Burntwood RUFC sunk by second half Loughborough show

Burntwood RUFC competed well in the first half of their Midlands KO Cup clash against Loughborough, but found the conditions too tough to handle in a second period dominated by the leaders of Midlands 3 East North.

Owen Rookyard tries to hand off a tackler. Pic: Joanne Gough

Owen Rookyard tries to hand off a tackler. Pic: Joanne Gough

A bright start to the game by Ben Holt’s side saw them take the lead via an Aza Dunet penalty goal.

When the hosts won a penalty award they chose to kick for position, but only succeeded in kicking the ball dead to earn the visitors a reprieve. It was only temporary as full back Owen Rookyard needed to put a big tackle in to halt a home forward’s charge for the line.

Loughborough’s pressure was rewarded after 16 minutes with a pushover try at the second attempt as their big forwards proved unstoppable. The conversion made it 7-3.

Burntwood had the chance to hit back direct from the restart when the hosts infringed. Dunet’s goal attempt hit a post and rebounded back into play. Follow up chasers caught the man in possession to mount a spell of close range pressure but a dropped pass allowed Loughborough to kick clear.

The visitors’ best attack came on 23 minutes. A sweeping move right then left set Holt on a break. He fed Luke Rookyard who then found his brother Owen, who looked set to score only to be dragged down a foot short of the line. It proved a costly miss in more ways than one as the full back suffered a leg injury and was replaced by Jack Dace.

Alan Mapp tries to make a break. Pic: Joanne Gough

Alan Mapp tries to make a break. Pic: Joanne Gough

The visitors continued to enjoy good possession and territory approaching the half hour mark but a fumble behind their own scrum saw the home forwards rumble all the way upfield to reach the try line and then over for their second try. This also came at the cost of another injury as Pat Bayliss was forced off with damage to his arm.

Burntwood played the rest of the half in home territory but the nearest they came to scoring was a Dunet penalty attempt which went left of the posts.

The story for the second period was set from the first minute as the hosts broke a tackle on their own ten metre line to sweep downfield for a converted try. Burntwood’s injury woes continued as Neil Holden went off and was replaced by Daryll Organ.

The visitors worked their way upfield on several occasions during the half but as the weather conditions deteriorated any errors were severely punished as the hosts ran in six tries at regular intervals. The Loughborough place kicker was also in good form, adding three conversions and a penalty goal to complete the tally.

The 3rd XV welcomed Bloxwich 2nds to The Sportsway and defeated them 35-0 but an under-strength colts side went down 50-10 away to Ledbury on Sunday.

This weekend’s rugby action begins with an outing for the veterans’ squad on Friday night with the visit of Rugeley for a 7.15pm kick off. On Saturday the 1st XV are on their travels again with a trip to Ludlow, the first of three games against the league’s top three sides in the run up to the Christmas break with Newcastle at home on December 12, which is also the club’s Patrons Day, and then away to current leaders Tamworth on December 19. The 2nds are at home to Stone this Saturday.