Biggleswade 3rd XV made to keep waiting for first win of 20187th February 2018
Letchworth 3rd XV 24 – 12 Biggleswade 3rd XV
With the winter weather and deluge of rainfall Biggleswade 3rd XV headed to Letchworth rugby club expecting looking to make amends to the narrow 12-15 home loss suffered at Langford road in October.
Keen to get the game underway early both teams looked to play with ball in hand, the weather dictating that it was a day for expansive play. The larger Biggleswade pack were able to assert themselves in the early exchanges, with Jack Unite disrupting Letchworth’s scrums and lineouts early on in the game. Liam Panton and Callum Watson in the back were able to make some dominant tackles.
In the first twenty minutes both sides were keen to play safe and keep to driving plays whilst kicking to the corners to gain territory. However, with the pack providing a platform it was Jimmy Hart who managed to put Biggleswade into the right areas of the park.
After gaining the upper hand, Biggleswade showed good game awareness to work their way into the Letchworth 22 and after being nullified several times it was inevitable they would eventually succeed. With some carries the pack found themselves on the try line and Callum Watson was driven over the line for his first ever Biggleswade try. Jimmy Hart stepped up and knocked over the conversion to give Biggleswade a 7-0 lead.
The rest of the first half played out much the same- with both sides not yet tiring, it resembled kick tennis at times as both teams scrambled for territory. With both sides throwing themselves into collisions, injuries started to creep in, one in particular to a Letchworth prop which proved to be a decisive moment in the game. With the games going to uncontested scrums the pressure which the Biggleswade pack had been able to apply and allow them to play to their strengths ebbed away. In the end Letchworth, with their backs now getting faster set piece ball, managed to go over for a converted score not long before the half time whistle.
The second half allowed Biggleswade to regroup, however despite starting with promise, the Letchworth fly half had more time on the ball and was therefore able to both guide his team around the park and gain an advantage in the kicking stakes. This starved Biggleswade of both territory and possession leading to another converted try for Letchworth. This gave Biggleswade the focus they needed, leading to several promising breaks from Dave Leslie and Matt Turner. However, with the conditions not suitable for running rugby often offloads and quick passes were at a premium and Biggleswade had to be patient.
Biggleswade weren’t to be denied another try- having worked their just outside the Letchworth 22 there was a decision to be made- go for three points so that only a try would
be needed or go for glory? Captain Dave Tysom felt bold and was rewarded when, after several phases working right to left, Jimmy Hart saw another chance to take the direct route and go over only to miss the conversion, leaving the game finely poised with around 15 minutes to play.
In the end Letchworth benefited from the game going to uncontested scrums and were able to rack up two more tries – one for their fly half was evidence of the pressure that the Biggleswade backrow were now unable to put on. The conditions also continued to deteriorate with one Letchworth saw resulting from a dropped Biggleswade pass. Scrappy play and handling errors in the less-than-ideal conditions allowed Letchworth to score a final try seconds before the final whistle to take Letchworth 12 points clear.
Overall a disappointing result for the Biggleswade team given the early promise in the game however, with games against Bishop’s Stortford and Hitchin coming up, the performance in awful conditions will give hope that the first league win of 2018 is just around the corner.
Tries: C Watson, J Hart
Con: J Hart
Biggleswade 3rd XV: D Tysom, J Unite, D Howells, B Bergin, A Thiedman, L Panton, C Watson, M Turner; N Hutchison, J Hart, G Jones, A Nother, D Leslie, S Puttock, D Dawes (Sub)