1XV start new year with a win
Newbury Blues 14 Bracknell 19
Bracknell travelled down the M4 for this opening fixture of 2018 and Berkshire derby against the Newbury Blues. Bracknell welcomed back Ken Dowding and Jonny Mirza, both adding some additional bulk to the front row.
With a quarter of an hour gone Newbury opened the scoring with a penalty from fly half Rich West capitalising on the early Newbury pressure.
It would be Bracknell that would score the first try of the game to take the lead that they would not concede. Linking up Jiute Tupua and Gabe Hills put Simon Bayliss in space for him to score under the Newbury posts. Conversion from Chris Laidler was good.
With Bracknell now exerting the pressure they were rewarded with another try; coming off a Bracknell scrum, Jiute Tupua broke through the Newbury defence to dot down. Conversion from Chris Laidler was good. 3-14.
Bracknell extended their lead just before half time. From a break by Ben Saunderson the ball found its way to Simon Bayliss for him to round a defender to score his second try of the afternoon in the corner. The conversion was missed.
Half time: Newbury Blues 3 Bracknell 19.
Two early Newbury penalties from Rich West cut the Bracknell lead. Further Newbury pressure allowed back rower Josh Winfield to score Newbury’s first try of the afternoon. Conversion was missed. 14-19.
Neither side would impact the score board further, Ian Burch with Bracknell’s best chance of scoring in the second half, being bundled into touch in the try area.
Full time: Newbury Blues 14 Bracknell 19. (Points: Newbury Blues 1 Bracknell 4)
Chairman of Rugby Martin Radford said after the game “Delighted with the away win, I think we are the only side in the league to win away today! There are still areas of our game in which we need to improve and work on.”
The result means Bracknell remain in the relegation zone, third from bottom, on points difference only, both Newbury and Bracknell now with thirty league points. Elsewhere Maidenhead defeated league leaders Dings Crusaders, however Dings still maintain their current lead over second placed Newton Abbot.
Next Saturday Bracknell travel to Weston-super-Mare (KO 2.30pm) before they host Camborne on 20th January.
Bracknell: 1. Harry Challenor 2. Michael Clarke (c) 3. Ken Dowding 4. Leo Bailey 5. Liam Goodison 6. Tom Scott 7. Ben Sanderson 8. Chris Halaufia 9. Ross MacDougall 10. Chris Laidler 11. Simon Bayliss 12. Peceli Nacamavutu 13. Ian Burch 14. Jiute Tapua 15. Gabe Hills Replacments: 16. Jonny Mirza 17. Jacob Webb 18. Vic Hardwicke