This Cup game saw a number of team changes from the previous weeks, because of injury and unavailability.
By Alex Ruddock
Dan Fosbery, Louis Watson, Will O’Donnell, Tom Clark all promoted from the 2ndXV for their 1stXV debuts.
BATTERSEA IRONSIDES 1stXV 40 FOLKESTONE 1stXV 3
Saturday 13th. October 2018. RFU Senior Vase 1st round. Report by Colin Lane.
This Cup game saw a number of team changes from the previous weeks, because of injury and unavailability. Dan Fosbery, Louis Watson, Will O’Donnell, Tom Clarke all promoted from the 2ndXV for their 1stXV debuts along with Luke Robinson back from injury and Jeremie Cowell and Kyle Deakin who both have work commitments. It meant several positional changes which disrupted the back line. Man of the Match John Eustace stepped up to play No.8 acquitting himself in a number of bullocking runs that left opposition players on the floor.
Despite the weather forecast the rain held off and the game was played in brilliant sunshine but with a brutish cross wind that gusted throughout.
Folkestone started the game and were for a couple of minutes in the Ironsides half but a lost ball forward saw their fly half put in a kick down field into Stones half, unfortunately the ball was spilled, although it looked as if it went backward, the Surrey Referee Matthew Gough adjudged it to be a knock-on. From the scrummage Ironsides ran the ball effectively out to the left and the winger went over in the corner to score a try, converted by their flyhalf. So after just six minutes Stones were trailing 7-0. The way the Ironsides backs had handled the ball brought memories of the last couple of League games when Stones were trailing very early on.
From the restart the catch by the Ironsides turned into a ruck and they were penalised for not releasing the ball. The touch kick found Folkestone in the hosts 22 and from the lineout Rob Godden caught the ball cleanly and the forwards started a maul that made ten metres before it was brought down and Stones were awarded another penalty. The process was repeated with the kick close to five metres out from the try line, this time the ball was caught by David Jarvis and the ensuing maul went closer in field before Ironsides were yet again penalised. This time Daniel O’Rourke stepped up and slotted the extra three points. 7-3 after 10 minutes.
Several times in the following 10 minutes Stones were able to create more rolling mauls that made ground and each time benefited from Ironsides infringements but were unable to get over the try line. Eventually Ironsides put in some good clearance kicks and got back into the Stones half and their backs again started to pass the ball fluently out to their speedy winger who was eventually brought down five metres short of the try line, it made no difference as Ironsides forwards were able to drive over to score an unconverted try. 12-3.
At the restart the catch from the kick was knocked on and Stones had the put in and rove forward, John Eustace came off the back of the scrum and broke several tackles before palming the ball up to the supporting Callum Palmieri who unfortunately knocked on. Ironsides kicked to touch from their scrum, but the ball sailed out and the Referee ordered a scrum back, which Stones young hooker Tom Davey, took “against the head.” John Eustace broke away with the ball and David Jarvis, Liam Trinder, Rob Godden and Jeremie Cowell marched the maul forward until Ironsides were penalised yet again for being offside. The kick found touch about eight metres out and Stones won the lineout and drove over the try line, however they were deemed to have been held-up so the try was disallowed.
Ironsides then controlled their scrum and pushed Stones back but somehow Callum Palmieri managed to get the ball and kick to touch. Rob Godden won the Ironsides lineout ball, however somehow the Ironsides win the ball back and their flyhalf sets his backs moving and their winger sets off up the line and round to score under the posts, however he had put a foot in touch on the way and so it was a lineout to Stones on their 10 metre line.
Just before half time Ironsides went on the attack again and were able to set their backs free to scythe through the Stones defence only for the winger to be brought down short of the line, Stones couldn’t get the numbers back in time and Ironsides drove over for another try, converted again by their able flyhalf. 19-3.
Ironsides had become stronger in the set pieces and more organised and quicker in their three-quarters, their fast jinking runners and inter-passing to hand was the difference between the two sides along with some poor defending by Stones.
Ironsides kicked off the second half and within two minutes their backs had again ripped apart the Stones defence to score a converted try. 26-3.
Shortly afterwards Dan O’Rourke was substituted by Tom Clarke followed by Callum Palmieri being replaced by Will O’Donnell. Then Tom Davey was replaced by Veteran Adam Bloomfield.
After 55 minutes Ironsides again mesmerised the Stones and ended up scoring under the posts with their flyhalf converting again. 33-3.
Soon after the Ironsides left winger made 70 metres getting past several tackles until he was bundled into touch by a great flying tackle from Louis Watson five metres from the try line. Soon after Luke Robinson came off to be replaced by Dan O’Rourke. Folkestone come back into the game and have a spirited time in the Ironsides 22 but for all their rolling mauls, good takes in the lineout and starting to control the scrums Folkestone are still held back by the defence by Ironsides. This allows Ironsides to attack in the last few minutes to score yet another try, converted by their flyhalf. 40-3. The final whistle was blown shortly afterwards.
The Ironsides were in the end a more organised side, Stones tried but could not maintain the pressure or take their chances when needed.
Team: Dan Fosbery; Louis Watson, Daniel O’Rourke, Kyle Deakin, Dan Hillier; Luke Robinson, Callum Palmieri; Martin Murray, Tom Davey, Jack Cox; Rob Godden, David Jarvis; Jeremie Cowell, Liam Trinder (Capt.), John Eustace.
Subs: Adam Bloomfield, Will O’Donnell, Tom Clarke.
Scorer: Daniel O’Rourke 3.