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Burntwood RUFC stay top of the table after win over Edwardians

A match of three distinct phases saw Burntwood RUFC come back from a half time deficit to score 21 unanswered points in the second period against Edwardians to stay top of the table.

For a change, Sean Latham’s side got off to a good start and were 14 points up by the end of the first quarter. Edwardians hit back to score three tries to lead 17-14 at the break before three second half tries produced the bonus point win.

The visitors went ahead in the third minute. Stealing an Eds’ throw in at a line out near halfway, good build up play by backs and forwards saw Tom O’Brien make ground. Co- centre Rory Newall received possession and he fed Luke Rookyard for the try converted by Newall.

The hosts benefited from infringements by Burntwood but struggled in the line outs with Josh Canning in fine form.

Danny Poole set up the next scoring opportunity, breaking into opposition territory up to the 22 but the ball was knocked on by his support players.

Newall had a shot at goal on 18 minutes but a swirling wind made life difficult for the kickers and his penalty attempt held up in the wind.

Neil Holden was the next player to feature with a good break close to the home line. Eds conceded a penalty which was kicked to the corner. Canning collected and set up a well controlled drive finished off by Poole. Newall’s fine conversion made it 14-0.

Eds replied when a chip out of defence by Burntwood was caught and run back. Good handling led to a try in the corner.

The build up to their next try was rather fortuitous. Full back Billy Fisher showed fine skill to trap a punt downfield to then pick up and begin a counter attack. The referee saw it as a knock on and awarded a scrum. The No 8 made ground to set up his backs for a try close to the posts and the successful conversion made it a two point game.

Eds were now buoyant and took the lead following another counter attack from a kick out of defence. It was stopped five metres off the try line but from the ensuing scrum the home backs combined again and dotted down by the posts for a converted try.

Newall had the chance to level the scores in time added on but his penalty kick from 30 metres was just off target.

Coach Jimmy Davies re-shuffled his line up for the second period and was forced to make another change just five minutes in when O’Brien injured his arm and Liam Latham replaced him.

The changes seemed to work as Burntwood began to dominate, their cause helped by the hosts losing their full back to the sin bin on 53 minutes. The penalty was kicked to the corner but Canning’s catch was fumbled by others and the ball was booted downfield.

Good work by Fisher rescued the situation, chasing back into his own 22, before Poole received possession to take play back into the opposition half.

A penalty award helped them set up a good platform on the home 22. Canning broke through on an angled run, shrugged of one tackler and fended off two more to score by the posts. Newall converted on 63 minutes.

A patient build up on 70 minutes ended with Newall held up on the line. A scrum five metres out led to a drive by Canning and a scoring pass from Ian Jones to Poole for his second try. Newall obliged with the conversion.

Rookyard almost added to the lead with a 20 metre run close to the final whistle but at least he kept play in the home 22. Poole charged from a scrum. Neil Holden drove on to set up the ruck and when the defenders were cleared out he was up and over the line to continue his scoring run of at least one try per game. Newall completed the scoring.

Eds had one last foray to notch a try bonus point but it ended with a knock on near the home 22.

Burntwood 2nds made it two wins on the trot by edging out Leek 2nds 29-28 at The Sportsway to move off the bottom of the Staffs Reserve League Division One.

No fixture for the 1sts this Saturday but the 2nds are due to welcome Ludlow 2nds and the 3rds have an outing at home to Pinley.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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