Veseyans made it back to back wins with a solid away win at Shrewsbury. The V’s will be happy with four points from a tough away trip, with the home side normally a strong outfit on their own soil however, they will feel that the bonus point was probably left up in Shropshire.
The game started as a fairly even contest with the home side looking strong in the scrum and dangerous in the centres, while V’s looked to build some phases and move the larger home pack around the park. It was from a loose kick that V’s winger Joe Williams was able to make an incisive break before putting a kick in behind that forced the Shrewsbury full back to carry over his line. From the resulting scrum Veseyans were able to build pressure and scrum half Will Slattery burrowed under the defence to out the away side 5-0 up. The away side were buoyed by their first score and had the better of the territory, with that man Slattery breaking through the heart of the home defence and showing the full back a clean pair of heels to score his second try of the game.
Veseyans seemed in control of the game, though perhaps looked to over play and coughed up the ball looking to play expansive rugby direct from the kick off, this gave the home side a period of pressure in the Veseyans half which eventually led to a driving maul in the bottom corner and a try for the home side. The remainder of the half was a slightly scrappy affair as both sides looked to take control of the game with the next score, and we went into the break at 10-5 to Veseyans.
The home side started the second half brightly and had an early threat at the Veseyans try line through their Full Back who had looked dangerous all game, but it was the away side again who took control of the half. Some smart play from young Fly Half Adam Spinner started to see Veseyans pinning the home side back in their 22. After sustained pressure, Veseyans winger Joe Williams broke through the middle and went under the posts for his first try of the season. Matt Gillick added the extras and the score was 17-5 to the away side.
The home side refused to go down without a fight, as is always the case with Shrewsbury and they came straight back from the kick off to have their brightest period in the game. An error from Veseyans at the kick off gave Shrewsbury an extended barrage at the Veseyans line that resulted in a sin bin to Williams and a try on the right hand side, despite some resolute defending from the V’s which saw them hold the home side at bay for over half of the sin bin period whilst on their own line.
This was to be the last real threat from the home side who never really looked like drawing level, it was more a case of whether Veseyans could get the bonus point score, some errors in the red zone kept that from happening and as full time approached the away side looked to snatch the bonus point away from their hosts but pushed a couple of long range penalties wide of the post.
Man of the Match Will Slattery feels the V’s are starting to click and believes there is more to come, “We haven’t hit our stride yet this season and have had a mixed bag of results but the last two games have given us some confidence and we feel that we are starting to gel as a team.” On his own performances, Slattery was more modest, “I haven’t scored three tries in a season since I was 11 so it’s been a nice to get over the line.”
The game was to finish 17-10 to Veseyans, a comfortable victory and a good one on the road despite missing out on the bonus point and the V’s will be full of confidence ahead of a fixture against in form Stafford at the Memorial Ground on Saturday.