Sat 14 Apr 2018

Market Bosworth RFC
Old Laurentians RFC
Midlands 2 East (South)

Market Bosworth 17 - Old Laurentians 34

Report by Bill Wallis

OLs moved ultimately to a comfortable victory over Market Bosworth but they had to subdue a spirited performance and some dogged defence from their opponents before doing so. Not for the first time this season it was the Bunn brothers who claimed the headlines, Jordan running in a hat trick of tries and Robbie adding a try and 2 conversions for the duo to claim 24 points between them.

On a fine Spring afternoon, with the ground firm and well grassed under foot and the sun warm overhead, OLs set out to play a running game, orchestrated by the returning Jon Bean at fly half. The first score was on the board after four minutes, the ball reaching right wing Jordan Bunn who chipped ahead down the line before being shoulder charged into touch. But he managed to stay on his feet and won the race to touch down, brother Robbie adding the goal points.
Ten minutes later, Jordan Bunn’s beautifully struck penalty found touch deep in Bosworth territory, where a well-executed lineout ploy saw Cain Jones and Dom Hammond combine well to put Ash Moore over in the corner and lift the lead to 12-0.

During the second quarter, Bosworth hit back hard and took the initiative, forcing OLs back on defence for long periods. OL’s re-shaped pack were under pressure as the home side pressed for a score, which finally came just before half time when the lively Bosworth 10 put his left wing through a yawning gap to score under the posts, the conversion leaving OLs with a slender 12-7 lead at the break.

Early in the second half, Bosworth reduced the margin to 12-10 with a penalty and had their tails up. But OLs got their game back together, the pack were now more than holding their own and the fluidity returned to their play, four second half tries the result.

Luke Townsend finished off a long spell of pressure to touch down 6 minutes after half time for 17-10; then a strong carry off the back of a scrum by Ash Moore set up a well taken try by Robbie Bunn, the full back converting his own score for 24-10 and the try bonus point secured.

Moore was involved again in combination with Dom Hammond, the pair making good ground from deep in OL’s half before sending Jordan Bunn away for his second. The conversion from wide out missed and OLs were 29-10 to the good.

OL’s progress was interrupted when the Bosworth fly half featured again, a missed tackle allowing him to waltz through and touch down under the posts, converting his own try to reduce the margin to 29-17.

It took some sturdy defence to keep OLs out as they mounted a series of attacks over the last 10 minutes of the game until Ben Roach carved his way through before releasing Jordan Bunn, who went over for his third try and the final score of the day.

The season draws to a close this Saturday when OLs entertain Market Harborough, who sit one place and two points above them in 3rd place. So a home win will secure 3rd place for the season, the top two now secure in their positions; but a loss will probably mean that OLs have to settle for 5th, as Belgrave, currently occupying that spot, should finish with victory over already relegated Stamford. If OLs parade their best game they are capable of taking the win points – anything short of that and the season will end in a disappointing anti-climax.

Team:
Robbie Bunn, Luke Townsend, Ben Roach, Sam White, Jordan Bunn; Jon Bean James Collins; John Barratt, Dom Hammond, Ray Smith, Cain Jones, James Harris, Charlie Seager (capt.), Andrew Orbinson, Ash Moore

Replacements (all used):
Chris le Poidevin, Mike Walsh, Nick Martin

Scorers:
Tries: Jordan Bunn (3), Ash Moore, Luke Townsend, Robbie Bunn
Conversions: Robbie Bunn (2)

Under 16s Lift County Cup

Under 16 Warwickshire Cup – Final

Old Laurentian U16s 19 – Barkers Butts U16s 5

Report by Bill Wallis

It’s 16 years since any Old Laurentian team got their hands on a county trophy when both 1st and 2nd XVs won their respective cups in 2002 and the drought was finally ended when this year’s Under 16 team won their age group competition with a fine performance in the final at Earlsdon RFC on Sunday.

In the opinion of Head Coach Dan Volkman this final pitched the two best U16 teams in the county against each other, the sides playing contrasting styles. Barkers place heavy reliance on their big forwards to dominate possession and punch holes in the opposition defence to set up their backs whilst OLs play an expansive, all court game and it was just that style that prevailed in a contest of high quality.

