Rugby Welsh: 17 – Shottery: 14
The Welsh produced an excellent team performance despite missing a number of experienced players, which will give them confidence for the forthcoming league campaign ahead.
From the outset Welsh were under pressure, with the large Shottery pack winning plenty of possession, and soon after their centre scored from close range which was converted.
However Welsh responded well and Shottery began to concede a number of penalties, which resulted in their captain being sent to the sinbin for consistent infringements. Welsh capitalised on this and Daz Wade added a penalty to reduce the deficit. However Shottery again used their forwards to gain territory and Welsh were forced to concede penalties, which led to Jim Gurling also sent to the sinbin. Despite this Welsh bagan to move the ball quickly, and a strong run by Matt Gray enabled Jamie Cranham to beat several tackles to score which Wade converted. Immediately after Welsh scored again- after strong tackle in midfield by Rob Thomson, which allowed Tom Cullinane to pick up the loose ball and race clear for a converted score. The second half saw Welsh defending their line almost throughout, and only resolute tackling and the Shottery mistakes kept the opposition from scoring. With five minutes to go Shottery pressure eventually told and again their centre forced his way over for a converted try. The last few minutes again saw the Welsh defend excellently with Gurling outstanding throughout, and held on for a deserved victory.
This week Welsh are at home to Harbury, kick off 3pm with all support very welcome. Also training commences this Thursday 8.30pm at the Rugby Town Astroturf facility on Butlin Road.
Rugby Welsh: 23 – Stoke Old Boys (L): 46
The Welsh started the league campaign on Saturday in warm conditions with high hopes of a winning start. However Welsh started slowly and missed tackles enabled Stoke OBs wing to score a converted try. Welsh responded immediately and added a penalty from Darren Wade. More Stoke pressure added two quick converted tries. Despite this Welsh rallied and quick ball from the forwards created several opportunities but errors meant the chances were wasted. Wade however added a penalty to reduce the deficit. Stoke responded by adding another try to extend their lead. Welsh replied with a converted score when quick ball from the pack enabled Wade to allow Anthony Miller to race under the posts to make it 26-13. The Welsh needed to start the second half well but unfortunately more missed tackles and wrong options allowed SOBs to score 2 more tries and a penalty. Welsh responded well and good work from the forwards enabled Damian Taylor to break several tackles and send New Zealander Dan Hollands over in the corner. A quickly taken penalty from Jamie Cranham then saw Taylor crash over for another try. Stoke however finished the scoring with an unconverted try. Welsh can be pleased they played some positive rugby but poor defence and missed chances cost them the opportunity to start the league campaign on a winning note. Welsh are away this Saturday to Aylestone. Meet at the George 1pm. Training is at 8.30pm on Thursday at Rugby Town’s Astro facility, Butlin Road.
Rugby Welsh: 7 – Aylestone Athletic: 47
Rugby Welsh travelled to higher league opposition Aylestone on Saturday with an experimental side due to injuries and unavailabilities. From the outset Welsh were under pressure against a much larger pack, and despite initial strong defence Aylestone won plenty of possession which enabled them to score two early converted tries. Aylestone then began to dominate the scrums and breakdowns, which resulted in three further scores in the first-half. Welsh however responded well in the second half with the forwards beginning to win more possession, with Welshman Carl Mills and Kevin McLeish making an impressive debuts. Good work from Rob Haddock and Matt Gray enabled the backs to send McLeish over in the corner, converted by Daz Wade. Aylestone added a further try in the last five minutes, but Welsh can be pleased with a determined effort despite the many changes from the previous week. Welsh return to league action this week away to Warwickians ko 3pm, and hope to welcome back several experienced players for a crucial league fixture. Players to meet at the George at 1pm.
Rugby Welsh: 5 – Warwickians (L): 15
Rugby Welsh travelled to Warwickians on Saturday with confidence with a number of experienced players returning to the side. Welsh started very well with the forwards winning plenty of quick ball in the first ten minutes. However Warwickians were the first to score as they started to dominate the set pieces and a loose ball from a scrum allowed them to score a converted try to take the lead. Welsh responded well with the forwards again winning good quality ball. Welsh however could not convert their possession into points due to wrong options and missed penalties. Eventually Welsh pressure told when strong runs from ex-Lion Adam Bond who had an excellent debut, and Jim Gurling enabled the half backs to send centre Dave Clifton over in the corner. Warwickian came back strongly with their large pack dominating the breakdown and they added a penalty just before half-time for Welsh to trail by 10-5. Th e second half saw Welsh defending for long periods due to their inability to win clean possession. Welsh however did look dangerous on the counter attack but again mistakes and wrong options cost several scores. The forwards battled hard against larger opposition with Danny Jones making a welcome return to the side, but eventually with five minutes remaining Warwickians scored a unconverted try to seal their win. Welsh were frustrated by their inability to take their opportunities in a match that could have easily have been won., however can be pleased with a number of individual performances, and the signs are promising with a number of new players having joined the club in recent weeks. Welsh are again in league action this week at home to Old Wheats kick off 3pm.
