Newbury too strong for Banbury!
By Alex Inch
Despite another great effort from the Bulls, Newbury showed why they’ve won every game this season, winning 18-5.
Photos by Simon Grieve
After a disappointing loss last weekend, it wasn’t getting any easier. Banbury had the tough task of travelling to Newbury who had won every game this season and only failed to pick up a try bonus point in two of those games.
Banbury were forced into making 7 changes from the team that faced Marlborough last weekend, but it was great to see Giles Saar and Jacob Turner come into the Banbury side.
After an even start it was Newbury who took the lead. Tommy Gray did well to pick off a wayward pass but was penalised for being offside. Kris Ford kicking the penalty in line with the posts. Newbury 3 Banbury 0.
Banbury looked like they’d scored under the posts when Ed Phillips snuck over amongst a pile of bodies but with no clear grounding Banbury were awarded a 5m scrum. Criminally someone had too much to say to the referee and Banbury were penalised for back chat.
Newbury extended the lead when Harvey North scored out to the right for Newbury. Kris Ford couldn’t add the extras, 8-0.
Banbury responded well. A rolling maul was dragged down within metres of the line, but Jacob Turner did brilliantly to drag the ball out before playing in Duncan Leese to score in the corner. Ed Phillips couldn’t convert from the side-line. Newbury 8 Banbury 5.
Newbury started the second half the brighter and from a 5-metre scrum Alex Millar peeled off the back before crashing his way over in the corner. Kris Ford couldn’t convert, 13-5.
Joe Mills saw yellow for Banbury after coming in at the side in the red zone. The winger could feel hard done by after what looked like a knock on in the build-up.
Newbury got their final try of the afternoon when Tom Hunt scored. The scrum half taking a quick tap and go before running his way in from close range. After an extremely unsavoury incident earlier in the game the scrum half was lucky to be on the pitch at the time. Kris Ford couldn’t convert, 18-5.
The Bulls went searching for a converted try that would give them a losing bonus point but couldn’t find their way through a strong Newbury defence. Credit to Newbury they are top of the table for a reason and played some great rugby. Banbury probably had as many trips into the opposition 22 as Newbury but Newbury that little bit more clinical. 7 changes showed as the Bulls looked a little disjointed at times but individually 1-18 all put in a great shift.
Speaking to Head Coach, Matt Goode, after the game:
18-5, no points today but it was a great effort from the boys wasn’t it? Especially with the amount of changes you had to make. “We had a lot of changes, but we gave a good account of ourselves. We lacked a bit of structure in those last 20 minutes and Newbury defended really well. We tried what we could to break down the defence, but it just wasn’t our day.”
You haven’t won since Chippenham although you were very disappointed with that performance. Is it a strange feeling that the performances are there but the results have gone the other way?
“Obviously results are important but for me personally its about performances. I was really disappointed at Chippenham but I’ve been really impressed with the way we’ve conducted ourselves in the past few weeks. We’ve had a tough run of fixtures, that’s not helped. We’ve still got some tough games ahead, but I’d like to try and win every game until the end of the season.”
Old Centralians at home next weekend, a game that could have a big impact come the end of the season. Is it a must win if you’re going after that second spot? “I’m not looking at second spot, I’m focusing on performances and we’ll finish where we deserve to come the end of the season. It’s obviously a massive game, we lost at there place but with Jimmy Manley breaking his leg after 2 minutes that disrupted us a lot. I think we should have won at their place, so we’ll look to show what we’re capable of.”
You’ll be playing for the Tim Rogers Cup next week, are you hoping for another bumper crowd to make the difference? “Tim Rogers was a massive figurehead of Banbury Rugby Club. He’s massively missed and if we can play with the passion that Tim had for this club it’ll give us an extra edge. The 16th man has been massive for us. We want everyone up to the club and we want as many people around after the game as well. We’ve got some live music afterwards so come on down.”