Despite the cold, V’s warm up showed that they would be taking their form from the previous week
into this clash with Shrewsbury. A hard pitch delayed kick off by 15 minutes but it was clear that this
did not affect Veseyans preparations.
The first half saw some sensible rugby from V’s, exiting from danger well and playing with the ball in
the right areas of the pitch. A fast paced defensive line saw No.8 Rob Lenderyou intercept the ball
and run it home from 80m; Matt Gillick followed up with the conversion. Poor discipline in a
dangerous area then saw Shrewsbury quickly return the favour with a penalty. V’s stepped up the
tempo and became very hard to deal with.
A line-out from the right hand side produced a perfect opportunity to see winger
Joe Williams carving through the Shrewsbury back-line to score;
conversion missed. V’s carried on to pile on the pressure and a number of persistent infringements
meant the referee had no choice but to reach into his pocket and place a Shrewsbury player in the
sin bin. As the first half came to an end, V’s went in 12-3 up.
Veseyans began the second half with the same intent, with confrontational defence and hard
running in attack. Centre Matt Hipkiss benefited from an unorganised defence, using good footwork
to cross the try line; conversion missed. The intensity of the game started to show, the V’s tired as
Shrewsbury threw everything they had at their defensive line. A lot of pressure finally broke down
the V’s defence that led to them conceding their first try of the game. Shrewsbury failed to convert
the try, leaving the score at 17-8 with 10 minutes to play.
When restarting the game, more than a
score up, V’s were really pushing for the bonus point try. This try came no more than a minute later
with Jordan Reader a Colt making his 1st XV debut touched down in the corner to score; conversion
missed. Complacency and a fatigued defence let Shrewsbury score once more, this time converted.
The score was 22-15 with 5 minutes to go for V’s to hold on. Some big collisions and aggressive
rucking saw tempers flare, followed by Owen Spinner seeing a yellow off the referee and spending
the remainder of the game in the bin. V’s managed to weather the storm, with stand in hooker Reiss
Taylor successfully retaining the ball in a scrum last play of the game. The ball was kicked out and the
final whistle sounded to the delight of Veseyans.
The final score of 22-15 probably slightly flattered the visitors but Veseyans will certainly take a solid
bonus point win against a higher placed opposition.