Acting skipper leads Weston to valuable away win
- Credit: Archant
Acting skipper Paul Morrissey led Weston to a battling victory at Oxford Harlequins.
OXFORD HARLEQUINS 12 pts
WESTON 23 pts
THE high-level performance of Weston’s outstanding scrummage went a long way towards a valuable away victory at North Hinksey.
Acting skipper Paul Morrissey and his men gave notice in the first-half and for the rest of the match they were completely dominant leading to the late tries of half-backs Harry Jones and Hayden Tuttiett.
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Weston had started well. New wing Jonathan Reyes went close to scoring at the right corner and centre Jack Skelton was soon converting a brace of penalties from 35 and 40 metres for a six-point advantage.
But a lost line-out resulted in a Quins try by Ed Yeasis, converted by scrum-half Hemmens Freeth and the wing added his second try on the half-hour to give the hosts a six-point lead.
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Weston were not helping themselves with some poor handling, but in first-half time added, Skelton kicked his third penalty for an interval score of 12-9.
The Seasiders had to be at their defensive best at the start of the second period as the hosts attacked relentlessly. But they managed to stem the tide with some first rate tackling, notably by flankers Ben Cox and Shaun Eaton and although Skelton failed with an easy penalty attempt, Morrissey’s pack was now completely dominant at the set piece.
The Seasiders were camped on the home line for 15 minutes and there were several attempts at pushovers which were repelled.
But in the 76th minute they were rewarded when Jones’ chip and chase found no-one at home as he touched down at the posts.
Skelton converted for 12-16 and three minutes into injury time yet another big heave at a set scrum gave Tuttiett the chance to put the result beyond doubt with his second try of the season. Skelton converted.
Weston: N Berzins, J Reyes, J Skelton, R Mackay, M Watkins, H Jones, H Tuttiett, D Crompton, C Withers, O Streeter, A Glen, E Bulger, S Eaton, B Cox, P Morrissey (c). Replacements used: E Hunt, R Johnston, R Webster.
This was not an easy win and the Seasiders left it late. But they could have made it a lot easier with better handling and alignment.
They will face a stiff test at the Recreation Ground on Saturday when Bracknell are the visitors. But Saturday’s performance at Oxford will have done them no harm.