A disappointing performance from Broadstreet who, over the last month, seemed to be slowly turning the corner after a terrible start to the season. However, it was a couple of steps back again on Saturday after allowing fellow strugglers Malvern RFC to score six tries despite controlling the game up front. There were a few changes to the side that narrowly lost last week to Scunthorpe RFC in the 'Italian Final-whistlegate' affair with Wing Dan 'Chemo' Phillips in for injured Pete Bicknell, Will Parkes in the Back Row for the injured Stew Hendry and Andy Skene in at Fullback for Jon Duncan, who instead had to go shopping with his missus writes Luke Truslove.
The game got off to a decent start for Broadstreet with some early field position earning Fly Half Scott Harman a chance at goal and his side three points. However, as we will see later on, Broadstreet became vulnerable directly after scoring themselves. A spell of pressure on the ‘Street line after Broadstreet failed to secure ball at the lineout allowed Malvern Centre Nick Miller to crash over the tryline from short distance. Conversion missed by Adam Dixon. 5-3
Soon after Malvern were on the attack again, once more exploiting the lineout with a twenty metre catch’n’drive which took the Malvern pack all the way down to the Broadstreet line. The rolling maul was suspiciously collapsed by the Broadstreet Forwards but this did not matter as from the resultant scrum the Malvern Nine Tom Longley was able to slice through and score a try under the posts. Con by Dixon. 12-3
Harman was able to close the gap to six points again with another well struck effort, however he was let down when Broadstreet were (perhaps harshly) judged to have gone off their feet at the breakdown and conceded a kickable penalty directly from the next restart. 15-6
Malvern then lost fly half Adam Dixon to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle when he didn’t bring Scrum Half Nick Thatcher safely back to ground, Scott Harman attempted the kick but mis-struck it and it fell well short. Luckily for Broadstreet the Malvern Full Back made a complete mess of catching the ball and Broadstreet were awarded a Scrum five metres out. After a couple of phases of play and Forwards keeping it tight, Nick Thatcher took control looking to give the Backs some ball, to the surprise of everyone he instead threw a cheeky no-look pass back inside and into the path of Ben Dawes who had run a perfect line from deep. Puffing like a steam engine, his speed and power would have done some serious damage to any would be tackler, however the cheeky pass and well picked line meant that the juggernaut that used to be Ben Dawes went over completely untouched. Missed conversion. 15-11
A poor clearance kick from Broadstreet allowed the Malvern back three free reign to counter attack and when one ran at Big Jordan Simpson his natural height meant that his hard line tackle turned into a clothesline tackle and he followed Malvern’s Adam Dixon into the bin. A kick to touch allowed Malvern another platform to exploit their catch’n’drive which peeled off to feed Malvern Wing James Southall who skipped over for a try. Missed Conversion from the Malvern back up kicker. 20-11
With a few minutes of the half left Broadstreet were back on the attack and some decent Forward pressure earned Broadstreet a penalty. However, rather than take the easy three points, they opted to employ the 'give it the big kid' tactic from the ‘Street U9s and Ben Dawes duly tied up a number of Malvern defenders as he crashed up near to the try-line. A couple of passes wide from the ruck and Chris ‘Ziggy’ Zutic slipped through some straggling tackle attempts to bring Broadstreet within two points at Half Time after Scotty added the extras.
Unfortunately for Broadstreet not long into the Second Half an accidental collision during a tackle between Jordan Simpson and Will Parkes meant that Jordan had to be swiftly substituted after emerging from the breakdown with a swollen face like Sylvester Stallone in a Rocky movie. He was replaced by Inside Centre/Prop Ed 'Clubber Lang' Magamba before setting off to hospital for a precautionary check up. Incidentally, whilst at hospital and switched on as ever, Jordan’s wife Lisa figured she may as well save on petrol and do her bit for the environment and so gave birth three weeks early to a 7lb 2oz little girl, Piper Beau Simpson.
Other breaking news: Will Parkes may no longer be available for the 'Street as he is on the run. It is rumoured that Lisa has put a sizeable bounty on his head for ruining the family’s impending Kodak moments with their newest child.
Malvern Stand Off Adam Dixon increased the lead by another three points shortly after, followed by what was probably the turning point in the game. A sustained period of attack from Broadstreet was looking increasingly dangerous until an awful attempted offload which fell behind the supporting player. Broadstreet players closest to the ball were painfully slow to react whilst Malvern Centre Adam Billig wasted no time in picking up the ball and sprinting from his own 22 to the Broadstreet Try-line with no one able to catch him in time. Adam Dixon slotted the easy extras. 30-18
After this try, Broadstreet looked a different team despite there being thirty minutes left to play. Gaps started appearing everywhere and Malvern progressed into an exciting brand of rugby which saw some brilliant interplay to allow Flanker Simon Daws to score a well worked try. Broadstreet continued to dominate up front, but unfortunately there was very little penetration beyond this and the next twenty minutes played out uneventfully. The final ten minutes saw teams reduced to 13 men for Malvern and 14 for Broadstreet due to two Yellow Cards and an injury after three substitutions had already been made. 37-18
With five minutes to go Nick Thatcher scored his eighth try of the season when a snipe and dummy convinced the Malvern defender to cut Dave Roff in half instead of himself and he snuck through the resulting gap in the defence to run over from twenty metres. With the possibility of two Bonus Points dangling in front of them, Broadstreet seemed reinvigorated for the last few minutes and they pushed on back towards the Malvern Try-line. However, in pushing forward in attack they left the back door open and after a turnover quick hands to speedy Wing Southall allowed him to put the game to bed with his second Try.
MotM – Ben Dawes despite another terrible kick in open play this season, the big man was tireless in the Scrum and offered a lot around the park, including a running line any Inside Centre would be proud of.
DotD – There were a number of candidates for this including the Dawes for his kick, Will Parkes for ruining 'The Simpson Family Photo Album', Scott Harman for hitting the upright from a conversion directly in front of the posts. However, the award must go to Ziggy Zutic for thinking he was Fijian and attempting an offload which set up a eighty metre try for the opposition..... As Broadstreet's own Ed Mbogarogogogo would say “I pity the fool!”