Newbold on Avon 25 Hereford 10
Failure to manage the conditions cost Hereford this game at Newbold.
In the first half, Hereford failed to take advantage of the strong wind at their backs. In the second period Newbold kicked long and kept the Wyesiders pinned in their own half for long spells.
Both sides started playing a running game.
It was Hereford who took an early lead with a penalty. But before the interval, Newbold had responded with a brace of penalties giving them a half time lead of 6 points to 3. In the second period Hereford continued to keep the ball in hand. Newbold used the boot to maintain field advantage and with 2 converted tries established a 20 points to 3 lead. Hereford reduced the deficit with a converted try, but a further Newbold try saw them run out a 25 points to 10 victory.
Coach, Alun Richards said,
“Another disappointing result. We had targeted this away game for a win to take us into the top three. Unfortunately, we have come away with nothing. It is important if we want to be considered a top team, that we can come away to places like Newbold and get a win. In terms of performance on the field; we didn’t capitalise when we had the advantage of the strong wind in the first half and didn’t play in the right areas. This meant we went into half-time three points down and then we had it all to do in the second half.
Fair play to Newbold, I think they wanted it more than us.
Newbold played the conditions much better than us, pegging us back into the corners and looking threatening out wide which we couldn’t really cope with today. We did fight back and did get into the game but the boys reverted back to type. Playing schoolboy stuff, throwing the ball around when we needed to keep it tight, build the phases and keep our structure to wear down the opposition. A good training week next week is needed! Hopefully we can get back on the field and look at our structure and phase play. We now have five home games in a row! We will look to turn these performances around and get back to winning ways in front of our home crowd.”
Hereford kicked off with the strong wind at their backs. But failed to take advantage, keeping the ball in hand rather than kicking for field position. Early on both Levi Hughes and Tom Starkey made ground running out of defence. Newbold were able to close down the attacks and very little ground was gained. Newbold were caught offside and Freddie Spencer gave Hereford the lead from the resulting penalty.
Before half-time Newbold had responded with a couple of penalties to enter the break with a 3 point advantage.
In the second half, Newbold exploited the advantage from the blustery wind keeping Hereford pinned into their own half for long periods. They built up a good lead with two good tries, both of which were converted. Hereford fought back and after a prolonged attack created a gap for Freddie Spencer to touch down for a try, which he then converted. Spencer was shown a yellow card shortly after. Newbold took advantage of the extra man to push over from a scrum close to the visitors’ line. This time the conversion attempt failed.
This Hereford team, with a number of late changes, worked hard and left nothing on the field.
Failure to capitalise on conditions in the first half proved too much to do in the second. Josh Bell, Tom Neal and Nathan Boden, all playing out of position performed well. In particular, Bell, playing in the centre was selected by the opposition as Hereford’s player of the match. Alex Hickinbotham put in a good shift off the bench, making his first appearance for 3 seasons.
Next week, the Hereford team start a run of five home matches if the weather gods allow.
The coaches are confident that some training on grass will enable the team to return to form and make a winning finale to the season.
Match report by Robin Davies|Photos by Dave @ Wildcat photography