The opening of the new all weather 2nd team pitch was a typically hard fought local derby played out in beautiful conditions for running rugby with the hosts edging a well earned 16 pts to 13pts victory.
A tight first half saw the visitors youthful and enthusiastic side running hard and fast at Sarries for the majority of the 40 minutes. While having significant chunks of territorial advantage and possession, excellent defense by Sarries kept them at bay with some outstanding first up tackling and excellent counter rucking.
Some excellent competition at the breakdown from the likes of Kel, Al, Longy and in particular Tom Piff, saw Sarries turnover some crucial ball allowing their half backs to relieve the pressure. The evergreen front row of JC, Harry & Sharpey constantly dominated scrum time and a well organized Sarries line out saw them lay an excellent platform to play off but also steal plentiful opposition ball at key times.
The game was level at 3 all going into half time but crucially a good counter attack by Hucclecote saw them score a good converted try for a 10:3 half time lead, the busiest man on the pitch being Sarries make shift physio Greener patching up the multiple injured players reflecting the keenly fought nature of this contest.
The second half saw sarries come out all guns blazing and some excellent leadership and tactical kicking from Darryl & Pross put them in some good area’s of the park to play off the continued solid set piece. Having worked their way into the ‘Cote 22 a solid scrum and break from Coops saw him feed Darryl whose miss pass put young Matt into the corner to get Sarries back into contention.
A further penalty for ‘Cote saw them take a 13:8 lead but with forwards and backs now offering good options to play off Sarries were able hold onto the ball for longer periods of time and it wasn’t long before an excellent drive of multiple phases ended with Rob Long going over for an unconverted try to cap a good personal performance.
With 10 mins to go Clive Piff stroked over a difficult penalty to finally edge Sarries into the lead and resolute defense from the remaining 14 standing Sarries led to a well deserved victory over tough opponents. Having played large parts of the game with a numerical disadvantage due to injury and a number of players out of position the victory was testament to some excellent personal performances and everyone to a man giving 100%.