Verden Hatrick on Debut Seals Win
By Jimmy Rees
Warminster 1st XV travelled to Swindon to face Supermarine. A team at the bottom of the league and haven’t won a game all season, easy right?
It was evident in the warm up that the amber and blues were nervous and they seemed to be under a lot of pressure. Skipper Steve Rowbotham and the experienced Gavin Pratt tried to relax the squad with some calming words of advice. But the pressure would continue to build with no less than 3 players pulling out late in the day! This would push the visitors who had to make some on the day changes, with debutant Jamie Verden moving to inside centre from full back and scrum half Haydn Tryhorn moving to the wing.
From the whistle the home side took control of the game taking full advantage of the visitors lack of focus and nerves. Although all the pressure the home side were inserting they couldn’t break the line. Fly half Jimmy Rees was leading the rushing defence to restrict the attack’s time on that ball. The front row were working very effectively in defence; Alex Jenkins, Dean Priestman and Rowbotham all making good tackles to keep the home side from the white wash. It was the away side that scored first with more or less their first real attack of the game. A good turn over by no.8 Reid Curtis saw the ball quickly moved out to Rees who passed the ball quickly to debutant Verden, Verden was able to squeeze through a gap in defence before passing to supporting Dan McIntyre, McIntyre offloaded back to Verden who was stopped short, but with a great amount of support from the amber and blues, Supermarine were forced to commit a penalty by not releasing the tackled player. Scrum half Pratt had his wits about him spotting the gaps in the unorganised defence, took a quick tap penalty and passed it quickly to flanker Ollie Pinnell, Pinnell spotting the over lap drew the defender before perfectly executing a long pass to Priestman who was able to run in unopposed. Rees missed the extras. It must be said that it was largely against the run of play. Supermarine continued to use their forwards well with some big carries and rumbled down the field. By this time the referee was punishing the amber and blues for ill discipline at breakdowns. The hosts began to kick penalties into the touch to use the lineout to attack the visitors. It’s proved to be a good decision as Supermarine were using the driving maul to gain a good advantage. The defence continue to keep the hosts who were attacking down the slight slope away from their line. Warminster were dominating in the scrums winning several against the head. When the ball in hand Warminster began to look dangerous, Curtis and Dan Bowman were carrying well. The second score came from the visitors when winger Ross Williams was given ball with some space, he was able to evade tackles and use his pace to burn pass the defenders to score from long distance in the far corner. This time Williams tried to convert the extras but was also unsuccessful. The last score of the half can’t from a set piece, the amber and blues had a scrum on their own 5 metres, Rees set up the kick clear, but Curtis picked the ball from base of the scrum and smashed his way out of the 22. After some quick ball the visitors planning to exit now looked to all attack, Rees running at the defence before passing to Verden, who did the rest. Using his electric pace to burn pass the opposition attempting to stop him. Verden touched the ball down under the posts for his first try for the club. Pratt added the extras. That was it for the first half.
The second half began and the amber and blues now slightly more confident began to play a bit more expansive. Straight from the kick off the Bowman was able to skilfully catch the bouncing with one hand and took a direct route to the try line crashing over any opposition that got in his way! Resulting in several hand offs and scoring a try. Rees missed the extras. Warminster would run in 3 more tries in the game Verden went on to score 2 more tries to complete his hatrick, one of those being created by an inch perfect pass from winger Tryhorn which split the defence for Verden to rush in from distance. McIntyre would also continue his rich form of try scoring by crossing over the line. The last 15 minutes of the game was plagued with injury, Tom Hindley whom had a solid game damaged his shoulder and soon after Dean Priestman had to leave the pitch after an injury, putting the amber and blues down to 14 men, and later down to 13 when skipper Rowbotham was shown a yellow card for what was deemed a late tackle. The amber blues did score two of the mentioned tries during the period of 2 players down. Supermarine managed to score a try which was deserved for their efforts throughout the game.
It was a scrappy game where the amber and blues did not play to their abilities, and the performance put on display last week seems a distant memory now. Positives from the game would be the efforts from the forwards especially in the scrums where the amber and blues did well spoiled or turned over a lot of Supermarine’s ball in the scrum, even when down to 13 when wingers Williams and Tryhorn joined the scrum and flanker Pinnell moved to hooker and the make shift scrum managed to turn over the ball. ‘There will be a lot to work on between now and Saturday and will be strongly encouraging good attendance at training’ mentioned Rees, as the amber and blues will host Sutton Benger this weekend who narrowly defeated Minety on Saturday