Rugby Welsh: 28 – Shottery: 10
Welsh began the new season with this hard fought victory against a well organised Shottery outfit. The match was played in conditions more favourable to sunbathing than Rugby but both sides attempted to play an open running game which led to an entertaining spectacle.
Shottery generally dominated the opening exchanges as Welsh struggled to gain any worthwhile possession. The home side opened the scoring with an early penalty which seemed to inspire the Welsh to raise their game. They were inpressive debut performances from Carl Roderich, Dafydd Passe and Simon Ellis. Shawn Chambers performed well at the front of the lineout and the pacy Welsh backs always looked dangerous. They took the lead when Steve Stanton raced down the wing and selfishly passed inside for James Buckland to score the opening try of the season which he converted.
Welsh had further opportunities to increase their lead but solid Shottery defence kept them at bay. The home side then took the lead with the last move of the first half with their useful flyhalf creating the opportunity for a well taken converted try.
The second half saw Shottery gain in confidence and Welsh spent the first few minutes defending their line. They kept the opposition out and in many ways this proved the turning point of the game. The forwards began to impose themselves more with Neil Hussey at the centre of many of the moves. They retook the lead with a typical long range try from Steve Stanton who skillfully regathered his kick ahead to score under the posts which Buckland converted. Shortly afterwards the impressive Richard Allen increased the lead following further Welsh pressure which Buckland again converted.
Shottery never gave up trying but Welsh finished the stronger and whilst Matt Gray had a try disallowed the match was sealed by guest Fraser Caithness who rounded off a well worked back move which Buckland converted from the touchline.
This weekend Welsh return to Warwickshire 2 after a break of 5 years and are looking forward to their tough opening fixture against Pinley with enthusiasm .
Rugby Welsh: 5 – Pinley (L): 31
Welsh lost their opening league match of the season but this performance gave the team plenty of encouragement for the fixtures ahead. Welsh knew that they would be in for a tough battle against one of the promotion favourites and the early stages looked ominous as Pinley used their large pack to pressurise the Bilton side.
However Welsh refused to be intimidated and defended excellently in the first quarter with their pack competing well, particularly in the set scrummage. Gradually Welsh began to put their own game together and surprised Pinley with the standard of their play. The Welsh forwards began to win more possession with the front five all impressing and as ever their backs looked dangerous when they received the ball.
Welsh took the lead on the half hour mark when Richard Allen cut through the home defence with a lovely break and whilst he was tackled just short of the line Steve Evans was on hand to drive over from short range for an unconverted try.
Welsh held on to their lead until half time and had clearly shocked the home team with the quality of their game. Pinley raised their game in the second half and began to use the elements to their advantage with good tactical kicking from their fly half. Welsh had clearly put a lot of effort into their first half performance and their lack of match practice began to show as Pinley dominated the rest of the game. They took the lead with their livewire scrumhalf crossing for 2 tries and whilst Welsh battled gamely the match went away from them in the last quarter with Pinley scoring a couple more tries through their large pack.
Whilst Welsh were disappointed by the result they can continue to look on the rest of the season with confidence as the performance showed that they will not be out of their depth in this league.
Rugby Welsh: 48 – Burbage: 17
Welsh returned to winning ways with a solid performance against a plucky Burbage side in front of a good sizes Alwyn Road crowd. Welsh were keen to put last weeks defeat behind them and immediately put pressure on the opposition defence with Steve Evans impressing in the back row.
Welsh soon took the lead when Richard Allen scored his first try of the afternoon capitalising on a mistake by the opposition full back to score an unconverted try. Shortly afterwards he as involved in a move which gave Steve Stanton the opportunity to show his pace and he scored a fine try under the posts which Buckland converted. When livewire Chris Woolmore quickly scored two tries, again following excellent three quarter play the signs looked ominous for Burbage.
However the Leicester side regrouped and their forwards began to cause Welsh problems particularly at the lineout. Welsh knew about the threat their centre posed having played against him for several seasons. He helped to put Burbage back in the game creating an unconverted try for their winger. Welsh responded immediately to the delight of the home crowd with Richard Allen scoring a well taken try shortly before half time which Buckland converted.
The second half saw Welsh immediately extend their lead when good work by replacement Roly Robinson helped to create a try for Gibson . Burbage refused to buckle and pressurised the home defence but a stray pass saw Stanton run the length of the pitch for a try which Buckland converted. Burbage deservedly scored a try through their centre shortly afterwards as they continued to dominate the lineout in particular.
However they could not cope with the speed of the Welsh backs and a kick and chase saw Allen use his footballing skills to good effect to complete his hattrick. Whilst Burbage completed the scoring with a converted try in injury time this match provided a good confidence booster for the Welsh as they look forward to their important league games.
