Despite the recent poor weather Veseyans Colts arrived at Dudley Kingswinford to find their pitch in excellent condition. In commemoration of Remembrance both teams and coaches impeccably observed a 2 minute silence before KO, a true reminder of why we can today play this wonderful game.
The game started at a frantic pace and DK’s were by far the more dominant and composed which led to the their first try after just 10 minutes played. Veseyans defence became disconnected and simple hands allowed them to ghost through the gap to a deserved 7-0 lead. The pressure from DKs was relentless and some over playing in our own 22 also contributed to us not being able to relive it which quickly resulted in DKs second try, a well worked move to the edge of our defensive structure and eventual pick and drive from 5Ms out to make the score 12-0. With only 15 minutes played Veseyans needed to find some territory and possession in the oppositions half but such was the dominance of DK they soon had their 3rd try on the board which was converted to make it 19-0. It also became quite apparent that our bare bones 15 were in for a tough afternoon as the home sides large squad was allowing them to freshen up their side every couple of minutes and change their style of play making it difficult for us to react. It was proving almost impossible to stem the tide of attacks from the home side and following a penalty which was kicked to the corner simple hands resulted in their 4th try and 24-0. In fairness to Veseyans they continued to work hard and had a good 10 minute spell where they went through their structures, put DK under pressure resulting in several penalties but unfortunately couldn’t turn their dominance into points. As is so often the case a simple mistake allowed DK to relieve the pressure and they broke swiftly to score the final try of the game and 29-0 lead at half time.
As disappointing as the score line was there wasn’t too much needed to be said at half time and we just continued to emphasise their need to focus on the 2/3 work-ons we had identified and create our own positives from the match.
With DKs having made 11 substitutions during the 1st half and completely changed their entire pack at half time we knew we were going to be in for a tough second 35 minutes, We had also lost our tight head prop, Alex Henn, but in the true spirit of Colts rugby DK happily loaned us one of there’s to ensure the scrum and match stayed competitive. The start of the second half was a virtual carbon copy of the first, except it was Veseyans applying all the pressure. A sustained 15 minutes of pressure resulted in the home side making a poor clearance kick which the excellent Jamie Higginbotham duly ran back to generate some quick front foot ball for the visitors. Quick recycling eventually led to us being camped on their try line and following good patience and composure, Cam Longmore sniped over from 1 meter, 29-7. Veseyans continued to play composed structured rugby and some direct running from Max Powell and Manraj Matharoo put us back into DKs 22M, fast hands allowed James Dovey to find room on the outside but a high tackle resulted in a penalty try although I’m sure James would have preferred to score it himself and mark his first appearance on the wing in style!! At 29-14 the visitors had shown remarkable resilience to claw themselves back in to the match but the lack of substitutions and the continuously freshening up of the home side was starting to take its toll. We soon lost Thomas Young to an head injury but once again DK provided us a more than adequate replacement. With the visitors rapidly tiring the home side ran in 3 more tries to finally run out 44-14 winners.
Despite the score line Veseyans made excellent progress in the work-ons we had identified which resulted in them being much more competitive in the second half, only marginally losing it 15-14. In addition, the sportsmanship shown by DK, especially on this Sunday of all Sundays, ensures that our game is still in a great place....well done to everyone.