Rugby Welsh: 9 – Old Wheatleans(L): 26
Rugby Welsh were hopeful of their first league win of the season after improving performances in recent weeks. Welsh started very well and put immediate pressure on the Old Wheats line who were forced to give away a series of penalties. This enabled Darren Wade to kick an early penalty to take the lead. Immediately after more good work from the pack with strong runs from Adam Bond and Ali McClaughlin allowed Wade to slot over his second penalty to increase the lead to 6-0. Old Wheats then came back after Welsh mistakes let the opposition score a converted try against the run of play. Welsh responded with Wade and Andy Bayliss pinning OWs back in their own half with good kicks. Welsh then looked certain to score on numerous occasions and only good defence and wrong options cost the score. However Old Wheats were forced to concede more penalties and Wade added his third penalty to lead 9-7 at half-time.
Welsh were disrupted by injury in the 2nd half when prop Tim Lightfoot left the field. This lead to the scrum being put under more pressure with allowed Wheats to score early in the half to take the lead. Then they added another converted score when their fly half scored a good individual try.
Welsh responded well and quick ball allowed Johnny Phillips to make an excellent break and put Steve Stanton into space but again good defence stopped a promising attack. With time running out Old Wheats settled the match with another converted score from a line-out. .
Welsh again played well in parts but mistakes and missed tackles cost them the chance of their first win. Also the club would like to thank Rugby Lions for the kind use of their pitch and facilities for the afternoon. Welsh are at home this Saturday against Southam 2nds ko 3pm with post match festivities planned followed by the England game at 8pm.
Rugby Welsh: 10 – Cov Tech (L): 47
Welsh were in league action again this week at home against second placed Coventry Tech hoping to register their first win of the campaign after recent improving performances. However Welsh started poorly, and several missed tackles allowed Cov Tech to score two early converted tries. Welsh again struggled to win any possession against their larger opponents but initially strong defence kept Tech out with Phil Day putting in some excellent tackles. However possession and territory eventually told and Tech scored two more converted scores.
Welsh then came back well with the forwards winning some quick ball, and strong runs from Matt Gray and Day enabled Darren Wade to put Ben Turley racing over for his debut try which Wade converted.
After the break Welsh continued to take the game to Cov Tech which forced Tech to concede a number of penalties and this led to Wade reducing the deficit to 28-10 with a penalty kick. Immediately after Welsh seemed to have scored again when a quick penalty from scrum half Jamie Cranham put Gray over under the posts only to be called back by the referee for not being taken from the mark. Welsh were then reduced to 14 men for the last 25 minutes when Rob Haddock had to retire through injury, and the disruption to the scrum helped Tech regain their control of the match. Tech added another score when they broke out from their 22, and in the last five minutes added two more tries to seal victory.
Welsh battled hard for the majority of the match, and there were some good individual performances with Phil Day and Jarnel Sanghera making promising debuts.
Rugby Welsh: 24 – Wellesbourne: 12
Rugby Welsh travelled to Wellesbourne and welcomed back some experienced players and also several new players to the squad. Welsh started well and from the kick off Richard Stanford who had an excellent debut, emerged with the ball to set up quick ball for the backs. Initially good Wellesbourne defence kept Welsh out. However some strong running from Adam Bond and Phil Tipping enabled the backs to send Matt Gray over for an unconverted try. Wellesbourne to their credit came back strongly, and scored a well worked try in the corner to level the scores. Welsh however extended their lead when good midfield defence enabled Robin Corrigan to pick up the loose ball and race over for his debut try converted by Daz Wade. Wellesbourne again came back but Welsh tackling was much improved from recent weeks, and went into half-time 12-5 in the lead.
