1st XV
Sat 06 Apr 2024  ·  National League 2 West
Old Redcliffians
Hinckley Rugby Club
1st XV
Tries: J Ramshaw, S Greening, C DaceyConversions: C DaceyYellow Carded: C Rowe
Hinckley slip to fourth defeat in six at Old Reds

Hinckley slip to fourth defeat in six at Old Reds

Nick Robinson7 Apr - 21:58
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Old Redcliffians 40 Hinckley 17

Hinckley’s latest visit to Bristol proved to be as fruitless as their other visits earlier this year as they again suffered a disappointing defeat, this time at the hands of Old Redcliffians. True, Old Reds have not lost at home all season and are likely to finish in their highest ever league position but it was in the end something of a tame defeat for the Leicester Road men. The fact that the game was played in eye of Storm Kathleen made conditions very difficult but there was little doubt that Old Reds were much the better team on the day and thoroughly deserved their win.

Hornets’ promotion chances effectively ended with the defeat to Clifton and since then they have won only one of their last six games against relegated Dudley Kingswinford, losing four and drawing one. There is little to play for at this point in the season but Hinckley have now slipped to seventh position in the table and their campaign seems destined to end in mid-table disappointment.

Hinckley were still in the game at the interval at 14-10 with the wind in their favour for the second half but their habit of conceding points immediately after the break again proved crucial. The Hinckley scrum was dominant throughout the afternoon but the same cannot be said for the line-out which collapsed in the second period and Old Reds proved far more accurate and clinical in open play after the interval. It was not a great day at the office for the Hornets.

DOR Chris Campbell did find some positives despite the defeat. ‘Our intent today was very good even if the execution wasn’t there. We tried something a bit different, setting more scrums instead of kicking into touch given the variable wind, and that did give us some good ball. We did score some good tries but we gave up too much as well and the home side were able to capitalise. Against a side who haven’t lost at home this season you can expect to be punished when you make mistakes. I don’t think it was a game where we lost because we played badly, but rather the opposition were better than us.’

‘What I was pleased with was that we were able to change our attacking tactics later on which did give us some return, although, disappointingly, not enough to win.’

‘We now have to look forward to a big game at home to Luctonians next week where we expect to be at full strength in front of what we know will be a bumper crowd. We are aiming to put on a show.’

Hornets probably had the better of the opening period. Callum Dacey failed with a penalty attempt from 30m in the first few minutes, although in the wind it would be harsh to be critical, and Alex Salt went close with a rampaging run before he was pulled down 5m short.

The first score came after 16 minutes. A penalty just inside the Old Reds’ half saw Callum Rowe kick to the corner via the corner flag to give Hornets a 5m line-out. Hornets couldn’t get the drive on from the line-out but the ball was sent right and eventually Jack Ramshaw forced his way over for the score.

Reds responded shortly afterwards. The referee had stopped play deep in the Hornets’ 22m for an injured player and from the resultant scrum restart, Hinckley were caught offside. A quick tap saw Hinckley stretched and the ball eventually found winger Tom Hughes out wide with no defender to challenge his run for the line. Jack Gapper converted to take the lead.

Reds extended their lead on the half hour with a storming run to the line from halfway by centre Jon Cook after collecting a loose ball on halfway. Hornets though could feel aggrieved that the referee adjudged that the ball had gone backwards from the initial dropped pass by Reds. Gapper again converted.

Hinckley though came back within three minutes from a catch and drive 10m from the Reds’ line with Sam Greening touching down for the
points to make it 14-10.

It stayed that way until the interval, although Hinckley did finish the half defending ferociously on their own line with fourteen men for the last couple of minutes after Rowe had been carded for a technical offence, and when the players returned there was some optimism from the travelling support that their men may turn the game round in the second period.

That optimism was severely dented however within three minutes. With Hinckley in possession in their own 22m and needing to simply hold onto the ball until the return of Rowe, Matt Guilfoyle tried to chip over the Reds’ line, was charged down, and Hughes collected to go over for a gift of a try. When Gapper converted, the gap was extended to eleven points.

That still wasn’t out of reach for the Hornets but the next score was critical… and it went Reds’ ways. Andy Weaver was stripped in the tackle on halfway and Reds carried to 5m before a double knock on gave Reds a scrum by the posts. From the scrum, centre Keiran Kelly went in under the posts to give Reds the try bonus point and an easy conversion for Gapper who had an excellent game with the boot given the windy conditions.

Hornets did then have several chances to pull things back but a combination of a malfunctioning line-out and confusion in the backs after Rowe had been replaced conspired to deny them. Hinckley had begun to opt for the scrum rather than the kicking their penalties and had some success to the extent that it was only the extreme tolerance of the referee that allowed the Reds’ front row to remain intact. However, Hornets could not turn pressure into points.

The try did eventually come after Reds were reduced to 14 men when loose head Alex Harvey was carded for a no arms tackle and Hornets took a series of scrum penalties in front of the Reds posts. Eventually, Dacey was able to grab the score which he also converted to bring the score back to 28-17.

With only six minutes remaining, however, it was too little too late and, with Hinckley chasing the bonus point score, Reds were able to take advantage. First, Hornets were penalised at a line-out on their 22m and Tom Ward was eventually worked over for a score. And then, with the last play of the game, Hinckley conspired to lose their own scrum ball 10m from their line allowing flanker Aaron Tull to dart over for the score. It was an embarrassing way to end what had been a dispiriting afternoon for the men in black and amber.

Nick Robinson

Match details

Match date

Sat 06 Apr 2024




National League 2 West

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Old Redcliffians
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