Plymouth Match Report

By Oscar the Otter - September 16 2003
Plymouth Match Report Having surprised Worcester last week, Otley came away from Plymouth with a marvellous victory which put a dampener on their hosts' first home game at their new Brickfields stadium.

PLYMOUTH ALBION 10 OTLEY 16

A carnival atmosphere enveloped their new home as a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter delivered the match ball, cheerleaders gyrated on the pitch and an army of over 3,000 Plymouth supporters roared in accompaniment to the "Albion War Drums".

Once again the Otley forwards were in fine form and the well-organised defence was superb, being breached just once when Plymouth centre Keni Fisilau scored in the 37th minute while Otley winger Waisale Sovatabua was in the sin-bin.

Nat Saumi added a penalty to the conversion which gave Albion a 10-0 lead at half-time.

Otley came out with all guns blazing in the second half and, with Dave Scully allowing Plymouth danger-man Dan Ward-Smith no room at the base of the scrum, they began to take the ascendancy and were level within 8 minutes.

Neil Law was the last visitor to score at Plymouth's old ground and became the first to score at the new one.

Fellow centre Rob Whatmuff broke through the Albion defence and the ball was transferred wide for Law to power over the line.

Simon Binns added the conversion and then kicked a penalty to draw Otley level at 10-10.

Otley's defence withstood intense pressure as Albion became desparate in attack.

Binns then took full advantage of Albion's indiscretions and knocked over a couple of penalties to secure the win.

Graham Dawe, Plymouth Albion's Director of Rugby, had a few things to say after the match.

"There were certain aspects we could have done better, but the opposition were very well drilled. They were very good, very strong and organised and they were hard to break down".

"We didn't do everything quite as well as last week," admitted Dawe. "Some of our sets, first phase and first rucks were not quite clinical enough and not quite clean or quick enough, but that happens when the opposition are like they are. Otley are a good team".

Otley: I Shuttleworth, A Monks, R Whatmuff, N Law, W Sovatabua, S Binns, D Scully (capt), J Wring, D Sayers (M Luffman 55), K Fullman, J Oakes, P Williams (R Pike 20), J Tiffany, N Bland (M Wright 66), S Connor

Plymouth Albion: N Saumi, N Simpson (L Robinson 71), K Fisilau, R Winney (T Barlow 63), P Sykes, M Carrington (capt), N Cane (D Llewellyn 63), P Risdon, S Pearl (C Rowland 79), T Paoletti (D Parkes 63), W James (B Luxton 40), A Perry, D Thomas, K Foote, D Ward-Smith

Referee: Alan Biggs (RFU)

MATCH STATISTICS

Plymouth Albion 10

Tries: Fisilau

Cons: Saumi

Pens: Saumi

Otley 16

Tries: Law

Cons: Binns

Pens: Binns (3)