Nuneaton under 14’s 17 Old Leamingtonians under 14s 17
By Leah Hoebee
In a well balanced encounter, Old Leams punished Nuns for their poor decision making.
In a tit for tat match it was Nuns who started strongest with typically robust operation at the ruck securing their own ball well and causing Leams problems on theirs. On 5 mins Nuns earned a scrum on the Old Leams 10 meter line where from the base the ball was sent left before Thomas Sumner cut back to the exposed right and after beating one defender found Luke Gamble in support who sprinted 30 meters in under the posts for a great opening score, Hoebee adding the extras.
Any thoughts of dominating were quickly erased as OLs defence was more than a match for Nuns increasingly narrow game. After several phases inside the home half the OLs found a gap in Nuns defence for a well worked try out wide.
Nuns struck back after a fine line out move allowed Exton enough space to find a way through OLS defence to notch for the 4th time in two weeks, the conversion attempt falling well short. Nuns confidence became their undoing, their forward play was very one dimensional and OLs relished the close range tackles as Nuns squandered multiple mismatches on either side of the breakdown instead opting to go it alone. Leams tackling was fantastic but despite this nuns continued doing the same thing, as frustrations grew at not breaking through the discipline began to slip and from very good attacking positions they gave the visitors opportunities to clear their lines.
Leams pressure in defence meant that Nuns were not having it their own way and when Nuns were forced into playing out of their 22 Leams made a fantastic tackle and turnover and were rewarded with their second and the equaliser.
The second half played out as the first, Nuns forwards dominating at the breakdown early on, after working a neat overlap on the right Nuns finally recognised the opportunity and passed the ball through several hands before arriving at Winger Joel Denney to score an outstanding try, again the conversion fell short.
Despite creating several more chances out wide Nuns pack opted to continue to run into the brick wall defence in the narrow channels in what became more and more frustrating as the match wore on.
Leams were never more than a score behind and in the dying plays they punished some sloppy defence to score in the corner. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful taking the score to 17 all leaving nuns to rue their poor execution and decision making at critical moments.
Match report by Nick Bishop.