Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Mid-season blues for the Blues!

Supporters were optimistic.  The Newbury Blues have met Wimborne Rugby Football Club a handful of times and won every time.  Not today.  A hefty 24:48 defeat to the team immediately below them in the Regional 2 South Central league means more blues for the Blues at the halfway point of the season.

On a cold, dark and windy day, neither team did much to impress in the first 20 minutes.  It was, at best, messy and stuttery, with players slipping on wet turf, Blues Prop Ben Hicks being sent to the sin bin and Wimborne’s Lock Kieran Mayall making what turned out to be a rare error by missing a penalty.

But Wimborne gradually began to gain composure and take advantage.  The Blues matched Wimborne’s first converted try just before half an hour of play to stand at 7 all but had no response to another two Wimborne tries, both converted by the accurate Mr Mayall, who also took 3 penalty points.  The Blues were trailing 7:24 at half time, in it perhaps only because of the hard work of the forwards.

The opening of the second half was, for the Blues, better by miles and for 20 minutes they commanded play, scoring two converted tries and a penalty.  So, after an hour of play, it was all square at 24 points apiece.  Reasons to be cheerful.

It’s hard to say what happened next.  Sure, Wimborne regained their composure once more and their size as a pack (whopper!) was taking a toll but, stood on the touchline, it looked like the Blues just stopped tackling and Wimborne ran through them to score four more tries and two conversions.  Doubling the Wimborne score, the final score-line stood at 24:48.

There’s no doubt that the Blues as a team have taken a pounding from injuries, so there’s no team consistency.  Experienced players were evident in the better performances but debutante Seb Burgess also put in a creditable performance.  The Blues can only reflect and plan how they will rebuild.

The Blues are travelling away to Farnham on Saturday, 16th December.  Their next game at home is Saturday 6th January, when they host Chichester.  Come on you Blues!  Merry Christmas!

Photos by kind permission of Peter Branch