Monday, 27 May 2019

Numerical advantage too much for Bulls

HENLEY BULLS lost out in their first ever match at Taunton Warriors on Saturday.

Due to a couple of late withdrawals due to illness, injury and players being stuck in traffic, the Bulls only had a matchday squad of 15 players.

The match started with Taunton attacking the Bulls’ defensive line with plenty of power and pace, breaking the line and pushing the visitors on the back foot as they raced into the lead. This led to the Bulls having to tackle well to stay in the game, captain Scott White in particular leading the defensive effort with more than 20 tackles.

In the opening 20 minutes the Bulls lost Henry Penrose to an ankle injury and Elliot Quelch to a shoulder injury to leave them with just 13 players on the pitch.

Despite the numeral disadvantage the Bulls began to put good phases together. An interception from Tom Durrant looked to get the Bulls their first points of the game, but the covering tackle left the visitors just short.

The Bulls built some pressure in the Taunton 22 metres with Zack Clarke, Jake Lovatt and Liam Goodison all making hard yards while the defence stood strong. A mistake allowed Taunton to break away, but a fine try-saving tackle from Jiute Tapua and a turnover from Matt Mann saved the Bulls. Despite this a well-organised Taunton side went into the half-time break 47-0 ahead.

The second half started better for the Bulls and they went straight on the attack and started to put the pressure on Taunton, finding gaps in their defence.

A chip kick though from Archie Van Dijk was bravely collected by him which unfortunately led to an injury to him and took the Bulls down to 12 players.

This again seemed to spur on the remaining players, John Clarke carrying well led to a quick ruck and the ball was moved to Rhyan Scoot-Young for the first time who found space and good footwork allowed him to sprint in for the Bulls’ first points of the day. The conversion went just wide.

From the kick-off a big tackle caused another injury and and with the Bulls reduced to 11 men the match was brought to an end.

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