Williams 4 tries still not enough to secure the win
By Jimmy Rees
14 man Warminster push Supermarine all the way to narrowly lose!
Warminster were looking to put their recent poor form behind them when they travelled to face Supermarine on Saturday! However last minute withdrawals left the Amber and blues with 14 men and were narrowly beaten 33-31.
After the long journey, the game started frantically, both teams looking to play with ball in hand. Both defences were cancelling each other attack out in the opening exchanges. The home side were on the scoreboard when a missed tackle allowed a line break which resulted in the home side to exploit there numerical advantage to score. The home side soon added a second when fly half Jimmy Rees attempted a cross field kick didn't pay off as it found the home teams winger who was able to use his pace to sprint to the line. Only one of the tries was converted to Supermarine had a 12-0 lead. The rest of the was dominated by the visitors. The away side were mounting attack after attack and the home sides defence were just hanging on.. but after strong carries from Cakau, Stephen Rowbotham and Alex Jenkins led the way. 1st XV Debutants Connor North and Dave Punton were also making a good impression, with North playing No. 9 scrum half controlling the forward and giving he attack quick ball. Punton was also making a good impression some big hits and making an nuisance of himself at the breakdowns. Eventually after extensive pressure the home sides defence began to commit repeat offences, Rees was making amends for his earlier error by keeping the home side under pressure with penalty kicks deep in the home sides half in to touch. All the pressure paid off as the visitors from a short distance line out crashed over from centre Cakau right under the posts. North slotted the easy conversion.
As the second half began Warminster pick off where they left off in the first half. They away side began to get the ball out wide to the speedsters Ross Williams and James Pinnell who began to make yardage. Rees and Cakau continued linking up well with wrap around balls jamming the defence in the middle of the field. Rees looping from the wrap around was able to run through a gap before passing to Pinnell who then shipped the ball to Williams who was able to beat his opposite number before scoring. Williams quickly scored his second after some good passage of play from the forwards allowed No. 9 Connor North to give quick ball to Rees coming around the corner of the ruck to take the ball on the blindside, spotting the miss match Rees avoided tackles from the tiring props before drawing the winger in to make the tackle, Rees popped the ball to Williams who was able to sprint in from 30 metres with nothing in front of him but green and put the ball down under the posts. North converting 1 of the 2 tries. The 14 man Warminster were 12-19 up. Williams struck his hatrick at 60 minutes to extend the visitors lead this time North was the provider with an assist. North missed the extras 12-24. Supermarine hit back almost instantly and sprung back to life scoring two unanswered tries both converted to give the hosts the lead again 26-24. The game began to be very tense and more tighter, the tiring visitors were trying to find a way to grab what would surely be the winner. Rees fed Cakau the ball, Cakau running strongly as he had all game was able to break through the first tackler, spotting a gap in the back field, Cakau chipped it over the top of the remaining defenders, Williams using his speed was able to catch the ball on the bounce and accelerate to the line, the back pedaling full back was able to tackle Williams, however Williams was able to offload the supporting James Pinnell, Pinnell was able continue to charging before being tackled by a last ditch tackle, Pinnell offloaded to North who was able to pass back to Williams who walked in with no one in front of him. Warminster regained the lead 26-29. Rees took over the kicking duties to slot the extras to make it 26-31. Warminster thought they would have done enough to secure the victory, but credit to the home sides never say never attitude, they mounting another attack in the dying moments of the game. The home side pilling on the pressure in the visitors 22 were throwing everything at the attack, Alex Jenkins, Dave Punton, Ollie Pinnell, Stephen Rowbotham and James Rowbotham putting in great tackles and a great scrambling defence looked to keep the home side out. Warminster finally due to the pressure infringed metres out, but had stopped completely as they saw Williams down with an injury, the referee deemed it Williams was off the pitch so allowed the home side to take the penalty. Supermarine using their wits took the quick penalty and passed it down the line to cross the line. 31-31, pressure on the conversion, the Supermarine place kicker looked cool and was able to slot the conversion... Still time on the clock.. Warminster mounted another attack, however in over time eventually were penalised for holding on the fly half tapped the ball to take the penalty before booting it out to touch. The home side won the game 33-31.
Credit to Supermarine whom played some good exciting rugby and overall never giving up on the game, even when they were trailing by 12 points they had believe in their players to come back and they did. Warminster had left everything they had on the pitch and all 14 men had given everything, unfortunately the numbers were against them and fatigue at the end proved costly. The positives were some great attack play and defence seemed solid in the first half. Coach Rob Rowbotham said 'The boys put all they had into the game, there were some really encouraging performances. But, there is a lot more to come, we never got into 5th gear. We have a lot more to offer and we haven't hit our best the season yet' Warminster will no doubt use gap between fixtures to rest and hit the training field hard in preparation to host Swindon IIs on the 3rd March.