The second half saw Welsh again create plenty of opportunities but numerous mistakes and indiscipline cost several scores. Phil Day again showed his potential with a number of excellent breaks in the centre. Eventually after good runs from Bond, and Richards the Welsh extended their lead when Wade sent Tom Cullinane clear, and Paul Love was at hand to take the scoring pass in the corner. Wellesbourne strengthened by a number of Stratford players attempted to get back into the game but solid defence again kept them out. Wellesbourne did reduce the deficit when their No 8 intercepted a loose pass to race over unopposed.
Welsh however made the game safe with 5 minutes left when Phil Tipping, who made a sound return to the side crashed over for a converted try. Welsh will now go into Saturday’s league match with Atherstone with renewed confidence.
Rugby Welsh: 7 – Trinity Guild(L): 14
Rugby Welsh entertained Trinity Guild in at Alwyn Road confident of victory after recent improved performances. Playing against a strong wind in the first half Welsh began excellently. Initially good defence especially in midfield kept Guild out and Welsh also looked dangerous on the counter attack. Guild then tightened up their play and began to use their large set of forwards to maul downfield on several occasions which eventually led to a penalty which was converted to make it 3-0 to the visitors. Welsh responded well with good runs from Robin Corrigan and Matt Gray in particular. Quick ball from the forwards then enabled the backs to put Phil Day away who crashed over near the posts for Darren Wade to convert. Welsh immediately after had another chance to score but the final pass went to ground. However Welsh went into half time 7-3 in the lead with a strong wind at their back in the 2nd half.
Welsh started poorly in the 2nd half allowing Guild to take the kick off and drive into the Welsh 22. Again strong defence particularly from Jim Gurling and Gray prevented Guild from scoring. However Guild did take the lead when their pack produced quick ball and their strong centre broke several tackles to score in the corner. Guild then were camped on the Welsh’s line for the majority of the 2nd half and Welsh were forced to concede several penalties which enabled Guild to stretch their lead to 14-7.
Welsh tried to get back in the game but their inability to win any clean ball at the set pieces proved costly. Welsh did have opportunities to salvage something from the game in the last five minutes but strong Guild defence kept them out.
Rugby Welsh: 12 – Atherstone(L): 31
Rugby Welsh travelled to Atherstone on saturday for the first league game of the year. Welsh played against the elements in the first half and once again started poorly. Atherstone won plenty of early ball and weak tacking soon allowed their fly half space to send their centre over for a converted try. They extended their lead soon after when further weak defence enabled their winger to score in the corner. Welsh responded well with strong runs from Phil Tipping and Jim Gurling in particular. However Atherstone defence remained solid to keep Welsh out. Indiscipline then cost Welsh territory and from a poor restart Athersone scored another converted try to lead 19-0.
The second half saw Welsh come strongly back into the game with the forwards winning a lot more possession with Tim Day and Adam Bond securing plenty of quick ball.. This enabled the backs to put together some useful play with Robin Corrigan and Phil Day making some good breaks. Despite this Athertsone’s large pack extended their lead from a push over try. Welsh responded well and a strong run from Gurling allowed Jamie Cranham to send Tipping crashing over for a try. Atherstone scored another unconverted try shortly after to extend their lead once again. However Welsh finished strongly and after a series of penalties on the Athersone line were awarded a penalty try.
Welsh can take heart from an improved second half performance an look forward to a successful second half to the season. Welsh are back in action this Saturday against Shottery with the match being played at Rugby Lions RFC KO 2.15pm.
Rugby Welsh: 32 – Standard(L): 0
Rugby Welsh entertained Standard at Alwyn Road and produced an excellent performance despite the poor conditions. Standard began the game well with their flt half pinning Welsh back into their own half in the opening 10 minutes. Welsh were lucky not to go behind when Standard missed an early penalty. Welsh responded with the forwards winning some good ball which resulted in Standard conceding a penalty which Daz Wade converted for a 3-0 lead. Soon after, strong runs from Rich Stanford and Andy Bayliss enabled Phil Tipping to force his way over for a try. Welsh controlled the rest of the half with the scrum and lineout working very well despite the wet conditions. Welsh extended their lead when scrumhalf Jamie Cranham took a quick tap to Daz Wade who beat several defenders to score an excellent try to lead 13-0 at half-time.
