Senior Rugby Saturday 13th January 2018
Full reports on the 1st XV visit to Oxford Harlequins and the United XV at Lychett Minster are here...
Oxford Harlequins 28-19 Salisbury
Salisbury were forced to make late changes for their trip to Oxford with Callum MacTaggart reverting to fullback and Dirk Knight rising from the ranks of the United XV to fill the troublesome number 9 jersey. The visitors strtaed briskly with Knight switching play quickly before a superb solo break by Ollie Bowden saw him sprinting half the pitch to touch down, Jack Sheldrake adding the conversion.
Quins rallied and only a try saving tackle denied them a score in the corner but from a scrummage Fotu Latu proved to be impossible to stop and the sides were level. This score seemed to give the home side confidence and a slick handling move saw them score again. Salisbury did not lay down and scorer turned provider as a superb cross field chip from Bowden was gathered by Jon Goldsmith for a score and the sides turned around with the score 14-17.
Quins applied pressure as Salisbury failed to play to their strengths and, when the visitors failed to clear their lines, pounced for another score. The game continued in the same vein and the hosts looked to have put the game out of sight when, despite brave defence, Latu forced his way over for another. The visitors certainly didn’t share this view and a superb break from MacTaggart was finished off by Goldsmith for what proved to be the final score of the game.
It seems to be the case in this division that sides are far better at home than they are on the road and this is certainly true of Salisbury who will be hoping for better fortune over the next fortnight as they entertain Royal Wootton Bassett and Witney at home.
Lychett Minster 24-13 Salisbury United
Salisbury’s second string were unable to turn a lot of constructive rugby moments into points, going down to a much improved Lytchett Minster team 24:13. The early exchanges were all Salisbury but their only reward in the first quarter was a solitary penalty from Jamie Wright. A failure to control the ball gave their much larger opponents plenty of opportunities to attack the line, with Salisbury falling behind twice either side of tries for Theo Daniel and skipper Mike Dauwalder which sent Salisbury into half-time with a slender 13:12 lead. The second-half was a series of enterprising and entertaining breakouts from both sides, but Salisbury’s inability to maintain possession at crucial times ultimately cost the game and a final score of 13:24.