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Burntwood RUFC leave it late to secure Senior Vase victory

Burntwood RUFC christened their new playing strip with a win over Rugby St Andrews to take them into the Midlands Quarter Finals of the RFU Senior Vase competition.

There was not much to choose between the sides in terms of the scoreline until three minutes from the end when Will Peach put his side two scores infront. Then a last minute try from Matt Sishton and a conversion by Peach sealed the hosts’ passage into the next round.

There were a surprising number of handling errors during the contest despite the good playing conditions. They resulted from passes being forced when greater patience was required by both sides.

Having said that, Burntwood started well, offloading the ball amongst the forwards to take play into the opposition half but the only result was an injury to the visitors’ outside half who was replaced after just four minutes.

Most of the first quarter was in the RSA 22 but the attacks lacked penetration. Peach’s first penalty goal attempt was right of the target and then Craig Seedhouse’s drop for goal was scuffed.

When the visitors cleared their 22 with a penalty kick to touch, the throw in was crooked which presented a scrum to Burntwood. Seedhouse cut a good line to finally breach the defence and Graham Shelley was in support to force his way over the try line under the posts. Peach’s conversion was a formality.

Rugby St Andrews spent more time in home territory up till the half hour mark. They were almost away down the right touchline but spilled possession. Skipper Ian Jones set them back with a steal at a scrum to put his side back on the attack. The visitors infringed and Peach made it 10-0 with a well-struck penalty from wide out on the left.

From the restart Ben Holt made a good break into the RSA half but ran out of support.

Then Rugby St Andrews launched their first determined attack of the half close to the clubhouse corner. A line out catch and drive was halted but only at the cost of a penalty. They kicked for another line out but this was forced into touch. At the third time of asking, they chose to feed the backs and a neat cut back against the flow led to a converted try under the posts to make it 10-7 at half time.

Burntwood dominated the early part of the second period like they had the first, aided by a burst from Jack Neal and a punt by Seedhouse into the bottom corner.

They won a penalty at a line out which was tapped to Danny Poole who broke a tackle to cross the line near the posts. Peach’s conversion made it 17-7 after 51 minutes.

Poole impressed again at the restart, taking possession to charge into visitors’ territory but the players in support infringed to lose the position.
Close to the hour mark a peel round the back of a line out by the Rugby St Andrews’ hooker had the hosts’ defence in trouble. They infringed and the penalty was kicked into the left corner. The initial drive was stopped but the big replacement prop re-gathered to force his way over in the corner.

Five minutes later Peach sent a penalty attempt right of the target despite striking the ball well from 35 metres.

Play for the next 15 minutes was fairly sterile with a succession of fairly inconclusive scrums.

Peach had another penalty kick on 76 minutes which he miscued but just a minute later he made it 20-12 when Rugby St Andrews were guilty of pulling a player back without the ball.

With one minute left Neal was on the charge again. He almost rounded the last defender but stumbled in the process to leave the visitors with a scrum on their 22.

The resulting clearance kick was caught and run back by replacement winger Chris Smith who had only just entered the field. He raced towards the posts and fed Holt who was held up. The ball was recycled to Sishton who squeezed over in the clubhouse corner. Peach’s fine conversion kick drew play to a close.

Burntwood now await the draw for the next round which should be played on the last Saturday before Christmas (December 21).

Burntwood now begin a run of four league games beginning with the visit of Newcastle (Staffs) to The Sportsway this Saturday – kick off 2.15pm. The A XV play Burton 3rds (A) and the Development Squad welcome Rugeley 2nds.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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