ROSSLYN PARK 39-36 PLYMOUTH ALBION
SATURDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER
By RHYS STRATTON
The 1st XV kicked off the league campaign in style on Saturday with a hard-fought bonus-point win over Plymouth Albion at The Rock.
The visitors opened the scoring early when Shea Cornish intercepted a loose pass against the run of play and strolled over. Park didn’t wait long to respond, however, and POTM Josh Addams crossed over almost directly from the restart. A buoyed Park continued the early scoring onslaught just minutes later when Matt Gordon broke through the line and found Charlie Walker on the right wing. The latter proceeded to beat multiple defenders and finish in the corner. Addams then scored his second as he reeled in an interception and showed his gas to score from 60m out.
Momentum swung back in Plymouth’s favour when they latched on to a loose Park offload that provided the platform for Seta Raumakita to go over a few phases later. They then retook the lead before half time when back-rower Sam Daly crashed over following a 5m lineout. A Wilstead penalty cut the lead to a single point as he slotted a kick on the stroke of half time.
In the second half, another early Plymouth score was followed by a flurry of Rosslyn Park tries. After Harry Wilkinson rode a driving maul over for a try, the Park pack responded with a maul try of their own through Isaac Miller before Addams completed his hattrick when Park recovered the restart and split the defence open before feeding the hot-handed winger.
The two sides then exchanged yellow cards as Pita Ratukadreu and Arthur Ellis were sent to the sin bin for a high-tackle and an accumulation of penalties respectively.
Two late scores within the final 5 minutes provided a thrilling end to the contest. First, Joe Luca Smith finished off a flowing move full of dynamic carrying and clever offloading before Plymouth winger Cornish crossed over in the corner to shrink the lead to 3.
However, it was too little too late for the visitors as Park had done enough to secure the win and the full 5-points.
Referee: Richard Gordon
Tries: Addams (3’, 13’, 51’), Walker (7’), Miller (48’), J. Smith (77’)
Conversions: Wilstead (14’, 49’, 52’)
Penalties: Wilstead (40’)
Yellow Cards: Ellis (70’)
Team: Garvey, Piper, Hay, Martin, Spencer, Bolwell, Ellis, Wrafter, Fenley, Wilstead, Addams, Gordon, Kelly, Walker, Stokes
Replacements: Miller, Wade, Burton, Baldwin, J. Smith
Tries: Cornish (2’, 78’), Raumakita (23’), Daly (37’), Wilkinson (45‘)
Conversions: Putt (3’, 24’, 38’), Jones (79’)
Penalties: Putt (64’)
Yellow Cards: Ratukadreu (56’)
Team: Pullinger, Wilkinson, Boughton, Collier, Howe, Hodges, Clarke, Daly, Oulton, Putt, Ratukadreu, Hill, Raumakita, Cornish, Duncan
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Rukhadze, Mead, Jones, Hirini
The full gallery from the game can be viewed here.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Bishop’s Stortford 28 – 30 Cinderford
Chinnor 22 – 10 Darlington Mowden Park
Leicester Lions 23 – 19 Sale FC
Rams 50 – 36 Birmingham Moseley
Sedgley Park 32 – 31 Richmond
Taunton Titans 33 – 36 Blackheath
An exciting first round in Nat 1 saw all three newly promoted sides pick up impressive victories. Blackheath upset Taunton away from home whilst Leicester Lions and Sedgley Park edged out a pair of promotion hopefuls in Sale and Richmond respectively. Chinnor saw off DMP at home and Cinderford managed an away win against Bishop’s Stortford to round off this week’s results.
Up Next for Park is a short trip down the road to local rivals Richmond, tickets are on sale via the Richmond Website.
Match Gallery – the full gallery from the game can be viewed here.