Williams Double Helps Secure Victory.
By Jimmy Rees
1st XV defeat Bassett with skilful display.
1st XV maintain their 100% record in 2019 when they defeated Royal Wootton Bassett 2nd XV on Saturday. RWB positioned 6th in the league two places below their hosts were no doubt looking to close the gap in the league. The amber and blues have their sights set above them as they were looking for a five point win to close down between them and the league leaders.
The game started off with a quick pace with both teams happy to keep the ball in hand and play to their expansive game plans. This was the making of an exciting game. Warminster were first to register points from the boot of Jason Sprangle. The lead was soon doubled from another penalty which Sprangle calmly slotted over. Warminster now with their tails up began to assert dominance in the game, the scrum was very strong and put the visitors under pressure. Warminster were unlucky to register the first try of the game, after a strong catch and drive from the Warminster pack rumbled 30 yards up the pitch saw the visitors collapse the driving maul, the ambers and blues with the advantage went for a cross field kick to winger Ross Williams who looked like he had excellently stayed in play to score in the corner. Unfortunately the referee didn’t have the same opinion so the the try was ruled out. From the resulting penalty the home side went for the scrum, resulting in a strong carry from No. 8 Lai Vinakadina saw quick ball to centre Sikeli Rokovunicagi who scored after a few fantastic side steps to jink his way through the defence. The conversion was missed by Sprangle. Warminster continued to control the game, the hard work at the rucks allowed quick ball from scrum half Gavin Pratt to release his backs quickly. The amber and blues soon had scored their second try of the game, after hooker Dean Priestman smashed through a few tackles and powered over the line from 10 metres out. The resulting try would delay the game as a Bassett player was badly injured after attempting to tackle Preistman. Williams missed the conversion and the referee decided to pause the game, until the player could be safely moved from the pitch.
The game resumed 30 minutes later on a different pitch. Due to the nature of the injury, the game was moved across to the 2nd XV pitch once the match had finished. In the second half, the visitors began to assert pressure to the hosts as the began to get the ball out wider and began to play their expansive game plan. However, the home defence was solid, no letting the attack through. Flankers Ollie Pinnell and Dom Davey were working well together slowing the game down at breakdowns with some excellent counter rucking. Captain Stephen Rowbotham was also leading by example in defence with some strong tackles and was carrying well when he had ball in hand. Pratt was organising his forwards fantastically throughout the game which was creating great attacking ball. Williams would score two tries before the final whistle to seal the victory. One of which from a fantastic assist from outside centre and top try scorer competitor Dan McIntyre. After a quick penalty from Pratt, the ball was quickly spun out wide to McIntyre who drew two defenders before passing out to Williams was able to use his pace to escape the back pedalling defenders. Sprangle managed one of the conversions to take the score to 28-0 at the final whistle.
Club captain Jimmy Rees commented on the performance. ‘It was one of the best team performances we registered all season and for a long while. Everything clicked and all the stuff we have been working on at training was implemented which was fanatic’ no doubt the quick the ball at the breakdowns was one of the deciders of the game as Warminster worn out the opposition who couldn’t compete with the intensity and speed of the hosts attack.