“Service Tame the Tigers”
Service executed their game plan to almost purrfection in difficult conditions. On an extremely cold afternoon with a wind chill of -4, Service dominated the Tigers in almost every aspect of the game, that saw them move to the top of the Gloucester 2 North League. Cheered on by a great crowd for the clubs VP day, Service hopefully warmed the hands of the spectators whilst they enjoyed a cold beer on the touchline.And there was definitely plenty to cheer about.
Service started well and playing with a strong wind behind them it took only 4 mins for MOTM Ollie Wilton to burst through the defensive line for the opening score which Will Markey converted to give the home side the perfect start. 7 – 0.
Tigers took the game to service and tested the home sides defensive resolve with some good strong carries and offloads that pushed the home side back deep into their 22. Pressure built and credit to the visitors they crashed over for a converted try to bring the sides level after 14 mins. 7 – 7.
This had the look of potentially being a tight game in difficult conditions, but who would come out on top? A strong Service Pack dominated the scrums all afternoon and as such, gave a platform for the home side to attack hard via their explosive back line.Due to the strong wind line-outs were proving difficult for both sides, however Service managed the conditions better securing a lot of good front driving ball while disrupting on the oppositions throws.With the wind at their backs in the first 40 minutes, fly half Will Markey and scrum half Gus Guthrie started to pin the Tigers deep in their own half with some tactical kicking. This allowed Service to build pressure that saw scrum half Guthrie snipe around the fringes to again give Service the lead. 14 – 7 after Markeys conversion.
Service were now in full flow and their ball retention, speed of recycling at breakdowns and power in contact was proving too much for the visitors and the home side started to dominate.
A further try, this time from No 10 Markey, who ghosted through a hole in the defence who were unable to play him and who he had at his finger tips all afternoon, gave service a 19 – 7 cushion.
After 30 mins the “moment” of the match was created by Joey Jones and what a moment it was. Services full back collected the ball inside his own half in open play. With a full defensive line in front of him he set off to beat the first man. With pace, footwork, swerves, dummies and the ability to see a seemingly non existent gap to us mere mortals he scored a try that left the Tigers defence standing still with nothing but amazement. What a Try! Certainly one that I and the rest of the club will remember for a long time. Today’s Star Moment Performance done and dusted after 30 mins.
CCSRFC 26 – 7 Tigers.The home side were totally dominant and playing some great rugby in difficult conditions, four more tries were run in before half time with Max Widmer, Skipper Ross Ruck and vice capt Gus Guthrie with another 2, that completed his hat -trick giving Service a thoroughly deserved 50 – 7 half time lead.
Turning round at half time with a strong wind in their faces Service couldn’t afford to ease off and allow Tigers to pin the home side deep in their half.
The Service front 8 continued to dominate set pieces, they were too strong for the visitors regularly driving Tigers off their own scrum ball. Starving the opposition of any ball with strong ball carrying and keeping the ball alive, great support lines and runners and off loads saw Service playing with confidence that the visitors had no answer to.
A full 15 man performance from Service saw them run in a further 7 tries from Sam Townsend on home debut, before sadly having to leave the field with two broken ribs, three further tries from Ollie Wilton (four in total during the match) and additional tries for skipper Ross Ruck, Joey Jones and a final try for Centre Rhys Ruck, with 3 converted by Markey saw the referee decide to blow the final whistle with 18 minutes still left of the 80.
Final scoreCCSRFC 91 – 7 Cheltenham Tigers 2’s