Thursday, 18 August 2022

Wright wraps up impressive performance by Bulls side

DRY conditions in the Forest of Dean allowed the Bulls to open this encounter with an expansive

DRY conditions in the Forest of Dean allowed the Bulls to open this encounter with an expansive game plan.

Cinderford enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening 10 minutes before the Bulls collectively changed their tackle technique and from an early turnover at the breakdown Dave Hankinson made the first of several line-breaks and Will Janes managed to break the last tackle to out wide to open the Bulls account.

Cinderford responded soon after with a penalty as the Bulls were offside in midfield. It wasn’t long before slick handling in the dry conditions from Howe, Hankinson and Haynes put Janes clear on the right flank for his second try which Howe converted from just right of the posts.

The backs were benefiting from some good ruck ball possession as the Bulls pack began to dominate the breakdown and soon wing Cameron Ives was the beneficiary of their efforts crossing to score and stretch the lead to 19-3 as Howe’s conversion rate from herein was 100 per cent accurate.

A further penalty for encroachment gave Cinderford a chance to stay in touch as they kicked to the corner and the resultant line-out and driving maul was unstoppable. The Bulls gained little foothold at scrum-time throughout the game but used their line-out to launch several successful stings. With George Lane and George Primett carrying strongly out of defence it was prop Primmett who took a diagonal route to the Cinderford line from 30 metres out, handing off two tacklers and slipping the last to cross for a fine individual score.

The Bulls’ line-out was accurate throughout with Charlie Sichel finding Matt Thomas his main target with much success and scrum-half Harry Burn, who had been organising and supplying much of the ammunition for the Bulls assault, spotting an opportunity for himself to dart through the Cinderford tight defence and beat the covering tackles to score close to the posts.

Just before the break prop Jamie Woodstock combined with his back row to counter ruck close to the Cinderford line and allow George Lane an opportunity to pick up the winnings and dive over for a score which took the Bulls into the break with a comfortable 40-10 lead.

During the break the weather conditions changed and as the rain fell so the Bulls’ expansive approach seemed to be curtailed and allow Cinderford more possession from their dominant scrum and soon they had some success as the Bulls defence creaked and finally gave way to their barrage of forward carries.

Fly-half How and skipper Hankinson now employed some much needed territorial kicking to relieve the determined Cinderford pressure but the Bulls were penalised at the scrum and George Lane took a 10 minute enforced rest for not retreating. Before he was allowed to retake the field Jamie Woodstock had also been given a yellow card for rolling the scrum to ground.

Despite the two-man disadvantage the Bulls held firm with some good scramble defence from Teddy Hewins until a 60 metre clearing kick from Hankinson put the Bulls inside the Cinderford 22 but defending a line-out.

The hooker overthrew the ball and Jimmy Wright wasted no time in snatching it out of the air and darting through the tail-end defence to put the icing on the cake for the Bulls.

Henley Bulls: Jamie Woodstock, Charlie Sichel, George Primett, Tyler Wint (Sam Middleton, 49 mins), Matt Thomas, Jimmy Wright, Scott White, George Lane, Harry Burn, Toby Howe, Ashley Hayden, Dave Hankinson, Will Janes, Cameron Ives, Tommy Haynes (Teddy Hewins, 55 mins).

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