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Home > News > Rosslyn Park 32 - Dings Crusaders 19
Your News Rosslyn Park 32 - Dings Crusaders 19

Not for the first time this season, Park tied up the 4-try bonus point before half-time with a devastating display, only to fail to fully capitalise after the interval. Dings came to play attractive running rugby and played a full part in an entertaining match. Injury-hit Park gave 1st XV debuts to Martin Anayi and Adam Harris, while skipper Rob Jewell was only ruled fit to play an hour before the game having been suffering from flu. Tony Paul had joined the pre-match warm up just in case.

The visitors had the first chance with a penalty after only a minute, fly half Adam Westalls kick bouncing back off the left post. Park were soon up and running, but while the backs looked dangerous it was some effective rolling mauling that saw Dan Frazier cross the visitors line after 6 minutes, Dylan Pugh nailing a difficult wide conversion for 7-0.

Tails up, Park threw everything at the visitors. With Adam Gates injured, Jon Underwood moved to number 8 and launched some typical driving runs to take his team well within enemy territory. Twice Park were held up over the line, but from the second 5 metre scrum Underwood picked up, committed defenders and off-loaded to scrum half Graham Barr who touched down. Pugh nailed another good conversion for 14-0.

Park attacked from all angles; a good movement up the left was followed by a terrific run through the centre from Chris Simmons and further scores looked inevitable. Crusaders defended well but were forced to concede a penalty after 22 minutes and Pugh again delivered the goods for 17-0.

All credit to the Bristol team, who refused to lie down and at times forced Park to prove just how good their defence is. Just as it seemed Park had weathered the storm a neat side-step by Westall sent in his full-back, Orlando Scott, to score under the posts with Westall converting for 17-7.

That stung the home side into another all out attack and after some neat inter-passing from the backs had the visiting defence reeling from one hot spot to another, prop Nick Huggett crashed over near the posts, Pugh extending the lead to 24-7.

The try that brought up the bonus point was an absolute gem. It started with some neat inter-passing but when winger Nick Canty received the ball he still had a lot to do, but he simply pinned back his ears and backed his speed and strength to outstrip the visiting defence to score in the corner for 29-7.

Shortly before the interval, Parks Jon Underwood got himself yellow-carded for a technical offence right in front of the referee, who could hardly have been better placed.

Starting the second half a man short seemed no problem when Canty streaked away to touch down, only to be brought back for a forward pass. But gradually Dings fought their way back into the match, spurning a kickable penalty to put massive pressure on the home line.

Just as it looked as if resistance had been successful, and with Underwood coming back on, skipper Rob Jewell found himself also dispatched to the sin bin. The Park skipper looked utterly bemused by the decision, but it was almost certainly the accumulation of minor misdemeanours by the team as a whole that invoked the sanction.Park rallied themselves, and after 15 minutes of the half another Pugh penalty stretched the lead to 32-7.

Shortly after the hour Park began to make several substitutions, which did not help their cohesion and continuity, but things looked safe enough until a complete cock-up five minutes from time saw them attacking but passing straight to Westall who did not stop to say, Thank you before scampering in to make it 32-14.

That was all the encouragement Dings needed and they launched a massive assault on the Park line to try to rescue something from the match. On the stroke of normal time skipper Dave Bufton crashed over to make it 32-19, the first time this season that Park have conceded 3 tries at home. A converted try in injury time would have given the visitors 2 points the 4-try bonus, plus a point for finishing within 7 points of the winners.

The Dings travelling support got right behind them, but Park had by now re-grouped and safely saw out the added time. After such a dazzling first half display it is not a position they should have allowed themselves to be in, but it has to be a good sign when you start carping after 5-point wins!

Park: Simmons; Strong, Swords, Jewell (Gosling), Canty; Pugh; Barr (Lapidus); Huggett (Charlton), Tauialo (Blemings), Frazier; Quigley (Harris), Forster; Jones, Anayi, Underwood.

Park scorers: Frazier (T), Barr (T), Huggett (T), Canty (T), Pugh (2P, 3C).

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