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Home > News > Lydney 0 - Rosslyn Park 42
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Your News Lydney 0 - Rosslyn Park 42

Park played sublime attacking rugby to crush Lydney even before the half-time interval. Receiving kick off, Park charged at the opposition and, when the Gloucestershire side were awarded a scrum, the visitors wheeled around the notorious home pack in an awesome statement of authority. It got better.

Park’s backs ran at Lydney from everywhere. An early penalty was struck to the corner and the ball whisked across the field for Dylan Pugh to send in Chris Simmons, the full back backing himself against two defenders. Pugh nailed a difficult conversion for 7-0 after 3 minutes.

Nick Canty had a good run stopped at the cost of a penalty. Whenever Lydney tried to break out Park’s defences were superb and time and again they turned over possession. Some great vision by Pugh nearly bore fruit when the fly half, over on the left of the field, switched play with a clever lofted kick to Canty on the right, but again he was stopped at the cost of a penalty.

Park forced their way over the line, but were held up. From the scrummage Adam Gates picked up the ball, would probably have got over the line himself, but gave a clever pass instead to Canty who skipped in, Pugh’s conversion made it 14-0 after just short of 15 minutes.

From the kick off, Lydney openside Jenkins took out the Park receiver in the air and earned himself 10 minutes in the sin bin. That was the last thing his team needed and they were soon further punished when Gates galloped up the left, using his strength to resist tackles and scored another try, bringing another excellent touchline conversion for 21-0.

Park were by now criss-crossing the field with all manner of moves as Lydney struggled to keep up. After only 26 minutes Park had the fourth, bonus point try when John Swords crashed over, Pugh converting for 28-0.

Lydney never gave up. Number 8 Jones made a penetrating run through the middle, but Park’s defence again superbly turned over possession for Howard Quigley to make a good break, but Charlie Cooper was penalised. The game was generally well-refereed, and you cannot blame the man with the whistle for the imposition of the experimental Laws (ELVs) foisted upon him by the game’s administrators. But changes designed to make a better spectacle for spectators led here to moves being spoiled when trivial errors had to be penalised, stopping play unnecessarily and resulting in unearned possession being gained. It affected both sides, but with Park doing the lion’s share of the attacking, it possibly affected them marginally more.

Park flew straight back at Lydney, putting pressure on their line, and this time it was sniping scrum-half Graham Barr who got over to make it 35-0 with Pugh’s conversion. There was still time for another superb attack, spread wide across the pitch, which saw Simmons bag his second try for the conversion to bring up 42-0 at the interval. Possibly the best 40 minutes of Rugby Park have strung together for many a year.

Park started the second half where they left off, soon gaining a penalty in front of the posts and opted for a scrum fully 15 metres out. Lydney defended it well, but looked to have been undone when Park broke again, only to be disallowed for one of the less obvious instances of “crossing”. Whatever had been said at half time, Lydney’s tackling was of a different order in the second half and they deserve great credit for fighting tooth and nail in a lost cause.

Unfortunately the “fighting” bit was taken a bit too literally on occasion. Several punch ups broke out at the break down, and while the home crowd were noisily in no doubt that the visitors were the chief protagonists here, the circumstances of the match suggested otherwise. Park continued to play some good stuff: Gates powered on to release Simmons to nearly get his hat-trick. Rob Jewell and Hayden Roche (on for Barr) combined well for another good move, but Lydney were now defending really well.

Adam Gates became the pantomime villain with a tackle that was at worst mis-timed, arriving a fraction of a second after the player had shipped on the ball, but such was its commitment that it spreadeagled its victim and, with the crowd baying for blood, the referee had little hesitation in reaching for yellow. (Gates was immediately set upon by three Lydney players, two of whom threw punches but escaped caution).

Lydney managed a little more possession against short-handed opposition, but Park were still the better side, even causing the home side trouble with a 7-man scrum. When Mike Count replaced Gates at the end of his suspension, Park again had a clears edge, but when a Park throw on the Lydney 5-metre line was pinged for not being straight the referee brought an end to proceedings. One doesn’t want to trumpet a false dawn, but this was the sort of show that will definitely bring back the crowds if repeated regularly.

Park: Simmons; Canty, Jewell, O’Driscoll, Swords; Pugh (Mahony); Barr (Roche); Huggett (Blom), Ritchie (Tauialo), Frazier; Forster, Quigley; Jones, Cooper, Gates (Count).

Park scorers: Simmons (2T), Canty (T), Gates (T), Swords (T), Barr (T), Pugh (6C),

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