Combe's mini revival hits the buffers
Westcliff RFC 42-0 Westcombe Park RFC
It would be reassuring for the Combe faithful to say that the score line
flattered Westcliff but this would be wide of the mark. The home side
were clinical in their finishing, pacier in attack and ever ready to
exploit Combe's mistakes. WPRFC did have their chances but these were
not converted due to stifling West defence or passes going astray or
being fumbled. Even when West were down to 13 men at one point, Combe
weren't able to take advantage and the home side even managed to add to
their try tally.
In the opening period the game was played chiefly between the 22s but
West appeared the more threatening despite a rumbustious Combe driving
maul. The home side opened the scoring when a grubber kick into Combe's
22 wasn't cleared adequately and was swiftly pounced on by West's right
wing Merrick who crossed in the corner for an unconverted try. West's
second score came again on their right after a missed Combe tackle. The
conversion was missed leaving West ten points in the lead.
West's stand-off Jones was keeping Combe pinned back with some booming
kicks and it wasn't until the second qurtaer that Combe made their first
serious incursion into Westcliff's 22. A tap penalty brought the
visitors to within 5 metres but the ball went loose and was hacked into
touch. From the lineout Combe drove hard but the ball was held up and
the resultant 5 metre scrum came to naught.
Westcliff extended their lead with 30 minutes on the clock after several
powerful thrusts in the 22 at the Combe line. Their next score came
after an encouraging Combe attack with centre Pursell to the fore. As
with a number of Combe moves the ball went loose and West were quicker
to react, sprinting nearly the length of the park, outpacing the cover
and being finished off out on the right. 22-0. The final score came with
half time approaching (when have you heard that before?) when a West
attcker wriggled out of the attempted tackle to go over close to the
Half time: WRFC 29-0 WPRFC
Combe started the second half positively and West could only stop a
series of charges by serial naughtiness at the breakdown. End result was
a yellow card for the home side but Combe weren't able to exploit the
advantage and indeed West were next to score, exposing a general
narrowness in Combe's defensive organisation, to cross out wide. The try
was converted to increase their total to 36 points.
The match was scoreless for the next 20 minutes which were chiefly
marked by the home team going down to 13 men getting a couple of yellow
cards; one for a deliberate knock on and a second for illegal slowing of
attacking ball in front of the posts. Despite having the extra men and
several promising opportunities, Combe failed to score which can be put
down to West's line speed in defence and a seeming lack of confidence in
the visitors' ball handling skills.
West were able to complete a pretty comprehensive victory with 5 minutes
left, taking a quick tap penalty and a bursting through tired looking
Combe tackles to go in under the posts for a converted try.
A well deserved win for Westcliff who were focussed and clinical
throughout. Combe once more need to re-energise and re-build confidence
to take on Epsom and Sutton and Goddington Dene on 20 January.
Final score Westcliff RFC 42-0 Westcombe Park RFC
Westcombe Park RFC: Robinson, Potter, Deschamps, Pursell, Jackson,
Cameron, Durkin, O'Sullivan, Covington, Hackett, Christopher, Calohard,
Forsyth, Bonner, Saunders
Replacements: Simmons, Fox, Zanirato
Match Report: John Vallely