Weston lose their unbeaten run at a muddy Old Patesians
PUBLISHED: 11:16 07 December 2018
Copyright Andrew Collins 2016. All rights reserved
Weston lost to Old Patesians on a muddy pitch with their unbeaten run coming to an end.
Old Patesians 37 pts
Weston 27 pts
Weston’s unbeaten run came to a sticky end as they literally slipped up on the sloping, undulating and muddy pitch at Everest Road.
Weston were fielding a much-changed side from the one which scraped home against Cleve last week, with a number of players missing for a variety of reasons including injury and family duties.
It was probably the youngest pack Weston had ever put out with only four of the forwards being over 21.
Old Pats conversely had a heavy, strong and experienced pack and playing down the slope and with the wind behind them, they gave the Weston forwards a torrid opening spell which resulted in a try following a driving maul.
Weston came back up the slope and with their first period of possession they spun the ball wide, Nel put through a grubber which the full-back failed to gather and Watkins, pounced and scored neared the posts. Mackay got the conversion and Weston had the lead.
Old Pats kicked a penalty to the corner and scored a catch and drive try from the line-out. The conversion went begging but Old Pats were back in front.
The home side lost the ball at the next line-out and good work from Sam Fisher put Nel in space and he scored Weston’s second try. The conversion was narrowly missed but Weston were in front again, albeit for the last time.
Old Pats used their tried and tested method - a driving a maul towards the line and twice more in the half scored tries.
The sides turned round with Weston adrift by 10 points, but now with the wind and slope in their favour.
From the restart, Weston created tremendous pressure and a clearance kick was charged down. Hooker Hocking got his hands to the loose ball with downward pressure, but the referee was unsighted and the try was not allowed.
Weston quickly gained possession and Mackay put in a great crossfield kick, fielded by Morgan who passed inside for Dickson, in at full-back for the injured Robbie Mackay, to score an unconverted try in the corner.
James Mackay then slotted a penalty goal and Weston were within two points and their hopes were raised.
However, poor handling and wrong options gifted Old Pats long periods of possession and they scored three more tries from the rolling maul before Weston came back as the clock was running out to pick up a fourth bonus point try, Mike Hocking crashing over from short range.
Weston have only themselves to blame for this poor performance. The home side played the conditions better and used their weight and mauling technique to good effect leaving Weston to play catch up rugby.
The mud did not help Weston, but this is likely to be a feature of a number of games as the winter progresses and the players will need to adjust.
There were positives for Weston with 18-year-old prop Charlie Brabham improving as the game went on and an abrasive and searching debut for flanker Riley McDowell.
As luck would have it, Weston go up one place in the league as a result of their try bonus and other results going their way and they will be hoping that letting this one get away will not be a factor as the season moves towards its second half.