As the scoreline suggests Ealing Trailfinders dominated Newbury Blues in every department of this National 2 South game at Vallis Way on Saturday. The chief beneficiary was wing Owen Bruynseels who bagged 6 tries of the 16 scored by the home team.
Owen said after his 6 try performance, "We are obviously pleased to have won by such a margin and to score 94 points in weather which was not necessarily conducive to running rugby demonstrates the control with which we played. As usual we will look at the game and see where we can continue to develop."
Despite the result, and this is in no ways condescending to the Blues, they showed a lot of heart and determination against quicker and stronger opposition. Indeed the Blues, arriving at Vallis Way were aware that given their record of 4 defeats from 4 starts, that they would face an uphill battle.
Newbury Blues Director of Rugby Andrew Widdop said to the Blues website last week, that what his young Newbury side lacked was the physicality and bulk that comes with age. They were all good players and time would show that. Is time on their side? Without a doubt there were patches of play where that could be seen, however it will be a long season for Widdop and his men, here’s hoping they turn the corner soon.
However, league games are won by points scored, not determination alone, and Ealing were clinical from the word go and duly completed the 16 try victory at a canter. There was some wonderful passages of phase play and individual skill, and the fact that the scoreboard ticked over continually will have pleased DoR Mike Cudmore. There were however some sloppy passages of play that spurred a possible 4 or 5 tries to the home side, and without a doubt Ealing will look a the game and look for further improvements.
Mike said "First of all my respect goes out to Newbury. It is obvious they are going through a tough time at the moment but at no time on Saturday did they give up or make it easy in anyway for us. I was very pleased with the performance and score line. The conditions were not ideal but for the majority of the game we played with control and stuck well to our tasks" .
Ealing were on the scoreboard within 1 minute as Owen Bruynseels collected the ball after number 8 Matt Evans burst through the Newbury Blues defence and dotted down. Neil Hallett stretched the lead to 7-0 . Bruynsells turned provider on 8 minutes when collecting a deft cross field kick by captain Ben Ward, off loading to centre Joe Price who crossed for his first of the day. The conversion missed, Newbury missed an kickable penalty by Will Clarke on 11 minutes.
The tires continued to flow, when England U20 hooker Rob Buchanan used his momentum to carry over the line with 15 minutes on the clock, Bruynseels 2nd try on 23 minutes bought with it the 4 try bonus point. Further tries followed by wing Pete Hodgkinson ( 29 minutes), Markus Burcham ( 35 minutes), Jay King ( 38 minutes),and with his hat trick Owen Bruynseels on 40 minutes to make the half time score 48-0 .
The second half showed no respite for the Blues, but they did show determination and grit. With such a young side it takes a great deal of inner belief to keep coming back when the odds are so stacked against you.
Ealing racked up a further 8 tries in the second half, Bruynseels ( 43,67,71,), Price (53), Matt Evans (57), Sam Wardingly (64), Simon Bundy (73), and the biggest cheer of the day went to replacement prop Sonny Kuwana on 78 minutes. Neil Hallett end with 10 points to his name and Ben Ward 4 to complete the 94-0 victory.
Whilst everyone has to stick by the rules, probably the least sporting event of the day was the yellow card shown to the Blues late replacement Claude Springer, by referee Tom Foley. Springer rather foolishly kicked the ball away when Ben Ward was looking at a quick tap penalty. By the letter of the law referee Foley was correct, but to a young player, and a team on the back of a 90 plus point drubbing surely a quiet word would have sufficed?
Ahh sometimes the law stinks!
Ealing’s attention will now turn to the next game. Next Saturday, they are back on the road and visit Bristol to play Clifton RFC. Kick off is 2.30 pm
Skipper Ben Ward said after the game, "We are very pleased with the result…to score 94 points in the rain is a good indication we are nearing top form. Fair play to Newbury they never gave up and kept going. As is the way with league rugby our attention now turns to a tough game against Clifton this week. We must work hard in training and we will be ready come Saturday."
Man of the match Rob Buchanan is only too aware of the task ahead. "Playing Clifton on their home ground is never an easy task. They are a good team who have always played attractive rugby. As a team we are looking to continue our good start and will use this week in training to focus on our areas for development, ensuring we are fully prepared for the match on Saturday. We look forward to seeing ‘the Green Army’ in Clifton!"
15 – Neil Hallett 14 – Owen Bruynseels, 13- Markus Burcham, 12 – Joe Price ,11- Pete Hodgkinson , 10- Ben Ward ( Capt), 9 -Morgan Thompson , 1- Lewis Brown, 2- Rob Buchanan , 3- Steve Neville , 4- Ryan Gregory, 5- James Winterbottom, 6- Lee Starling, 7- Jay King, 8 – Matt Evans
16 – Jon Moyce, 17 – Sungo Kuwana , 18 – Jack Fishwick , 19 – Sam Wardingley 20 – Simon Bundy