West Bucks work with the elements

By chris harrison - October 8 2009
West Bucks work with the elements
Hat Trick West Buck entertained Middlesbrough A in the Tees Merit league on a very windy Brinkburn. The Boro had come with quite some reputation having lost only a handful of fixtures in the last couple of seasons.
The extreme weather conditions played some considerable part in the match as both teams battled to conquer both the opposition and the elements. West elected to play into the gale in the first half.
On 6 minutes the West forwards secured the ball and drove it on. When it was released outside centre Phil Henderson burst through the initial defensive line before powering on to the try line (5-0).
Both teams tried to play rugby but the conditions were continuing to worsen.
On 22 minutes West winger, Mark Pearce, scored after terrific play by the forwards released the back line. Hooker Ross Wood knocked it up in midfield and popped of to the looping fly half Stu Waites who darted through the defensive line. Waites released winger Pearce who finished it off with consummate ease.
A positive aspect of the first half display was Wests desire to run any kicked ball back to the Boro defence rather than play the lottery of kicking it back.
Half Time West Bucks 10 0 Boro A
With the wind in the 2nd half the problem West had to deal with was the wind at their backs plus the belief that the hard work had already been done.
5 minutes in and Luke Mallinson was able to convert a penalty virtually in front of the posts (13-0).
18 minutes in to the 2nd half and, outside centre, Andy Hare (Panda) finished off an excellent passing move.
The A team scored next when considerable pressure on the home line allowed one of the visitors forwards to pick up and dive over wide out (18-5).
However West struck back almost immediately when they secured the ball from the kick off, after poor play by the visitors.
Again the ball was moved out wide and terrific interplay between skipper Henderson in the centre and 2nd row Joe Rafferty released Panda who scooted down the touchline to score
Again West pressed on the visitors line and they were awarded with a penalty. They took it quickly and giant prop Mark Cholmondeley took the ball on before releasing a beautiful pop pass out of the tackle for Chris Young to stroll over and touch down. Mallinson converted (30-5).
A few minutes later and as the ball was moved along the West back line, centre, Phil Henderson provided a short pop pass for Panda to burst through and touchdown to complete his hat-trick (35-5).
West finished proceedings when Cholmondeley collected a miss directed clearance kick and barged forward. The ball was moved quickly wide by the backs and full back Luke Mallinson cut into the line to score wide out (40-5).
An excellent result for the Bucks against a team that has just stepped up to this level after a couple of seasons of success at a lower level.
The terrificly windy conditions made rugby very difficult and West mastered the conditions far better than the opposition throughout the match.
Joe Rafferty dominated the lineouts taking most of his ball and most of the oppositions too.
Scott Martin provided beautiful controlled ball from the base and Stu Waites used it wisely.
This really was a game where tactics dominated where West curbed their attacking instincts to ensure control of the ball whereas Boro continued to try and spin the ball along the backs when conditions simply would not allow it.
West March on next week to Northallerton where another stiff test lies in wait.

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