action

Newbold against Derby on Saturday, with KJ Henry, Nick Walton and Ben Nuttall in action

Midlands Premier

Newbold 19 Derby 36

Old foes Derby came to Newbold on the back of some fluent scoring in their last couple of matches. This match was an excellent encounter.

From the 2.15 kick-off they showed why they been rattling up the big totals. By 2.30 they were three tries ahead. Newbold didn’t lay down for these scores, each had some quality, and this makes things a little less painful. Derby were good. The first try was an excellent backs move, the second followed a five metre scrum, and the third a back peel move from a 22 metre lineout. Good stuff to be honest, Newbold were chasing shadows, and never tackled them either. The No.8 was involved in all of the first three tries and was a bit of a pain all afternoon, bagging himself four tries in total. That said, he should have been felled earlier than he was on numerous occasions.

Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

Derby notched another try before Newbold managed a spell in opposition territory, with the forwards and backs putting some rugby together before half time.

Early injuries to Kyle Furlong, who’s finding his feet at this level now, and hooker Stuey Houghton hurt ‘Bold badly. These are key positions. The lineout continues to be a problem, this week against a Derby pack that had no real giraffes of note themselves. If we could secure the ball at 5 metre attacking lineouts reliably, we’d certainly get some rewards from catch and drive tactics, and this would give us the confidence badly needed to get further on the front foot.

No more talk about Derby now, the second half was Newbold’s, 19-12. The lads responded magnificently. After first conceding, Newbold basically took over for half an hour. Newbold piled into Derby and put pressure on that made them infringe and lose two men to the sin bin. Phil Reed had a ten minute rest also.

Seven or eight phases of play resulted in Ben Nuttall scoring to the right of the posts, enabling a simple enough conversion from Dan O’Brien.

Ben Nuttall gets a pass away, with Ben Thompson

Ben Nuttall gets a pass away, with Ben Thompson

This next spell was about Newbold restoring some pride and playing how we know they can. The team were really organised, the forwards ran straight, and the backs moved the ball wide nicely when the opportunity came. Dan O’Brien kicked well from hand, and the team generally are using the boot more and to good effect, rather than relentlessly charging up the middle of the park against some really solid defences. This tactic works well, but variety is required if we are to avoid becoming predictable – and exhausted. The best sides in this league all kick well and sensibly, Derby included.

Next was an excellent scrum from Newbold’s big pack, and Derby were pretty much running backwards when the ref awarded a penalty try for an infringement. 14-36.

Danny Facer barrelled over good work by the forwards, and Newbold hurriedly tried to get a four try bonus point before running out of time. Final score then, 19-36.

I’m not sure what the coaches said at half time but it really worked, and next week they’ll hopefully use the same lines before kick-off.

Wonderful Rugby Welsh and Newbold Old Boys Dave Morgan and Adrian Johnson offered support and dubious opinion throughout the afternoon, for which I thanked them, but chose to ignore.

Next week it’s Doncaster Pheonix away, and a five o’clock (yes five o’clock) kick-off.

For now it’s about concentrating on the performance, and this – in spells – is getting there. More players are returning from injury, and Newbold WILL put it all together some time soon, and get some elusive league points. It does need to be soon though.