Opening League Game Success
An 8 try romp was a just return for a very solid and composed performance by 'Bridge
'Bridge were keen to put into practice everything that has been drilled over recent Thursdays and they will walk away from this game very pleased with their performance.
Similar to last week against Burgess Hill, 'Bridge were comfortably on the scoreboard within the first couple of minutes; neat and disciplined played saw stand-in skipper Lee Roberts home and dry for the opening try. The simple-enough conversion was added leaving the home team 7-0 to the good.
The ease with which 'Bridge had taken the lead awoke the visitors' defence and for the remainder of the opening quarter, the home team were unable to find a way through the Black and White defence, forced into penalty after penalty to release the pressure and allow Gravesend to venture near the halfway line for the only time in the half. Eventually though, ‘Bridge were able to stretch the Gravesend defence and Robert Mitchell crossed the line for his fourth of the season already. It proved to be too wide however for Lee Roberts to convert so the score remained at 12-0.
From the re-start, ‘Bridge went straight back on the offensive and set up camp back in the Gravesend half. Inching closer and closer to the line, this time round it was the visitors who were forced into the penalties. One such occasion happened right on the try line and Dominic Mitchell was quickest to reacting, taking it quickly and powering over the line. Half time then rolled about with ‘Bridge sitting happily at 19-0.
The second half start in the much the same way as the first with a quick-fire brace of tries. The first from Nick Tingley (who didn’t run out of steam just short of the line this week) and the second from Andy Ward courtesy of a stolen lineout saw ‘Bridge comfortable at 29-0 up and in a position to give the bench a chance to impress.
The change in personnel took some time to settle and the break-down in defensive communication allowed Gravesend’s outside centre over for a try under the posts. The straight-forward conversion was added by their talented looking fullback. 29-7 then and ‘Bridge needing to stabilise.
And stabilise they did; three more tries were to be scored by Lewis Bowen, Adam Bright and finally Chris Mitchell to leave the game at a satisfying 48-7.
Stand out performances from Lewis Bowen at open-side, Lee Roberts controlling the game well from fly-half and a second impressive appearance for Academy player Ryan Helps were all pipped to the Man of the Match Award by outside centre Sam Tan. Despite not getting on the scoreboard himself, Tan caused problems for Gravesend all afternoon, finding gaps in defence where there really were none.
Thanks must go to Gravesend for a great game played in great spirit. They stuck at it until the end despite the less-than-enjoyable score line from their perspective. We look forward to our trip to Rectory Field later in the season.
Tries: Roberts, Mitchell R, Mitchell D, Tingley, Ward, Bowen, Bright, Mitchell C
Cons: Roberts (4)
MOTM: Sam Tan
15. Rowland (rep. White); 14. Tingley (rep. Ricketts); 13. Tan (rep. Tingley); 12. Presland; 11. Tolnai (rep. Liggins); 10. Roberts (capt.); 9. Horner; 1. Patterson, 2. Mitchell D (rep. Taggart); 3. Mitchell C; 4. Ward; 5. Erskine (rep. Helps); 6. Mitchell R; 7. Bowen; 8. Bright