This week we had a friendly against Div 1 rivals Braintree – always good hosts and friends and with the weather great on the day we were looking for a good performance.
The boys didn’t disappoint !
West started really brightly – an unusual event as we all know – and within 5 minutes Adam had burst through the centre and run in for our first try. Baily converted. The whole team were playing well the forwards tackling was excellent and from a pre arranged set scrum move George Stone picked up at 8 went blindside and Baily followed through took the pass and went in for the score – excellent stuff !
West were dominant at this point and were in full flow – when the ref awarded a penalty a quick tap and go from Baily set Tyrese through the defence and over for our third try.
But Braintree are a quality team and weren’t going to roll over and came back into the game strongly – 2 tries within 5 minutes had brought them back to within a score . With the half coming to a close the West forwards worked they way downfield with some great phases and with the backs lined up in the 22 Braintree were looking for the wide ball but Baily spotted their 9 on the wrong side and burst over the try line for a classic scrum half sneaky try – Adam converted.
HT : Braintree 10 Westcliff 24
We made a couple of changes at HT to get game time for everyone . The second half saw Braintree start as brightly as West had in the first scoring within 2 mins. A second followed 5 mins later at which point we put the rest of the players on to try and freshen it up. However Braintree were sensing we were still not firing and came at us hard for the next 8 minutes and managed to score 2 more tries to take the lead for the first time in the game. We cannot explain what happened in these 15 mins conceding 4 simple tries but after some stern words we started to play our game again.
West went back to basics and continued to work hard and were rewarded for their efforts when Will Corrie burst over the try line – Woodys conversion would give us back the lead and it just curled enough to do just that.
With the clock running down West were looking good for a win but with 2 minutes left a couple of unforced errors saw us go from Braintree half to our own 22 and with time finally up Braintree were looking for the win – some great work from the forwards and somehow we had turned the ball over and just needed to kick the ball out of play …. unfortunately it hit a Braintree forward who fell over the line with the ball for the winning score . Gut wrenching !
FT : Braintree 35 Westcliff 31
An absolutely superb game of rugby with some great play from both sides . West felt disappointed at the result but the performance was overall one of the best of the season. Plenty of positives to take from it and of course the League match in a months time will give us a chance to make amends !