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Bonus point victory sees Burntwood RUFC go top of the table

Burntwood RUFC followed up their opening day bonus point win with another to put themselves a point clear at the top of the table after two rounds of fixtures.

Similar to a week earlier, they went behind early on but hit back with seven tries, the bulk of them in a second period tally of 38 points, to pass the half century in their 54-17 victory at Bloxwich.

Playing down the slope in perfect conditions, the hosts mounted early pressure, helped by stealing two Burntwood scrummages. In the opening ten minutes they tried to feed the ball to their left winger on several occasions but each pass missed the target.

The only relief for the visitors came from two promising runs across halfway by Charlie Liggins, fed first by Ben Holt and then Brett Taylor, but he was closed down by the cover defence both times.

Having failed to find their winger with conventional passes, the Bloxwich outside half chose to kick the ball to the bottom corner for the winger to collect and dot down to open the scoring on 11 minutes.

A frantic period of play, with both sides stealing each others possession in the loose, ended with a scrum to the visitors on the right side of the home 22. Skipper Ian Jones worked the narrow side with Nick Peplow and Josh Bayliss to put Jack Neale in for a try to level the scores after 17 minutes.

Full back Taylor snuffed out the next threat from the hosts when he was forced to turn and chase a chip kick behind him and clear under pressure.

It was Burntwood’s turn to steal a scrummage against the head on 23 minutes to set Bayliss away over halfway. Dave Yardley and Holt were in support to feed Liggins to get into the home 22 but the danger was cleared.

Two minutes later another promising attack ended with Peplow being forced into touch but the visitors’ three quarters were linking well to stretch the home defence time and again.

The forwards were also doing their bit and good work first by Neale and then by Danny Poole earned two penalties which Will Peach converted to put Burntwood 11-5 ahead on the half hour mark.

The try Burntwood had threatened came four minutes later. From a scrum on their own 10 metre line, Peach slipped Holt through a gap and he side-stepped the full back en route to the try line for an excellent individual try.

A couple of Burntwood errors, one handling and the other kicking, allowed Bloxwich to test their defence but the hosts lost their promising position via an infringement.

The half ended with a long range penalty attempt from Peach which fell short and was cleared.

Just two minutes into the second half Burntwood pulled further ahead with an opportunist try from Peplow. A loose Bloxwich pass was snaffled by the winger and he broke past two defenders in a run to the posts. Peach converted.

The bonus point try was scored after 49 minutes. Good play down the short side saw Luke Rookyard, Graham Shelley and Neale go close before Bayliss swept round to the open side to go over by the posts for Peach to convert easily.

A classy break by James Langford took play back into the home half from the restart and led to a penalty goal in front of the posts by Peach.

Any thoughts Burntwood had of cruising to the finish were ended with a determined spell of pressure from the hosts. Close to the hour mark their forwards camped on the five metre line and eventually put the No. 4 over for a try.

A quiet period of play was ended with another fine individual try from Holt going into the last ten minutes. He dummied his way through on the home 10 metre line and escaped the last tackle for a try under the posts. Peach converted for 40-10.

Two minutes later, Neale’s line out take enabled Poole to break over halfway. He fed Taylor who came into the line at pace. A final dummy and the full back was in under the posts. Peach converted.

Bloxwich hit back with their third try in the 79th minute following a series of forward drives which saw them cross under the posts. The conversion made it 47-17 but there was still time for the visitors to put one last nail in the coffin.

Jones’s chip to the corner forced a scrum and when the scrum wheeled, Shelley was able to stretch over the line for the touch down. Peach added his best conversion of the day to conclude the action.

Burntwood have a bye in the First Round of the RFU Senior Vase competition and so will be without a fixture this weekend so the spotlight falls on the Development Squad and 3rd XV who both face Stafford opposition with the former away and the latter at The Sportsway.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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