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Electric start helps Lichfield RUFC secure victory at Silhillians

Lichfield RUFC made a statement of intent right from the off as they secured a 27-17 win at newly-promoted Silhillians.

With little known about the opposition, the focus for the Myrtle Greens was building on last week’s performance and it showed as they shot out of the blocks.

An electric start saw Will Cotterhill dictated play and marshal a rampant pack. With such powerful go forward from Sam Prior and Nick Southern, the hosts couldn’t live with the intensity and soon found themselves camped on their own line. Handling errors eventually allowed Silhillians to clear their lines, but the picture for the day had already been painted.

Lichfield’s work rate in defense was tireless and the returning Luke Taplin was everywhere, working in tandem with his back row partner Charlie Milner to snaffle any attack.

From a resulting breakdown penalty, Luke Massey put the ball into the 22, and from the lineout the pack did the rest. An excellent driving maul took them closer, followed by a series of pick and goes which saw Sam Prior power over. Luke Massey converted and the visitors were 7-0 up.

With Lichfield dictating the pace of the game, they started to move the Silhillians defence around a very wide pitch. Tom Adams and Paul Maxwell keys were making ground every time they touched the ball, and the forward pack were charging around the park.

A lineout in the Silhillians 22 saw the ball moved from one side of the pitch to the other in a series of phase plays, before a clever little kick from Will Cotterhill saw Dan Rowlands score in the corner.

The Myrtle Greens were dominant in attack and defence. The odd venture from the hosts was repelled and turned over, with smart rugby winning out as Lichfield looked to play in the right parts of the pitch.

Midfield pressure told on a blunt Sils attack, and the resulting scrum saw Prior pick and run from the halfway line to score in the corner, out-stripping the backs for pace. Dan Rowlands topped off a superb 30 minutes of play, as strong forward play saw the defence sucked in, before an excellent pass from Luke Massey found Rowlands in space to sprint to the corner to score.

With Lichfield ahead 22-0 they had gained a bonus point before half time. This seemed to be the catalyst for a drop in intensity and Silhillians finished the half strongest as a lucky bounce beat the last defender and a back tracking Sils player dived on the ball to score in the corner.

With the score at 5-22, the first 15 minutes of the second half were dominated by the referee and his whistle, penalising both teams at the breakdown.

Lichfield were getting themselves into the Sils half, but were unable to keep hold of the ball. Their opponents capitalised on this, as they kicked the ball deep into the 22, and worked a nice set piece move which saw the winger find space out wide to score in the corner.

Silhillians looked to pick up the pace going into the last quarter of an hour but they found the Greens’ defence in no mood to ease up. Power play from the pack saw the ball carried deep into the Sils half, and the increase in tempo had the home defence scrambling. The ball was shifted to Paul Maxwell-Keys on the wing who embarrassed his would-be tackler with some exceptional footwork to score in the corner.

Lichfield had their 17 point cushion back and continued their onslaught, with only ruck interpretations denying them possession.

From the final attack of the game, Sils moved the ball wide and it looked like the scrambling defence had done enough to deny them a try, however the referee presumed the ball to have crossed the line and be grounded. With the conversion added, the game finished 17-27, a scoreline making the game look closer than what it was.

Lichfield: Gabbitass, Clarke, Bassett (c), Southern, Squire, Taplin, Milner, Prior; W Cotterhill, L Massey, J Massey, Maxwell-Keys, Adams, D Rowlands, G Massey. Subs: Thompson, Beynon and Lote.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.