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Home > News > Witney 48 - Swindon 10
Your News Witney 48 - Swindon 10

When Swindon scored a try 10 minutes into the second half to bring the score

to 12-10, it was anyones match but Witney responded superbly and produced 5

more unanswered tries to record a convincing victory in dour conditions which

dictated the way the match unfolded.

On a cold and wet afternoon at the Hailey Road, visitors Swindon came with a

good win over Bicester under their belt but a lowly position in the League.

They played with the wind on the first half but the first 20 minutes was all

Witney and they produced an outstanding initial effort. The ball was recycled

very well and Witneys forwards and backs combined to ask quite a few

questions of the visitors defence. Wayne Caffekey, Charlie Bennett and Joe

Rowles were the main ball carriers but from 1 to 15, the players were willing

to take it on and despite the conditions there was some very nice rugby being

played. Swindon absorbed the pressure well though and kept Witney back in

their own half with punts downfield. The back three of Tom Overbury, Louie

Collins and James Monks were kept busy but generally fielded the kicks well

and ran back to good effect. There was some very nice rugby played but the

eventual inevitable knock on would come but given the conditions, nobody

could be surprised. The referee tried to play advantage and keep the game

going but conditions dictated mistakes would happen but fair play to both

sides who tried to play some rugby.

Scrum half Gareth Campbell made one searing break which was not capitalised

on but another from Carl Strutt was. The centre found a gap and despite

getting caught on the 22 support was on hand and the final pass from Henry

Lamb to James Monks was good and Monks ran over for a deserved 5 point lead.

The conversion was missed but Swindon knew they needed points on the board in

the opening half and raised their game. Henry Lamb took a knock to his leg

and had to leave the pitch so brother James slotted in at fly half and Ed

Mitchem came on. Swindons winger came infield and made a good line break

which lifted his team and their confidence began to grow with their big

forwards starting to rumble to good effect. Witney had to defend for a long

period and did so well with the organisation good and the commitment

impressive. Swindons forwards went on a trundle for around 20 metres and

although the maul seemed to have stopped and restarted on a number of

occasions, their technique and patience was good and when their hooker

burrowed over it looked like a try had been scored. However the referee was

unsighted and called for a five yard scrum much to the dismay of the visiting

pack who had worked so hard to get over the line. A lucky break for Witney

and despite a late penalty being scored, with the wind in their favour in the

second half, things looked promising for another two League points.

The second half started well for Witney with skipper James Lamb being

released for a try after some good initial bursts from the forwards with Rich

Kerr, Lewis Griffiths and Tim Muller to the fore. Ed Mitchem converted and

the home side were now really in the driving seat. Swindon responded superbly

and their forwards pressurised Witney into conceding a penalty and a quick

tap saw them run upfield and a couple of phases later one of their backs

charged through and showed good strength and pace to squeeze over, the

conversion making it 12-10 and all to play for.

Witney responded well though and didn€™t panic. They kicked intelligently and

followed up with real conviction with Carl Campbell often the first to apply

pressure on the Swindon back three. The visitors were struggling against the

wind and were often trying to use their forwards to make the ground but it

was always going to be a tall order to make real impact as they were deep in

their own half. The crucial try came from a patient build up and James Monks

cut a superb line to race through and stretch over for a fine score, Mitchem


This knocked the visitors who were now starting to back chat to the referee

and they lost their shape as a result. This gave Witney more gaps to exploit

and they did so to great effect scoring 4 more tries. The biggest cheer of

the afternoon went up for the next try as Ed Mitchems fine break saw him

stopped short but who should be in support but a rampaging Alan Richens and

the prop showed good pace to charge over. Replacement hooker Sam Collins went

on a fine run too as Swindon€™s defence became increasingly stretched. Great

handling released Louie Collins and he out paced the defence to score the

next. Lewis Griffiths and Tim Muller became increasingly influential as the

second period went on with Griffiths stealing a lot of Swindon ball and

Muller a real threat in the lose. The final tries came from back rowers Wayne

Caffekey and Tim Muller who along with Carl Campbell formed a very effective

unit at the back of Witneys scrum. They both ran great lines for their tries

as the Swindon defence became more porous and a late Mitchem penalty took the

score upto an impressive 48 points.

It€™s the same two teams in opposition next week in the Cup before Witney face

a tricky League run in before the Christmas break.

1st XV

Overbury, Collins(L), Strutt, *Lamb(J), Monks, Lamb(H), Campbell(G):

Griffiths, Kerr, Richens, Rowles, Bennett(C), Muller, Campbell(C), Caffekey

Repl: Mitchem(H.Lamb-20), Collins(S)(Kerr-50), Serle(Richens-60)


Considering the weather, those brave enough to come and watch the lads were

rewarded with some fine rugby and seven tries. There was mistakes ofcourse

but the intent was always to play some rugby and the execution was generally

good against a Swindon team whose forwards especially were typically robust.

The defence in that difficult 20 minutes up to the break was excellent and

although lady luck smiled on Witney with that try from the visitors that

never was, few could deny they were much the better side. Swindon simply

didn€™t have any answers in the final half an hour as their defence opened up.

Obviously, there are tougher tests ahead and the real picture of how the

league is shaping up comes at the midway point in proceedings.

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