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Home > News > Injury hit Malvern unable to compete
Your News Injury hit Malvern unable to compete

Peterborough 33 Malvern 5

Hit by injuries and last-minute call-offs, Malvern took the field at Peterborough with 9 changes from the selected line-up, including several positional alterations that had players appearing in unfamiliar roles.

Despite this, the visitors competed well against a much heavier and taller East Anglian side for much of the match, certainly having territorial superiority. For the first 15 minutes it was Malvern camping in the home half, until a line-out throw was tuned over by the Fenmen’s big lock. The ball was hoofed to the Malvern 22 metre area, Peterborough put in four phases of pressure and finally cracked some desperate Malvern defensive work for the left winger to run in a try and setup the conversion. Again Malvern went on the attack, the backs moving the ball about with great skill. Longley broke, Hooper made ground and Huw Dimond was sent clear to go over the try line, only to be called back for the referee, who called the final pass forward although he was at least 20 metres behind the play. The home crowd were as mystified as the travelling Malvern support at the decision from an official who had a poor game. On the half hour mark Malvern were still on the attack when they took the ball into the ruck but were turned over. The home backs passed quickly along the line and the right winger put in a 50 metre dash to score another converted try and give them a 14-0 lead at the break.

The start of the second half saw Peterborough win a penalty and put the ball to touch 8 metres from the Malvern line. A catch and drive move ended with the tight head prop burrowing through some lax defence to score. Malvern’s lighter and shorter pack was being put under pressure at both scrum and line-out, and whilst the backs looked sharp, it was always off the back foot, the home cover stifling many promising moves. With men playing out of position the job was made even harder after Peterborough scored again after 50 minutes, although Ryan Henshaw finished off a clever inter-passing move for Malvern’s only score of the afternoon. Much of the final 20 minutes was played out in the middle of the field until close to the end when Peterborough put in a period of sustained pressure before the stand-off nipped in for a final converted try.

Malvern’s Director of Rugby David Robins was disappointed with his side’s showing, as were the coaches in a very blunt post-match debriefing. “We squandered our territorial superiority by not putting in the killer punch, and then got turned over by not being quick enough at the breakdown far too often. Add to this our poor performance at the line-out and we had a very bad day at the office. It didn’t help that we lost some key players late in the week to injury and had to play some of the lads in totally unfamiliar positions to compound our problems. However, there were some positives, with Simon Daws having his first run-out after injury, young Dan Batten making a fairly solid debut having moved up several levels and Huw Dimond returning after most of a season away. We now face Kettering, another promoted side, at Spring Lane for a clash to try and lift us away from the foot of the table. We know it is much harder at this level and need to secure as many home wins as possible. We aren’t too far from getting up with the pace – our fitness levels are good, it’s speed of thought and decision-making that needs to be worked on as much as anything. The coaches will be concentrating on some key technical areas this week and I’m looking forward to welcoming back some of the walking wounded next Saturday.”

Kick off at Spring Lane will be 3.00p.m.

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