Away win seals safety for 1XV
Newton Abbot 34 Bracknell 43
Going into the final game of the season the equation was quite simple; a win would secure SW Premier rugby for the next season. The equation was made harder as Bracknell had not secured an away win against Newton Abbot since April 2015.
Newton Abbot kicked off on a glorious sunny Devon day. Bracknell were unable to capitalise from their early pressure and Newton Abbot would make them pay for this lapse. On the 14 minute mark winger Kyle Browne brushed off a number of Bracknell tackles to open the scoring. Fly half Rob Avery-Wright converted to give Newton Abbot an early seven point lead.
Newton Abbot further extended their lead with a try from number eight Jarryd Harris, peeling off a line out to crash over the Bracknell try line.
A pulled ham string meant Bracknell scrum half Ally Walton had to leave the field. Simon Haddad switching from flanker to fill in at scrum half for the remainder of the game. Bracknell’s woes continued when Kyle Browne found space to score Newton Abbots third try of the afternoon with a little over twenty minutes gone.
The hopes of the travelling supporters were lifted when a smart move in the Bracknell back line allowed Gabe Hills to cross the Newton Abbot white wash for Bracknell’s first try of the afternoon. Vic Hardwick converting.
With Bracknell now dominating possession, a series a rucks in the Newton Abbot 22 allowed Chris Halaufia to dot down in the Netwon Abbot corner.
Just before the half time break the Bracknell comeback was completed when Chris Halaufia scored his second try of the day following further Bracknell pressure.
Half time: Newton Abbot 17 Bracknell 17
Bracknell opened the second half scoring Ian Burch cutting through the Newton Abbot defence to off load to Gabe Hills to score in the corner. Conversion from Vic Hardwicke was good and Bracknell had the lead for the first time in the game.
A Newton Abbot penalty from Rob Avery-Wright cut Bracknell’s lead before a Ben Saunderson try further extended Bracknell’s lead.
With Newton Abbot pressing the Bracknell try line a loose pass allowed Gabe Hills to intercept and sprint the length of the field to score under the Newton Abbot post. Conversion from Vic Hardwicke was through the middle of the uprights, to give Bracknell a 16 point lead.
Newton Abbot kept their hopes of a win alive with a converted try from Kyle Browne, securing his hat trick, but with Newton Abbot forced into playing ‘catch up rugby’ Peceli Navamavuto intercepted to score under the Newton Abbot posts.
A late try from Josh Smith and drop goal conversion from Rob Avery Wright brought the game to an end.
Full time: Newton Abbot 34 Bracknell 43 (Points: Newton Abbot 1 Bracknell 5).
The win currently leaves Bracknell in 5th in the league and makes safe SW Premier rugby for next season.
A massive thank you to the large number of supporters that made the trip to Newton Abbot to cheer on the team.
Well done to the Stags who completed their season with a 17-19 win at high scoring Maidenhead 2XV.
Tweeting after the game Chair of Rugby Martin Radford said “Great couple of wins today to complete a superb season - Top half finish for the 1st XV, league titles for the 2nd & 3rd XV's and a successful league season for BRFC Ladies. A regular 4's & 2 x U18 Academy teams, all is well at Bracknell RFC.”
Hope to see you all at the Bracknell Real Ale & Cider Festival at the club on Sunday 27th May #GOBRFC
Bracknell: 1. Jonny Mirza 2. Michael Clarke (C) 3. Ken Dowding 4. Leo Bailey 5. Liam Goodison 6. Giuseppe Salustri 7. Simon Haddad 8. Chris Hala'ufia 9. Ally Walton 10. Vic Hardwicke 11. Jacob Elliott 12. Peceli Nacamavuto 13. Ben Sanderson 14. Ian Burch 15. Gabe Hills Replacements: 16. George Cotterell 17. Ash Stevenson-Leigh 18. Chris Laidler