When Barkers tried to get their big men away they were met with a ferocious defensive performance by the Fenley Field side that blunted their attacking ambitions; and when OLs set their backs up they often lacerated the Barkers defence with some scintillating attacking play, forcing their opponents into some last ditch defending at times. To their credit, Barkers stuck to their task manfully but OL’s superior all round power always looked likely to win the day.

OLs demonstrated this in the first couple of minutes but were just held up a couple of metres out. Then, with 10 minutes gone, a well-executed backs move set up Matt Barnaby, the big wing powering his way over for a try.

It took a further 25 minutes before OLs struck again when number 8 Matt O’Connor picked up at a scrum deep in Barkers territory and drew in the back row defence before sending scrum half Callum Cooke in for a try. A fine Dan Price conversion sent OLs into the half time break with a 12-0 lead.

With 15 minutes of the second half gone OLs delivered what proved to be the killer blow after Dan Price put in a long clearance kick into opposition territory. Barkers lineout possession was stolen and OLs set up a series of forward drives that forced their opponents ever closer to their own line until Matt O’Connor powered over, Price finishing what he had started with the conversion for a 19-0 lead.

As the game ran down, Barkers scored a try that their persistence and hard work had earned, but the day belonged to OLs and the trophy was theirs. As with all Warwickshire junior age group cups, the winners have to fight their way through preliminary pool games before the quarter and semi-finals and this was OL’s sixth game in the competition. They can justifiably claim that it was hard earned!

The Under 16s will bring the final curtain down on OL’s season when they host a festival of rugby at Fenley Field on Sunday 29th April, with nine other clubs from across the Midlands confirmed as participating so far.


Friendly

Lutterworth 2nd XV 37 - Old Laurentian 2nd XV 5

Report by Garrie Reeve

OL’s 2nd XV travelled to Lutterworth for a return fixture against a side they were hoping to play in next week’s Clonmell Cup Final. However, last week’s defeat to Southam meant this would be OL’s penultimate game of a long season.

With a weakened side, OLs got off to a poor start conceding a try after only a couple of minutes, Lutterworth scoring out wide after fine passing along their backline. A second try for Lutterworth followed ten minutes later, when OLs were unable to defend a well executed catch and drive.

OLs now started to gain some decent possession and territory as they looked to get back into the match. The running of Sam Miles at No.8 and Luke Billyeald in the centres saw OLs venture into the Lutterworth 22 only to be penalised or turned over. A quickly taken penalty from one of these indiscretions saw Lutterworth break into the OL’s half and score in the corner.

The Lutterworth fly half was having an off day with his boot, failing to land any of the conversions he had attempted, meaning OL’s were still in the game at 15 – 0. As OLs pressed Lutterworth deep into their 22 looking for a reply before half time sloppy play in the centre saw the ball intercepted and run a full 80 metres for a converted try under the posts. Another score shortly followed as an OL’s lapse in concentration saw Lutterworth waltz through the defence leaving a halftime score of 27 – 0.

OLs began the second half as they had ended the 1st half, deep inside Lutterworth territory, looking for their first score of the game. They were finally rewarded when fine passing amongst the backs created a chance for Olly Jones, who was driven over in the corner to score. Andy Thorne, on kicking duties for the day, missed the conversion.

The OL’s front row of Barry Hipwell, Martin Nobes and Michael Gold, usually the 3rd team front row, were holding their own against a much more experienced Lutterworth trio. However, they could not sustain their efforts with Hipwell, still suffering the ill effects of the Easter tour and having to be replaced at the start of the half.

Although the match was looking more even, OLs could not muster another score. Some chances were created but not taken as the Lutterworth defence stood firm. Lutterworth finally extinguished any hope of an OL’s comeback in the final ten minutes scoring another two unconverted tries, both out wide.

The final score was not reflective of the effort the OL’s players had put into the game. On a warm, energy sapping afternoon they played with the spirit and character they have shown countless times this year. They just came up against a very decent Lutterworth side and we wish them well in this Sunday’s Clonmell Cup Final against Southam.

OLs 2nds will look to end their season on a high this Saturday as they welcome a tricky Market Harborough side they drew 14 all with at the start of the year.

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