Warminster bounce back with impressive bonus point win over Melksham!
By Jimmy Rees
Warminster were looking to bounce back after being defeated by league champions Combe Down in their last game.
The amber and blues hosted 3rd placed Melksham. The warm up seemed to lack intensity but by the time the whistle went Warminster were more than up for the game. The game began with a very quick tempo with the amber and blues taking the game to the visitors, with the hosts looking using the pace of their backs to stretch the visitors at every given opportunity! In the opening 10 minutes Warminster got two quick scores through centre Steve Matthews and current top point scorer Ross Williams. From the scores only one was converted by Williams. The game became very open and Warminster through Sikeli Rokovunicagi began to find the gaps and put his supporting players into space. Rokovunicagi was using his speed and side step to good affect! Reid Curtis and Dan Bowman were also used to carry the ball with great success! Warminster soon scored their 3rd try with top point scorer challenger Dan McIntyre scoring after a delightfully timed offload from Connor McPherson give McIntyre a one on one, McIntyre skinned his opposite number with a great sidestep. Then Williams added his second try before McIntyre added his second. Williams added one conversion. Before the half ended Melksham got on the score sheet with a penalty. At half time Warminster lead 31-3.
The chat at half time was to continue the pressure and try to remain composed as some phases of play became broken due to some complacency creeping in. Skipper Alex Jenkins was rallying the troops and reminded what happened last time the teams meet as Warminster threw a 24-0 half time lead and ended up drawing 24-24. Melksham immediately hit back with a converted try, and it start to look like they Melksham could get back into the fixture as their forwards began to dominate and crashing through the defence. However Warminster held on well with strong defence combined with some massive support for the Vice Presidents on the balcony! The hosts dig deep and hit on the counter after a turn over found its way out to McIntyre who raced past the broken defence and scored under the posts. Williams added the extras. Dom Davey would also finish off a great team move after a line break from Curtis, was offloaded to the supporting Dean Priestman who was able to find Davey who evaded the last defender and scored under the posts!! Jimmy Rees was on hand to take over the kicking duties and slotted over the easy extras!
It was a great team performance and it was the perfect response on the back of the Combe Down defeat! The score ended 45-10 and a bonus point moved the amber and blues to a couple of points from 3rd. The set piece was particularly strong with the scrum being very impressive, the front toe of Priestman, Jenkins, Malcolm Bryant and later Matty Akers in the front row were solid and never took a back step! The feedback from the support was that the game was a very enjoyable watch and the team showed great ambition to try and play expansive rugby. A mention must go to veterans Matty Akers and Malcolm Bryant stepping in and not looking out of place. Also an impressive 1st XV debut from Jonny Eddis who looked solid on the wing. This week the amber and blues travel to Minety for the final league game of the season!! The 2nd XV will be hosting Bank of England in what will be the 2nd xv’s final outing of this season!