GMS Player Registration16th October 2023
Dear all Please ask all players/guardians to ensure they are registered on the RFU GMS site. Players who are not affiliated can’t play in cup…
And so to another fiendishly friendly fixture, this time against the Fishermen of Brixham. The first 10 minutes were played largely in the middle of the field with neither the side gaining advantage for very long. The upper hand was eventually created by Brixham by applying a bit more pressure through their backs playing wide, three phrases of picking go to be spun wide again, scored in the very corner. 5-0 unconverted.
The restart brought play down to the Brixham end in series of penalties to Newton Abbot. When close enough, it enabled Newton to threaten the Brixham line through a number of territorial lineouts. Continued pressure within 10m of the whitewash finally yielded a pick and go score to Joe Eustace (boring try of the day) converted cleanly by Ollie H: 7 – 5.
Second score for Brixham came off the back of a scrum kicked cross field by their flyhalf, which bounced favourably for fast chancing chaser to gather on the bounce who the scrambling All White defence failed to chase down; scored under the post for simple conversion: 7 – 12.
More pressure from Brixham on the Newton line was averted by a fortunate penalty which was cleared by Ollie H to outside their 22. Newton won the throw in on account of Brixham tipping it out in an attempt to catch it. Tables turn rapidly from this line out. After a bit of kick tennis, Brixham decided to gather it together by feeding through their backs’ hands. Fortune stepped in to help as they knocked on which was gathered by Cally Westaway as the ref played the advantage. His rangy slow-seeming strides ate up the distance to inside their 22 while he managed to off-loaded in the tackle to Leo H supporting on his shoulder. Leo took it the last 15m to score in the corner which was precisely converted by Holroyd: 14 – 12
Back on top, Newton resumed a much faster and more rapid style of play. Speedily recycled phase play by the colts took the pressure to Brixham. The quicker rucks and varied play between forwards and backs brought them inside 10m from the Brixham tryline. It was close to the line that a quick-thinking Owen McAuliffe took advantage of Brixham assuming a referee intervention that never came. By gathering the ball off the ground and reaching through the middle of a ponderous defence, he off loaded to Leo H, again on the shoulder, for his second next to the posts, converted by Holroyd 21- 12.
The Fishermen were not about to hand any victory over easily and piled on the pressure marching up the pitch. This pressure from Brixham, despite committed defence, found a weak shoulder from close range to dot down for the score close the posts. Converted on the halftime whistle. An action packed 21,19 first half.
After the scores of the first half, the second half jarred in stark contrast. Newton were no longer playing with the slope advantage but all the same, frequently took the fight to within the Brixham 22. Probing attack after attack failed to yield results until Isaak Evans gathered the ball from the base of a Newton scrum on the Brixham 5m line. Making a mad dash for the wite line he rode the defender’s tackle to reach with outstretched arm to dot the ball down before being manhandled backwards. Sadly, the ref was unsighted behind the wall of humans and disallowed it, stating it was short of the line. This came as a minor release of pressure for Brixham who had to endure a few more Newton attacks yet. In what remained a scoreless half, a few highlights of note included hard charging runs from Juniper, Evans, Hodges and Higgs as well as a returning Toby Pascoe in the hard charging backs, who to a man give it their all.
The most comedic moment of the afternoon came in the form of a gather and run from Ethan Pegley along the home side touch. Right under the noses of a very vocal local support base, he gathered the ball and sent the first tackler to his left with a real Ardie Savea dummy. The second tackler was thrown by another, to the very loud cheers from Newton support on the opposite touch and near silence from those on his right. Not really pausing to reflect, he dished up another monster swing of the ball to send a third Brixham player the wrong way. His run made so much progress his fitness was being tested and he eventually succumbed to the chase. However, the pattern of the half was for either teams’ attacks to fall just short with a frustrating handling error. And so, to coin an old Goon Show (google it youngsters) phrase: suddenly, nothing happened, but it happened suddenly mind… despite a huge amount of rugby going on, nothing really did happen. The match ended the way the second half started, with Newton sealing the deal with a victory of 21 (or 28?) points to 19.