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Thursday, 22 February 2018
THE results in recent rounds of the Zoo Shield Division highlight the unpredictability of the game and that form and confidence can be infectious from the first team throughout a club.
Cinderford had been outplayed by the Bulls back in October in the Forest of Dean as the Bulls won comfortably but United have strengthened since and had just enough defensive mettle and tactical prowess to hold off a young Bulls team.
The in-form George Lane who opened the Bulls account appearing on the tail of a driving maul to touch down after 11 minutes as territory and possession had swayed both ways. Toby Howe’s conversion was on target from a wide position but lacked the distance.
The Bulls’ discipline et them down in the first half and this cost them dearly, giving away penalties in crucial areas and allowing United to open their tally with a strike from a short distance in front of the uprights. A further penalty shortly after allowed United to kick to the left corner and in more predictable fashion from the penalty they drove the Bulls over their own line for the try and added the conversion to lead 10-5.
The Bulls responded before the break with a carbon copy of United’s try when Zaki Chamnaoui steered the maul over the line and touched down to equalise but Howe’s angled conversion was off target. The game was halted by an injury to United’s number eight, proceedings were temporarily shifted to another pitch where the midfield combinations on both sides tested each other’s strength until the half-time break.
In the second half the Bulls were awarded a penalty as they probed deep in United’s half with flanker Jimmy Wright and George Lane at the forefront of their quick tempo driving game. Jimmy Stephenson-Wright took over the kicking duties but the opportunity was missed.
Cinderford used their less ample possession to turn the Bulls around with good returns on their kicking game and the odd breakaway up the left flank which eventually put them in a position to spray the ball wide to the right as the Bulls defence clustered a little and left enough space outside the right post for United to slip in for a second score and allow an easy conversion.
The Bulls pack created enough interest through their driving game to create the space need for Dyneal Fessal to put Nick Arnell in space on the 10 metre line. Arnell showed his pace and the ingenuity to sprint in and touch down under the posts only for the Bulls to be pulled up by the referee, who adjudged that Fessal’s final pass had gone forward.
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