Rugby Welsh: 3 – Warwickians (L): 42
Welsh came unstuck against a well- drilled Warwickian outfit at Alwyn Road. Welsh had to make enforced changes due to injuries unavailabilities and this meant some players were in unaccustomed positions which the opposition were able to take advantage of.
The first quarter saw Welsh on the defensive but they kept the opposition at bay with some strong tackling. Jim Gurling had an excellent game at flanker and looks a good prospect for the future. Welsh restricted Warwickian to a penalty after 20 minutes and with the backs looking dangerous the team began to gain confidence. However these hopes were quickly dashed when Warwickian capitalised on some weak tackling to score two quick converted tries. Whilst James Buckland reduced the gap with a well struck penalty another try and penalty from the opposition gave Welsh a stiff second half task.
They began well, breaking through the opposition defence on several occasions only for the final pass to go astray. Warwickian eventually capitialised on one of the errors and they broke away for another converted try. Welsh continued to battle hard and the final score does not give justice to their efforts. Warwickian sealed their victory with two late tries and will surely be strong contenders for promotion.
Rugby Welsh: 3 – Stoke Old Boys (L): 37
Welsh knew from the outset they would face a tough challenge against this traditionally strong Coventry side. Stoke proved to be the best team that Welsh have so far played in the league, being a well drilled outfit, but Welsh put up stubborn resistance throughout , showing much improvement from the previous league game.
Welsh seemed keen to put last weeks’ lack luster performance behind them and took the game to Stoke in the opening five minutes with the forwards producing good ball for the backs. Stoke were forced to give a penalty away near the posts which James Buckland coolly slotted over to give the Welsh an early lead.
This stung Stoke into an immediate response and their pack gradually began to take control of the game. They met with fierce Welsh defensive resistance although eventually their powerfully built fly half crashed over for a converted try. Stoke had the advantage of the elements in the first half and continued to dominate proceedings but were often unable to break down the Welsh defence with Steve Evans and Vince Ogg always at the heart of things.
Welsh have struggled for possession this year and the gamble of playing winger Steve Stanton in the lineout proved an inspired move as he adapted well to his unaccustomed position. Welsh resistance was finally undone towards the end of the half with Stoke kicking two penalties and their inspirational no8 scoring a try.
The second half saw Welsh have few opportunities to use their pacy backs as Stoke dominated possession. Richard Allen intercepted a pass inside his own 22and only a last ditch tackle prevented him from creating a Welsh score. Stoke continued to attack Welsh but the Bilton side refused to let their heads drop. Stoke scored three converted second half tries as their obvious training together proved a constant problem for the Welsh.
Welsh will be hoping to gain their first league victory on Saturday against Coventrians at Alwyn Road. The match is Vice Presidents Day and everyone is invited to cheer the team on and enjoy the after match festivites at The George Pub afterwards.
Rugby Welsh: 56 – Coventrians (L): 5
Welsh gained their first league victory with an excellent team performance in front of the Vice Presidents at Alwyn Road. Welsh prepared well for this key fixture and they thoroughly deserved their success.
Welsh knew that Coventrians would be strong up front but the forwards were able to gain plenty of possession for the backs to work with. The welcome return from a long injury of Roger Robinson helped to bolster the pack and he was able to secure key lineout possession.
Welsh resisted early Coventrians pressure and took the lead when Richard Allen who was to enjoy a remarkable afternoon gathered a kick ahead and scored an unconverted try. Shortly afterwards following further Welsh pressure he kicked a penalty. Coventrians responded well but Welsh tackilng was superb with back row men Gibson and Gurling always pressurising their backs into errors.
Welsh scored two quick tries both scored again by Allen . Both followed good initial work by the forwards with fellow backs Woolmore and Buckland creating the opportunity for Allen to show his pace and on occassions his footballing skills to score tries. He manages to convert one to give the Welsh a 20 point half time lead.
The second half saw Allen immediately kick a penalty and the game was effectively sealed when Luke Childs scored a try in the corner. Welsh were now in rampant form as Coventrians struggled to cope with the Welsh backs with Matt Gray counter attacking well at full back. Jamie Cranham capped a fine personal performance with a try and Dafydd Passe scored a try in the corner whilst Coventrians deserved their consolation try. Iit was left to Allen to complete victory with two further tries and a conversion to complete an individual tally of 41 points.
This victory will give Welsh confidence in competing in this league and will hope for further success in the Clonwell cup match at Southam on Sunday.
Rugby Welsh: 10 – Southam II (Cup): 0
Welsh reached the semi final of the Clonwell Cup for the first time in many years with this hard fought victory against a well organised Southam side.
On a cold afternoon , in front of a good sized crowd Welsh had to withstand early pressure as Southam used their well drilled pack in an attempt to dominate the match. However the Welsh defence is an aspect of their game which has greatly improved over the past 12 months and it was again to prove an outstanding feature of their performance. Despite consistant pressure Southam could not break through the Welsh defence with the whole team tacking magnificently.
