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Handsworth RUFC 5 Burntwood RUFC 36

It proved six of the best for Burntwood with their sixth win in as many league starts as they ran in six tries to achieve the bonus point.

However, the general feeling was that the performance was only six out of ten, having left about 20 points on the pitch.

Apart form a noticeable breeze, the superb pitch at Handsworth and the dry conditions were ideal for running rugby.

An edited highlights package of the game would have been a treat to watch for Burntwood supporters but it would have hidden the missed opportunities caused by handling errors and some wrong options.

The visitors were lucky to escape conceding points as early as the first two minutes – a kickable penalty hitting the upright and rebounding back into play.

The Burntwood pack established control at the early scrums, shunting their opponents backwards. Handsworth lost a prop to a neck injury by the 14th minute.

Burntwood’s first real attack came five minutes later, instigated by Graham Shelley’s tap and go at a penalty award. Halil Gozukucuk and Craig Seedhouse supported but the move ended with a knock on. However, the visitors took the scrum to set Lloyd Shelley and Tom Restall charging forward. The ball found Ben Holt in the backs and he sped through a gap on the 22 to open the scoring.

Five minutes later, Ollie Whitehouse put his side in good position with a burst to the home 22. Holt received possession and a well-executed dummy scissors gave the outside half his second try. Matt Wood added the conversion.

The hosts forced play into the Burntwood half for a spell, only relieved by another run by Whitehouse from 22 to 22 but there was no further scoring before the break.

The second period began with Burntwood quickly on the attack down the slope. Two chances were lost to handling errors but even so, they went further ahead just 5 minutes in. Line out ball was moved right, left, then right again to leave the versatile Anthony Morgan with an unopposed run to the corner.

Both sides were guilty of forward passes prior to the hosts having a shot at goal which fell short for Seedhouse to clear. It was Seedhouse who initiated the next try. Taking a home chip on halfway, he set up a counter attack involving several players which split the Handsworth defence apart for skipper Shelley to run the bonus point try in. Wood converted.

Handsworth showed they weren’t finished by launching a good attack left then right for a try in the corner, only the second conceded by Burntwood in the league campaign so far this season.

The hosts tried to add to their score but Seedhouse put them back in their own half with his boot. Burntwood took the resulting line out to feed the backs but Wood was forced into touch. Handsworth made a mess of the following line out to present the visitors with a five metre scrum. Whitehouse ducked under two tackles for a try, converted by Wood.

Burntwood rang the changes with Andy Miles, Jack Neal and Mitch Adams coming on for the last 10 minutes. They remained in control with Dan Garrity going close and then Whitehouse almost touching down his own chip ahead.

But they still had the last word. Another forceful Burntwood scrum saw Graham Shelley threaten. The ball was re-cycled for Wood to arc through a gap for the final points of the afternoon.

Burntwood travel to Ashbourne for their Third Round tie in the RFU Senior Vase this Saturday (November 6), kick off 2pm. The 2nds are away to Trentham 2nds and the 3rds host Rugeley 2nds – both of these games kick off at 2.30pm.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.