Weavering Warriors II 31
St Leonards CP 29
A much changed Ports XV travelled to Kent to face a friendly against new opposition.
For the first time Weavering had put together a 2nd XV but the core of the side was well drilled and organised. This was clear from the off and Ports needed to put in the tackles.
James Daniels, Tom Ingram and Kim Wan put in tackles that halted the host’s progress.
Despite this, defensive disorganisation which would hamper the Ports all day, allowed some of the Weavering runners through. Ports held them up but the prop hammered over to open the scoring. After this Ports developed some structure.
Murray Warman almost put in Will Steele, before a strong scrummage allowed Tom Ingram to break away. He offloaded to Robbie Fink, the Czech winger sprinted home to touch down. Luke Barningham converted.
Ports held more possession, Steve Hall sniped and teased as Colin Whyte and Tierlen Behan smashed the ball into contact.
Ports were still lacking precision and Weavering looked dangerous in possession. A well worked backs move was tracked well by Fink and his interception was well timed and he ran in his second try of the day. Barningham converted again.
At this point Ports seemed to be in control, Henry Hill threw a looping pass to Warman who this time connected with Steele. The Scotsman found a gap to dive in for his sixth try of the season.
Ports came close on a number of occasions, Ingram was a strong running presence and it was inevitable that he would crash over for Ports fourth try.
The second half started in a similar fashion. Whyte and Behan smashed the ball onwards before Hill passed to Wan who fixed his man and put Hall over in the corner.
From that point Weavering became more direct and possession seemed to dry up for Ports. The tries began to tick over regularly as Ports fell off tackles and left gaps. Injuries to Daniels, Whyte and Behan weakened the team.
Despite this injuries were not the reason for the shift in fortunes. The hosts ran strongly, and Ports in their desperation began to give away penalties. Chris Perry was strong in defence but Weavering found gaps and took the lead. With moments to go Ports managed to get themselves back down field, Ross Kearney cutting a good line but possession was lost and Weavering completed an amazing turnaround.
Team Manager Gavin Thomas was honest in his appraisal of the match: “We had enough to win the game but we lost focus and that allowed a motivated opposition back into the game”.
Despite the result Ports demonstrated some strong performances. Fink was a dangerous runner with the limited ball he had, Luke Barningham was secure under the high ball and led counter attacks well but the E-Heat Man of the match was awarded to Steve Hall; he controlled the game well at scrum half, and when shifted to wing took his try well and shut down the wide channels defensively.
Main photograph… Man of the match Steve hall oversees the scrum.
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