Welsh had little chance to use their pacy backs in the first quarter but gradually the forwards began to win more possession. Neil Hussey and R. Gibson worked tirelessly throughout and Welsh began to pressurise the home defence. Midway through the half a slick threequarter move saw Steve Stanton given some space on the half way line. He still has a lot to do, but he showed terrific pace and skill to score a try under the posts which Richard Allen converted.
Welsh held on to their lead until halftime but again had to face intense Southam pressure in the second half. Southam had the elements in their favour but again were unable to turn pressure into points. Welsh defended superbly and had chances to increase their lead with Andy Sallisbury being brought down inches short of the try line. Allen eventually gave Welsh some breathing space with a well struck penalty with ten minutes left.
Southam never gave up trying but Welsh held on to their lead to clinch another important victory. This week they travel to league leaders Claverdon hoping to build on their recent league and cup successess.
Rugby Welsh: 5 – Claverdon (L): 31
Welsh put up a plucky performance against top of the table Claverdon, who still remain undefeated after this victory.
The match was played in constant rain and the playing conditions were atrocious with the pitch virtually unplayable by the end. Claverdon, playing in front of a large crowd on their VP’S day began confidently. Welsh were forced into late changes and took their time to get into the match. Claverdon took advantage with their useful scrumhalf and backrow proving dangerous as they attacked strongly.
They opened up a 19 point lead by the end of the quarter scoring three tries and two conversions. Claverdon used the elements to good effect, forcing Welsh on to the back foot although the Bilton side felt aggrieved at the award of one of the tries which appeared to have not been grounded properly.
Welsh gradually began to get back into the game as they realised they needed to become more aggressive, particularly in the tackling department. Roger Robinson and James Buckland led from the front with impressive tackles on the Claverdon backline who were constantly looking to break through the Welsh defence.
There were no further scores in the first half and the introduction of Roly Robinson, following an injury layoff seemed to inspire Welsh even further. However the Claverdon defence remained firm and Welsh were unable to break through. Claverdon clinched their victory with two quick tries midway through the half, one of which was converted.
The final 20 minutes saw pitch conditions rapidly deterioate but both sides to their credit continued to try to play running rugby. Welsh throughly deserved their late score when a pass from Matt Gray saw Roly Robinson crash through two tackles to score an unconverted try. Another competitive performance from the Welsh which they will hopefully take confidence form going in to this week’s home league fixture against Standard.
Rugby Welsh: 61 – Standard (L): 14
Welsh showed their bounce back ability following last weeks defeat with this victory over Standard.
The playing conditions were far more favourable this week allowing Welsh to use their quick backs to cause the opposition problems. Welsh quickly got into their stride when Richard Allen was given space to run in and after selling a dummy to the opposition full back he scored a try under the posts which he duly converted himself.
Welsh were soon further ahead when fellow hard working centre Chris Woolmore, who was to enjoy a very successful afternoon scored his first try when he chased ahead his own kick ahead to score an unconverted try. When Steve Stanton finished off a good three quarter move with a try in the corner which was excellently converted by Allen, Welsh looked to be in for a relatively easy afternoon’s work.
However Standard responded well with their forwards in particular causing some problems. The Welsh forwards were however able to secure plenty of possession with Vince Ogg and Carl Roderick both performing well on their return to the side. Welsh created further chances in the first half but good defending kept them at bay until Neil Hussey forced his way over for a well taken try converted by Allen.
The second half saw Welsh attempt to reestablish their early dominance and Chris Woolmore quickly added two well taken tries both converted by Allen. However Standard responded well with their captain crossing for a converted try. Welsh became frustrated with their performance on occassions as they made some elementary errors, but they sealed their victory with further tries by Stanton and Matt Gray. Standard deserved their late consolation converted try, but it was left to Woolmore to finish the scoring with his fourth try which Allen converted.
Rugby Welsh: 15 – Newbold III: 3
This traditionally proves to be a closely fought contest and Saturday’s fixture at Parkfield Road proved no different with Welsh clinching a narrow victory.
Welsh knew that their local rivals would use their experience and expertise particularly amongst their forwards, to try and secure a platform for victory. Newbold began well with Chris Cashmore always threatening in the back row and following early pressure took the lead with a penalty. The Welsh forwards worked their way back into the game with Vince Ogg and Neil Hussey helping to secure key possession and they began to pressurise the home defence frequently.
Welsh were keen to use their backs but Newbold tackled well throughout the match to nullify many of their threats. Midway through the first half Welsh took the lead when a threequarter move saw full back Matt Gray enter the line and he showed good pace to run around two men to score a try under the posts which Richard Allen converted.
