League Tables
Next Selection
Comfort Zone
Tour 2002
Insurance and Fair Play
Club Details
Club Forum
Rugby Union News

Latest News

Win Marred by Dismissal

Ray Taylor  Saturday, October 27, 2001  19:08 GMT

After a closely fought contest, the Devizes Saddlebacks were relieved to record their second League win of the season at Nationwide Sports Ground, Swindon.  The game started at a frantic pace as both teams sought to gain an early advantage.  Two converted penalty kicks saw the teams level pegging at 3 - 3 for over twenty minutes.  Swindon were more prominent in the first quarter of the game, as Devizes gave ground through a series of handling errors and turnovers.  Devizes were caught unawares when, from a scrum, Swindon attacked the blindside to score.  With the conversion, Swindon established a 1O - 3 lead.

Richard Slater, who alternated at flyhalf with Gareth Jones, began to exert an increasingly important influence on the game with a variety of strategic kicks.  A long touch kick into College territory led to a scrum from which Richard calmly dropped a goal, to keep Devizes within striking distance at 1O - 6.  Devizes were not playing with any consistency or rhythm.  Too often the pack failed to provide scrum half, Tom Collins, with fast, protected ball.  So, he was regularly embroiled in rucks, to the detriment of the threequarters.  However Devizes' supporters were consoled when Jason Giddings broke free from a ruck to send the ever supportive Mike McCrum over for a try.  A spectacular conversion from Andy Webb put the Saddlebacks ahead 13 - 1O at half time.

Devizes attacked from the restart to force a penalty that Andy Webb easily slotted, to increase the lead to 16 - 1O.  Richard Slater began to demonstrate his range of kicking skills as the only way to give the pack good field positions.  Catching a College kick out of defence, he surprised the opposition by starting a sweeping handling move that involved Andy Hancock and Mike McCrum, who finished off the move for his second try.  Then, from a scrum 4O metres from the Swindon line, Richard nonchalantly dropped a second goal, moving the score to 24 -1O in Devizes' favour.  The College OB's were stung into action and retaliated immediately.  From a deep position, the fullback started a move that gathered momentum as Devizes' despairing tackles failed to close it down.  The resulting well-executed try and conversion brought the College to within one score at 24 - 17.

Devizes suffered a set back in the remaining twenty minutes, when Jason Giddings was sent off for a late tackle.  Swindon took the opportunity to score against a stretched defence and reduced the Devizes lead to within two points at 24 - 22.  However, another Andy Webb penalty enabled Devizes to hold on for a rare victory at the Nationwide Sports Ground - Devizes 1XV 27 - Swindon College Old Boys 22.

 Best with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 and higher Copyright © 2001 intheteam