Old Laurentians sat at the top of the Warwickshire Division 1 table and Broadstreet needed to secure all 4 points if they were going to be in contention to retain their title for a 2nd year. OLs have proved to be one of the strongest opponents for the 3rds in recent years and with the inclusion of former Broadstreet player Ben Shepherd, of GMTV fame, Broadstreet knew they were in for a tough match writes Luke Truslove.
There were a couple of fresh faces included in the side due to a raft of unavailabilities from the more experienced 3rd team regulars. Colt hooker Reece Jones was accompanied by Alex Beddows in the front row, Beddows having only recently turned 18 and playing only his 2nd ever game at tighthead. After 2 recent all action displays in the Warwickshire Colts Cup Adam Nailor replaced Adam Watts at fly half but there was a steady ship outside him in 2nd XV regular Sylvain Bastareaud who was available again after a 3 week break in Kenya. The enigmatic Andy 'Tetley' Tee once more graced the 3rds with his presence to form a formidable back-line with the regular back 3 of Louis Smith, Lee Lighthowler and Marc Brittain. Recent centre to flanker convert Dan ‘Kearney’ Kane drops down from the 2nds to fill in at openside whilst Daz Watts covered all positions as our solitary substitute....oops!
TEAM: 1)J Brown 2) R Jones 3)A Beddows 4)D Havart 5)M Fisher 6) D Kane 7) C Berry 8) JP Hughes 9) Tetley 10) A Nailor 11) M Brittain 12) Bastereaud 13)J Duncan 14) L Lighthowler 15)L Smith SUB: Daz 'Jack of all trades, Master of none' Watts
The game got off to a slow start but was livened up by a chip and chase from Broadstreet’s scrum half Tetley, his collision with a covering OL’s defender whilst chasing was deemed to be illegal and Street earned themselves a penalty not far from the Laurent’s line. A couple of quick phases from the tap ’n’ go including a dextrous dummy kick and pass from Nailor dragged in defenders and Tetley’s quick change of direction down the blindside fed winger Lee Lighthowler who snuck into the corner for the games first try. Unfortunately Nailor was unable to convert the kick 0 - 5
Broadstreet were off again shortly after the restart when Louis Smith fielded a kick and fed speedster Brittain who eased past his opposite man with ease. He fed a pass inside to on-coming Jon Duncan just before he ran out of space and the centre accelerated through the broken field and even slipped out a Sonny Bill-esque offload as he was finally tackled. This was collected easily by Tetley who cantered over from 30 metres to score. 0 - 10
OL’s continued their slow start with a number of messy mistakes as they persisted in ignoring Broadstreet’s inexperienced pack by kicking the ball into areas of open space. Once more an inaccurate and loose kick was hoisted aimlessly up to half way and was collected at pace by Tetley who had read the bouncing ball well. The half hearted kick chase was easily dissected by the springy stepped veteran and he slipped in between 3 would-be-tacklers with embarrassing ease and the only danger was the proximity of the touch-line as he sprinted in, this time from 40. Nailor’s relinquishing of the kicking duties after two attempts even meant that he got to add the extra 2. 0-17
The inclusion of hooker Reece Jones combined with Lanky Dan and Colm Berry in the lineout produced possibly the best set piece in the whole club! It was off this regular safe ball that Broadstreet launched their next attack, centre Jon Duncan cutting back against the flow of traffic he beat a couple of defenders and attacked the channel where the OL's backrow should have been. Not met by much resistance he fed flanker Dan Kane, who produced a nifty show ’n’ go and burned the defender with a show of pace which earned him a try and must have left him wondering why he gave up life in the backline. Tetley added the conversion to put Broadstreet 24-0 up
Old Laurentians finally seemed to grasp that the Broadstreet team was young and pacy and for the final 10 minutes of the half bludgeoned them with phases of 10 man rugby by utilising their chubby funsters. This slowed down the game and eventually bore fruit as their loosehead prop rounded the base of a ruck near to the Broadstreet line and crashed through the defensive line to record their first try of the game. The 10 slotted the conversion 7-24
Just before half time Broadstreet launched one last attack just before the whistle blew, Nailor collected the ball at fly half and looked to feed both centres as they crashed up to the line. However, with an accomplished touch Nailor held onto the ball and, with OL’s whines of “crossing” in his ears, he fed Louis Smith who ran a line that broke the defensive barrier. He followed this up by wanging the ball wide as he was tackled and Marc Brittain collected the pass, beating the fullback with a step to score under the posts.
HT 7-31 Broadstreet showed some excellent individual play in the backs and their interplay with the pack provided an exciting brand of running rugby that matched the sunny day. OL’s on the other hand seemed to forget that they had a larger pack and the game management from their half backs was doing the chubby lads no favours. Their brief spell of 'up the jumper' rugby hinted at the damage they might inflict.
Laurent’s began with a spell of territory early in the 2nd half however when Broadstreet got hold of the ball in their 22 an elegant dink from Nailor through the defensive line, where others might have hoisted a clearance kick, was collected by Basteraud just short of the 40 metre. He carried the ball for a further 10 metres before offloading out of the back of his hand to Louis Smith who, with 50 metres to go, opened his legs and showed great pace to beat everyone to the try line. Tetley once more did the honours to make it 7-38
Broadstreet’s kick chase earned the next try when an Laurent’s back 3 player was isolated following a Broadstreet clearance kick. The turnover was fed to Nailor who threw a quick dummy on the half way line and broke through the gap to sprint in from 50 metres. OL’s mistakes once more led to a Broadstreet try when, pressurising deep in Broadstreet’s 22, a loose pass was collected by Basteraud. He put his head down and focused on the open try line 90 metres away....but....by about 40 metres Basteraud’s legs were gone and he slowed to a complete stop on the halfway line to sit down two players who had caught him up. He deferred responsibility for the final 50 metres to supporting wing Marc Brittain who had been jogging patiently alongside the whole time, and the speedster easily finished the breakaway. 7-50
FT 7 -50 Spectators after the match agreed that Broadstreet had played their most balanced game of the year so far, with the forwards supporting the speedy back-line. Old Laurent’s gameplan did themselves no favours and their frustrated reactions to the referee and the Broadstreet tries hinted that they knew themselves that they hadn’t been at the races all game.
Such a one sided scoreline naturally leaves the club open to suspicion so there is a link to Broadstreet’s recent 2nd XV game against Sutton Coldfield; only 2 of the starting 2nd XV from that match featured in the 3rd team match and for honest reasons.
MotM – A couple of contenders with an exemplary performance from evergreen Tetley however because of his accomplished all-round game which included some excellent tactical kicking as well as some flashes of mercurial French skill, Adam Nailor scoops up the award.
DotD – Being the only sub and covering all positions, Daz Watts gets the award for replacing a player at halftime and then having to be subbed off again later in the match because of a sore hamstring.