Southwold Rugby

Old Cranleighans 23 – 12 Southwold

The 150 mile trip to Thames Ditton from Southwold took its toll on the travelling Wold team, but that aside one must take nothing away from the well drilled O Cs team who deserved their win as they moved forward in the national cup competition

If this exciting Wold side are to go to the next level, they need the tactical awareness to go with their undoubted skill, and they need to quickly analyse refereeing decisions early in a game and react more quickly to them, rather than to allow teams the luxury of easy points.

That said the refereeing tone was set in the first minute when O Cs were awarded a scrum and from their put in Wold promptly pushed them right back and the ball popped out of the back of the scrum on the Wold side and as the ball was fed down the Wold line the referee blew for an OCs penalty with Wold’s front row supposedly boring up. No one in the entire ground could quite believe the decision and Wold continued to push the OC’s scum back all afternoon with no further penalties given. The referee had got that wrong but it meant a 3 – 0 lead for OC’s right at the start

On seven minutes Wold had a chance to level when the OC’s back line were caught offside but young Ben Felton pushed his kick from distance wide of the left hand post

Seven minutes later the OCs lead was doubled when this time the Wold back line crept offside and the OC’s kicker who was immaculate all afternoon duly slotted the resulting kick

Wold’s forwards were gaining lots of possession but could not convert that in to points. They came close to scoring on a couple of occasions, one notably when Cemil Duruk was tackled right on the OCs try line, holding on to the ball when perhaps an earlier pass out to the unmarked Jacob English on the wing would have resulted in five points at least.

Other attempts were stopped by a combination of the OCs defence and Wolds handling errors, which possibly were a result of the long journey from Suffolk, as Wold looked very un-Wold like in attack, normally one of their strong points

Despite the Wold pressure it was OCs who scored the first try of the game, against the run of play, when from a scrum just in their own half the ball was won and simply fed down the line to the winger who stepped in side his man and ran 40 metres to score and with the conversion good, the score moved up to 13 – 0 to the home team and remained that way until half time

Credit to OCs in that the only chances they had to score in the first half they had clinically taken them even though they had not had as much of the ball as Wold

Just as in the first half the second half started with another OCs score in under a minute and this time it was to be a game changer for all sorts of reasons. A good clearing kick from Ollie Carlstrom from inside his own 22 sailed high and wide to the halfway line, but the OCs winger who had scored their first try gathered the ball and just as he had in the first half, ran down the touchline at pace, almost unchallenged to score in the corner. Again the conversion from the touchline was goos and Wold were down by 20 points without reply.

Watching from the touchline the score didn’t seem possible , Wold without doubt having had the better of things in general play, but it was to get worse fifteen minutes later when James Barton was yellow carded  for a deliberate obstruction and Wold went down to fourteen men

As sometimes happens in sport, from a disaster comes inspiration, and Wold sprang to life. A penalty kick to the corner saw Wold win good lineout ball and drive to the OCs line. A quick change of ball carrier saw the evergreen Des Brett swallow dive in for a try in the corner which Ben Felton duly converted and Wold were in the game and were now totally dominant.

On 65 minutes Wold scored again when they were awarded a penalty and chose a scum five. Wold’s pack duly shoved OCs back and James Hall at No 8 picked up and smashed his way over to the right of the scrum.

Ben Felton who had slotted earlier from the touchline, hit the post with his conversion attempt from only just left of the posts and the Wold supporters groaned while  OCs supporters cheered with relief as it meant it was still a two score difference at 20 – 12 rather than a single score game, with Wold now rampant

OCs were under the cosh and when, with five minutes left on the clock, Wold’s Adam Smith caught the ball at the front of the line only eight metres out and charged to within a metre it looked as if Wold were going to score again, but the referee blew for holding on for what was truly a split second as Smith went down, and OCs were off the hook with the resulting clearing kick to nearly half way. The cheers from the OCs supporters said it all and their relief was clear.

With the chance of getting the scores nearly level gone, OC,s then made sure of victory with another beautiful kick from way out on the left, after being awarded a penalty for a high tackle and the game was done at 23 – 12 to the home side

Somehow Wold’s loss didn’t seem quite real, given that Wold had played so well, particularly in the last quarter of the game but they had conceded two soft tries and two soft penalties earlier in the game and that concession had been just too much to recover, and at this level of rugby you cannot make those mistakes, as good teams will punish you, and OC’s did just that.

Congratulations to OCs for winning what was without doubt a great game of rugby and simply great to watch

Back to the league next week with Wold away at Newmarket with all to play for in Wold’s challenge for promotion

Arn the Wold  !!!

Wold’s Second Half Performance  Merited A Win!


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