Welsh were forced to reorganise their team shortly before half time when their captain Jamie Cranhan was forced to leave the field with a bad shoulder injury. Chris Woolmore aquitted himself well at scrumhalf and Welsh had further chances in the second half to increase their lead. Newbold defended stoutly and had chances themselves to retake the lead. Eventually Welsh ended Newbold’s resistance in the final quarter.Allen scored a well taken try in the corner before he kicked a well struck penalty late in the game to seal the victory.
Rugby Welsh: 25 – Atherstone (L): 17
An excellent team performance saw Welsh clinch a narrow, but deserved league victory against a well drilled Atherstone outfit.
Despite playing against the elements in the first half Welsh took the game to Atherstone from the start with the forwards winning plenty of quality possession. Welsh took the lead after Atherstone were penalised under their own posts and Richard Allen converted the penalty. Atherstone immediately responded with a similar effort but Welsh continued to generally dominate the opening quarter. However strong defence kept them at bay and when a Welsh move broke down Atherstone counter attacked from well inside their own half to score a converted try.
Welsh responded well to this set back and following a series of plays involving both forwards and backs Matt Gray was on hand to add the finishing touch for the try which Allen converted. Atherstone were well organised and attempted to use the elements with a series of long kicks down field, but veteran Kevin Humphries dealt with the pressure at full back admirably. As the half ended the Welsh forwards began to gain more control. A powerful drive from Roger Robinson was halted just short of the line but the ball was recycled quickly and prop Neil Hussey crashed over for the try.
The second half saw Welsh immediately increase their lead. A chip into the 22 from Vince Ogg was gathered well by Allen who scored the try which he converted. The Welsh forwards played superbly throughout, pushing the Atherstone pack back on many occasions in the scrum despite conceding weight advantage. Shawn Chambers competed well in the lineout and with Chris Woolmore excellent at scrum half Welsh had further chances to increase their lead, and only excellent defence kept them at bay. The home side scored a converted try to narrow the deficit but Welsh responded again. Allen kicked a well struck penalty to settle any nerves and whilst Welsh could not score again they held on for an important away league victory.
Rugby Welsh: 10 – Cosby: 10
Welsh took a break from league action and met up again with Cosby who they enjoyed several close games against in their previous Merit table fixtures. This match proved no different with Welsh being denied victory due to a late Cosby fightback.
In gloomy weather conditions Welsh began well enough with James Buckland kicking an early penalty to put his side ahead. Cosby fought back well with their pack winning plenty of possession especially in the lineout. Welsh defence remained firm, with Neil Hussey putting in some crunching tackles, preventing the opposition from scoring. New recruit Phil Tibbs was impressive at No8 and set up a number of Welsh attacks as they began to win more possession in the set pieces
The match was fiercely contested throughout but try scoring chances were limited with both defences remaining firm until well into the second half. Eventually Welsh appeared to gain control of the match when following a scrum Tibbs picked up and gave the try scoring pass to Chris Woolmore whose effort was converted by Buckland.
Welsh would have expected to go on to clinch another victory but Cosby clearly had other ideas and attacked strongly in the final 10 minutes. They reduced the deficit with a penalty and with a couple of minutes left they levelled the scores when their centre crashed over for a converted try.
Rugby Welsh: 38 – Cov Saracens (L): 3
Welsh continued their good league form with an impressive victory over a hard working Saracens outfit. Playing with the elements in the first half Welsh began well with their forwards rucking impressively and they soon opened the scoring with a penalty form Richard Allen . Saracens responded immediately and soon levelled the score with a penalty.
The forward exchanges were closely fought and Welsh had to work hard to win quality possession. Welsh rettook the lead midway through the half when Neil Hussey set up an attack with a typical bursting run. The ball was then quickly moved along the line for James Buckland to score an unconverted try.
Welsh were able to control most of the rest of the half but were unable to breach the opposition line as Saracens defended strongly. However they were forced to give away a number of penalties and Allen made them pay for their mistakes with an assured kicking display. He increased the Welsh lead with three well struck penalties to give his side a 17-3 half time lead.
Saracens tried hard to come back into the game at the beginning of the second half but Welsh defended well as a team. Some fierce tackling pressurised Saracens into mistakes and Welsh were able to capitalise on them through their quick backs. On three occasions in the second half Saracens passes went astray in midfield and they were to rue these errors. Firstly winger Tom Cullinane took advantage to outstrip the defence for a well taken try. Shortly afterwards Steve Stanton scored one of his trademark long range tries and when Allen used his footballing skills from the half way line to score another try Welsh knew they had clinched another victory. Allen rubbed salt into the wound with three conversions.
Saracens must be credited for not letting their heads drop and they attacked well in the last 15 minutes but Welsh kept their line intact to keep their good run of form going. They will face another tough task on Saturday when facing Atherstone who will be looking to avenge last months defeat.