Amber and Blues win in a 9 try thriller
By Jimmy Rees
Warminster RFC 1st XV began their league campaign with a victory over a well organised Minety RFC.
The ambitious 1st XV took to the field for the first time of the new season looking for a win and set a stall out for the season!
The amber and blues started the game slowing with the visitors taking and early lead, after the home side were penalised for ill discipline at the breakdown! The visitors began to build some momentum putting some good passages of play together. Minety soon doubled their lead through another close penalty after home side were penalised again, this time offside at the break down. Warminster began to get them self back into the game with some strong runs from Dan McIntyre and Hugo Spink gaining some valuable territory which resulted in the visitors committing their first penalty, Warminster skipper Steve Rowbotham decided to get the points on the board and pointed towards the posts. Fly half Gavin Pratt slotted the points with ease. With the game stating to open up the home side scored the first try of the game after Dom Davey stealing the ball from the tackle before passing to scrum half Jimmy Rees. Rees spotting an overlap went down the blindside with Flanker Ollie Pinnell in support, Rees committed the last defender before passing to the supporting Pinnell, who raced 40 metres down the touchline to score. On the way to Pinnell managed to also evade an last ditch tackle from the scrambling full back. Pratt missed the difficult extras. Warminster and Pinnell quickly added another score this time from 40cm out. Some good work at a line out saw the pack drive deep into the visitors 22 before eventually being stopped just short of the line. Pinnell saw a gap and picked and crashes over from short distance. Pratt added the extras. Before the half ended the home side discipline let them down again being penalised again. The minety scrum half definitely had his kicking boots on to make it 3 from 3 from the tee to make the score 15-9 at the half.
The second half started chaotic with Warminster regaining the ball from their restart kick. However a knock on and and accidentally offside pick up saw a penalty for the visitors; the minety scrum half saw his chance and took a quick tap penalty, with the Warminster defence is disarray the scrum half was able to evade tackles and was sure to score, however a back pedalling Ollie Pinnell covered 30 metres of field to make a superb last ditch tackle. However Pinnell’s heroics only delayed the inevitable as the next phase saw Minety easily walk in to score. The kicker continued his good form with a fantastic conversion from outside for the visitors to take the lead. From this Warminster women up! Steve Rowbotham and Dan Bowman leading with the strong carries battering through the visitors defence. With the momentum swinging back into the home side favour. The next score coming from an intelligent chip from Pratt bouncing up lovely in the hands of centre McIntyre who accelerated in to score. Pratt added the extras. Minety scores again soon after to re take the lead by a point. Warminster scored next with Ross Williams benefiting from a strong run from number 8 Laisiasa Vinakadina ‘Vinny’. Vinny managed to smash through several tackles before drawing the last man and offload superbly to supporting Williams who used his electric pace to score the bonus point try. Pratt was at hand for the extras. Minety exploited poor tackling from the hosts to score next. This time the kick was missed from pretty much directly in front of the posts from the visitors scrum half. The rest of the game was dominated by the home side. The fitness was on display. Dan McIntyre provided a superb assist for Williams after quick ball at the breakdown saw McIntyre get the ball and break a tackle from his opposite number. Warminster found themselves in a 2v1 from the line break. McIntyre then unselfishly committed the defender and pass the ball to Williams who cruised over to score. Now Warminster began to take control at the scrum with the experienced Malcolm Bryant showing off his knowledge and expertise in the scrum. At the breakdowns James Rowbotham, Vinny and Davey were hitting the rucks very hard causing problems for the visitors attack as the ball was being disrupted! And in defence the amber and blue line began to hit their tackles with James Rowbotham, Alex Jenkins, Vinny and captain Steve Rowbotham leading by example with tackles. There was one more score before the game ended with Pratt getting in on the scoring. Again McIntyre providing the assist to Pratt, who raced to line from long distance evading defenders. Pratt was unable to convert his score.
All in all Warminster will be happy to start off with a win! But the performance was below what the players and coaches expected! Rees commented ‘its good to start the season with a win! But we are definitely no where near where we want to be! There were a lot of basic mistakes that we will no doubt work on over the next week!’
1st XV will be back in action next Saturday as they host Pewsey Vale.