This game was not as one-sided as the score line reflects and the Warriors had to work hard for a very well-deserved win even though for72 minutes, they had to play with only 14 men. The scoring opened with only three minutes on the clock when centre Tom Horton-King went in for the try. Toby Clinch converted and Taunton had the 7-point lead. Just two minutes later and St Bernadette’s playing to their strength bulldozed their forwards over for their first try. This was not converted and the Warriors had a slender two-point lead. The Warriors came back and the centre opened up with Ollie Brown taking the pass to race for the line, running out of space and with a good cover defence Ollie was able to pass on to hooker Liam Dray who went in for the Try. Toby converted. Just two-minutes later and Liam had a bad injury to his hand which meant he had to leave the field and was not able to come back. With no substitutes the Warriors were reduced to 14 men. However, with two other hookers playing both with black scrum caps and then seemingly swapping around, from the touchline we were never sure who was in the middle in the scrum. Luckily, St Bernadettes did not exploit the man extra behind the scrum and when they did attempt to play wide Ollie Brown seemed to be able to cover both wings. They had some big forwards who exploited the tight areas around the breakdown, but the Warriors stood up to the task and tackled fiercely. This mauling was rewarded on the 26th minute when St Bernadette’s went in for a second unconverted try to reduce their deficit to just 4-points. The Warriors were drawn into this close mauling game which was giving the advantage to St Bernadette’s and when the Warriors did spin the ball wide there was always that extra man to soak up the pressure. With just 4 minutes of the half left Ollie Brown did receive the ball and with very little room showed his skill and pace to score out wide which Toby could not convert but extended the lead to nine-points, which is how the half finished.
Discussions with my fellow supporters at halftime were around how St Bernadette’s were starting to blow more and we expected the Warriors superior fitness to start to show in the second half. Just three minutes into the second half and the skill and pace from Toby Clinch playing at number 10 took him in for the try which he converted. The Warriors were now spinning the ball and making St Bernadette’s run about more and as such gaps started to open. These were exploited by Henry Webb in the centre who went in for the next three tries of which only the first was converted but it increased the lead by another twelve-points. Not to be outdone the last try of the afternoon was scored by Tom Horton-King and it needed a change of kicker to make the fifty-point mark. Up stepped George the boot Gosling who set up the ball on the tee and slotted it between the posts. With the light fading and the ball being difficult to see with very little time left on the clock the referee blew his final whistle for a hard-fought win by the fourteen.
There were some interesting points which came out of this game. The Warriors player who won all of the Warriors home ball in the Lineout was the second smallest in the pack. The others being able to launch him to tremendous heights and he with his ball handling skill won the ball. His other skills in tackling and joining up moves made him stand out as did the red scrum hat he wears. Broadie covered a lot of ground. The skill level of both forwards and backs was outstanding to see the ball handling skills of a large prop like Jo Atkins taking a ball of his toes and then making 35 metres before passing on to Henry for a try was something to be applauded. Charlie Way may be small but never misses an opportunity and the yardage he made from scrumhalf was to be applauded but so was the support which he received in making these breaks. The whole team deserves tremendous applause to turn out in such challenging conditions and to secure such a good win. Thanks, must also go to the small but enthusiastic supporters who walked all of that distance from the Clubhouse to the pitch and back to support our Warriors