Weston prove too strong for Exeter students

Weston rugby leading 8-5 v Exeter Uni just before half time15,12,18

Weston rugby leading 8-5 v Exeter Uni just before half time15,12,18 - Credit: Archant

Weston ran out comfortable winners against Exeter University in dreadful conditions at the Rec.

Weston 32 pts

Exeter University 10 pts

In front of a good-sized crowd, swelled by the large number of people attending sponsors lunches and in quite dreadful weather, Weston returned to winning ways following two recent defeats.

Weston, playing into the wind and driving rain, were on the score sheet after just three minutes when they drove hard at Exeter in the middle of the pitch.

A crossfield kick by Mackay was plucked out of the air by Watkins and the forwards moved the ball well and Mackay kicked crossfield to the other side where flanker Cox took the ball and fed right wing Morgan to cross for the opening score.

With a howling gale blowing against Mackay’s kick the conversion attempt went wide. Exeter struck back with a series of drives finished by hooker Philips to level the scores.

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A penalty from 35 metres was kicked by Mackay and Weston extended their lead minutes later when another move saw Morgan cross for his second try.

Exeter then applied terrific energy and pinned Weston close to their line, but with a penalty to Weston, Brocks took a quick tap, the ball was moved to Watkins who made good ground.

The forwards recycled the ball, Brocks and Mackay then set up Dickson, who sliced through to score a wonderful end-to-end try. Dickson converted his own effort and Weston finished the first half 20-5 in front.

Exeter came back very strongly for the first 20 minutes of the half and they scored a second try from Philips from close range. They continued to apply pressure, but were denied by the tenacious Weston. Even with Talbot yellow carded for offside, Weston’s defence held out.

Eventually the Exeter forwards made a mistake and Mackay’s long kick into space was chased by the Weston backs who caught the Exeter wing in possession and he was forced to carry the ball back over his own line to give Weston the put-in at a five-metre scrum.

The Weston fowards made no mistake with a powerful drive toward the line. Talbot controlled the ball at the base of the scrum and touched down for Weston’s bonus point try and Mackay’s conversion was perfectly judged.

From the restart, Weston regained possession when the ball was hacked forward by first Dickson and then Nel and with several players in support, it was full-back Ross Bennett who dived over to seal a great victory.

Weston were without doubt deserved winners and provided an entertaining spectacle despite the downpour and the high winds.

Exeter University played their part with some determined attacking, but the Weston players handled the pressure admirably and tackled extremely well, with young Jacob Cox putting in a great shift, while Charlie Brabham carried well.

The backs produced some slick moves despite the slippery ball and the whole team can congratulate themselves on a fine performance against a side several places above them in South West Premier, while Weston’s league position was improved by one place.