Welsh continued to control the match after the break with the defence particularly impressive with flankers Jim Gurling and Danny Humphries outstanding in the loose. Welsh went further ahead after a strong tackle enabled the forwards to turn the ball over for Wade to send winger Matt Gray racing in under the posts for a try converted by Wade. Soon after Welsh produced the best move of the game. From a strong scrummage a Tipping break allowed Bayliss to burst through the midfield and quick possession was moved to the backs to send Ben Turley over for an excellent score. Welsh then extended the lead further when more good work from the tireless forwards enabled Jamie Cranham to break clear and feed Wade who scored in the corner and then converted from the touchline to make the final score 32-0.
Welsh can be very pleased with their performance with the defence particularly strong in recent weeks. Welsh travel to league leaders Coventry Tech hoping to continue their recent good form.
Rugby Welsh: 18 – Old Wheatleans(L): 57
Rugby Welsh travelled to Old Wheatleans on Saturday with confidence after a good performance in their last league action. With a strong pack Welsh put pressure on Old Wheat’s from the outset. After a good start from the home side the Welsh defence looked strong, but after a lucky break by Wheats strong back line the home side scored.
Undeterred Welsh fought back from kick off and had Wheat’s in their own 22 for a sustained period. From a series of powerful runs from Adam Bond, and with great support by the Welsh forwards Old Wheats were driven back to their own 5m line. Wheat’s defence stood strong to the continued pressure and they managed to turn the ball over. However the Welsh continued to push the Wheats back and Tom Neville forced the error and scored a great interception try. The ever reliable Daz Wade converted to bring the welsh level.
Old Wheat’s started well from the restart and following some great defence from the Welsh back row trio of Bond, Gurling and Humphress, they managed to reply with a score. Following this Wheat’s continued with their good league form and showed why they deserved to be at the top of the League table. Leading to the break the Welsh had some great interlinking play with Ronnie Cranham and Daz Wade looked stong in attack along with good running from the Welsh pack. This enabled Daz Wade to land two long range penalties just before half time to take the score to 28 – 13.
From the outset of the second half both sides had periods of good attacking play. Whilst Old Wheat’s showed some good backs play to score again. As the game moved in to the final stages the welsh did not give up, and although down they were certainly not out. Great commitment from Gurling, Richards and Humphress in defence gave welsh the chance to re-group. Again this pressure had Old Wheat’s pinned back in their own half.
Following a series of infringements from Wheat’s, Welsh gained a penalty inside the oppositions half. Great attacking play from the welsh pack, with Adam Bond and Bobby Haddock at the front of the effort, lead to Paul Stacy crashing over for score. Old Wheat’s added to their total following this and had some very strong running from their centres. This hard fought game finished with Wheat’s on top and deservedly so. Although Welsh lost this week, overall it was a great team performance with an unrivalled level of commitment from all the players and many positives can be taken. Next week is VP’s day and a good crowd is expected as Rugby Welsh take on Warwickians at home (Alywn Road) K.O. 2.15pm.
Rugby Welsh: 21 – Warwickians(L): 0
Rugby Welsh played at home this week to a large crowd of supporters and VP’s as they battled hard to secure another league win. After a delayed kick off thanks to Rugby Borough Council for not opening the facilities, the Welsh started strongly. From the outset Warwickians put good pressure on the Welsh defence but, could not break the lines. Welsh responded, with the forwards running the ball, and retaining possession.
The Welsh forwards with the welcome return of Ratts, Danny Jones and Rich Standford, made good ground and kept Warwickians camped in their own half for the next 10 minutes. Welsh looked dangerous in attack and following a series of well worked lineouts and powerful scrums the Welsh found themselves on Warwickians 5m line. Following infringements from Warwickians, Welsh were awarded a scrum. The welsh pack battled hard and Rich Standford broke free from the back of the scrum to score a well deserved maiden try for the Welsh. As usual Wade converted to give welsh the lead 7 – 0.
From the restart Warwickians used the wind well and had Welsh pinned in their half for the next 10 minutes. Excellent defence from the Welsh backs with Graham Wenlock, Phil Day and Ton Neville at the heart of matters, preventing Warwickians from scoring. After welsh conceded a number of penalties, Warwickians had position in the welsh 22. Fortune went with the Welsh and the kick for goal went wide and the home side went into half time 7 – 0 up.
The start of the second half saw welsh with the wind behind them, and a renewed sense of determination to keep hold of the lead. Boosted by the crowd welsh started strongly, forcing Warwickians to make an error in their own 22. From the scrum that followed welsh worked hard to secure the ball and retained possession. Now at the oppositions 5m line, welsh had a series of attempts at scoring but were held just short of the line. Good forward work returned the ball to the Welsh and allowed Ratts to power over for the score. Wade converted to see the home side improve on their lead.
