Taunton Warriors 38 Avon 17

Article published:
April 8, 2024

Whilst the score looks comfortable it was only in the last 10-minutes of the game that the Warriors were able to go past the score of a one-try difference.  The tackling by both sides was very effectiveand exceptional by Olie Guest the eighteen years old Warriors fullback in only his second senior game.  On three occasions the Avon attacker only had him to beat and on each occasion, hetackled his man and prevented a certain try. He was also the instigator of the first try, fielding a ball in his own half running and sidestepping the opposition before passing on to Charlie Way who took the play on to short of the Avon 22 metre line before passing on to second row Taine Benson who passed on the Josh Guest to score the opening try after just two minutes.  The conversion was missed and the Warriors had a slender lead. On the fifteen-minute mark that lead was reduced when Avon kicked a penalty.  Just three minutes later and Avon were reduced to 14 players after a dangerous tackle on Oliver Wrelton which ended his game for the day.  Whilst it was felt that he was probably not suffering from concussion the Warriors physiotherapist took the decision not to allow him back.  We need to thank our physiotherapist for all of his work and help during the season and the care he has given to the team both home and away.

The Warriors made the most of having the man advantage and but for final passes being dropped would have scored earlier than on twenty-seven-minutes when a break by Henry Webb allowed Josh Guest to go in for his second try which Ben Alvis converted to take the score to 12-3 in favour of the Warriors. Mike Owen had replaced Oliver Wrelton at number eight and was making some very good carries which were testing the Avon defence and so on 36-minutesit was against the run of play that Avon went in for a converted try to reduce their deficit to just two-points. A telling burst by Mike Owen was recycled and with the last move of the half Andy England went in for the try which Ben Alvis converted to give the Warriors a half time lead of 19-points to 10.

Avon started the second half with real meaning and determination and were soon rewarded with a try, which was converted and to take then to within two-points of the Warriors lead.  It was some excellent defence by the Warriors which kept Avon away.  As the Warriors gained more ball so the Avon defence was put to the test and so on 65-minutesMike Owen broke through for a try which was not converted but gave the Warriors a seven-point lead.  The big Avon side were starting to have to run about the field more as the fitness and pace of the Warriors started to shine through so with just 5 minutes of the game left Henry Webb again made the break for Josh Guest to get his third try of the game, which Ben converted to give the Warriors a 14-point lead.  Just two minutes later and with the line beckoning for our young eighteen years old wing Evan Smalldon to score, the pass never came.  It did come however to our other eighteen years old Olie Guest who on the stroke of the final whistle went in for the try which Ben converted to give the Warriors their win.

This win gave the Warriors 105league points for the season having won 21 games and lost just 1.  Their total points scored tally was 1228 with just 271 against which demonstrated just how good was not only their attack but their defence as well. They had been awarded the Somerset RFU Team of the month and have now received the accolade of being the RFU Team of the month.  Whilst giving the team a lot of credit we must also give John Wrelton and Brett Harvey a huge accolade for taking a group of eighteen years old Colts into senior men’s rugby and with the support of some of our more mature players, winning the league and promotion in just two seasons.  This gives us a platform in the club for a progression route for our junior players.  Two of these players have played for Somerset under 20’s and several have gone on to play for the Titans.  Tremendous thanks must also go to a very dedicated group of supporters who have gone to both home and away games to show a presence for not only the team but also the club.  Next season will bring challenges of a higher level of rugby and a little more travelling and we all look forward to supporting our Warriors in their next campaign.

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