Showing great pride Warwickians took the fight straight back to Welsh and tested their defence but could not find a way through. With both side conceding penalties play moved between both halves, but as the game progressed welsh looked at sealing victory. Again the welsh attack with Andy Bayliss standing in at scrum half worked well and as the game moved into its final stages welsh were looking for the score.
From a number of penalties in Welsh’s favour Wade had Warwickians pinned down in their own 22. Following excellent line out work , welsh gained ground and again found themselves within range. From a forwards drive the welsh pack moved in closer to the goal line. Bobby Haddock receiving the ball to run in an excellent try underneath the posts. Wade again converted to put the home side comfortably ahead 21 – 0.
Warwickians responded from the kick off but again the welsh defence stood firm with Jim Gurling tackling hard. The game ended with welsh on top and deservedly so despite a gallant effort from the visitors. Next week Rugby Welsh are back in League action against Stoke Old Boys and will be looking at carrying forward this weeks good form. Away game 3pm K.O.
Rugby Welsh: 19 – Stoke Old Boys(L): 63
Rugby Welsh travelled to league leaders with confidence high after the previous week’s morale boosting win. However late cry offs meant that Welsh were reduced to fourteen men from the outset. Welsh started poorly once again and the large SOB pack won plenty of early possession and used their one man advantage well to score 2 early tries. Welsh responded and the forwards began to win more ball with Phil Tipping and Adam Bond making strong runs. A quick tap penalty then enabled centre Tom Neville to break several tackles to offload to Graeme Wenlock who burst over for a try converted by Daz Wade. Stoke once again used their large experienced pack to good effect and added three more tries before half-time. However to Welsh’s credit they came back again before the interval when more enterprising play between backs and forwards took them into the Stoke 22 and from the resulting ruck Bob Haddock burst through several defenders to score in the corner with Wade adding the conversion to make the half-time score 29-14.
The second-half saw Stoke again use their man advantage well and scored an early try through their winger to extend the lead. Welsh again responded and a good break from Matty Gray enabled Neville to race over for an excellent score. However Stoke added three more tries as Welsh made a number of errors as they tried to get back into the game. Welsh then lost Matt Richards to a badly cut eye in a unpleasant incident, which resulted in the Stoke centre sent off and a further player being sent to the sinbin. In the last 5 minutes Stoke added another 2 tries as Welsh tired. Despite the scoreline Welsh can be pleased they competed well in parts and scored several good tries against strong opposition who now look favourites to get promoted. Welsh are away to Coventry Welsh this Saturday ko 3pm.
Rugby Welsh: 26 – Pat o’Neil Memorial: 37
Rugby Welsh hosted a District side for the annual Pat O’Neil memorial match at Alwyn Road on Easter Monday. Despite the cold conditions a good sized crowd were there in what turned out to be an entertaining game of rugby. Welsh started very well with the forwards driving to good effect and came close to scoring in the opening five minutes. However strong defence from Vinny Ogg and Mark Brightwell enabled District prop Chaplow to take a quick penalty from his own line and fed his winger who raced in for an unconverted try. Soon after the District side went further ahead when their pacy backs scored an excellent try from quick ball produced from the pack.
Welsh responded well and started to win some good possession with Rob Haddock and Clive Rattenbury making inroads into the District defence. This enabled Phil Day to break several tackles and race over under the posts for Wade to convert. The District side then extended their lead when more good work from their pack enabled the quick backs to run in another try. Welsh then produced some good attacking play after the forwards produced good ball and Tom Neville sent fullback Jason Reynolds over to make the score 15-12 at half-time.
Welsh took the lead immediately after half-time when Rob Haddock crashed over near the post which Daz Wade converted. However the District side responded well with Todd and Eddie Allen impressing in loose play. This enabled them to add two more tries and soon after Brightwell broke through the tired Welsh defence for a converted try. Welsh again responded with good work from Womble and Jim Gurling. This allowed Rattenbury to make a good run into the District 22, and from the resulting penalty Jamie Cranham took a quick tap to score under the posts which Wade converted to make the final score 37-26.
Rugby Welsh would like to thank all players and supporters who turned out to make the day thoroughly enjoyable. Welsh are back in action on Saturday at Alwyn Road at 3pm against Coventry Saracens.