Fullerians 14 Brentwood 42 (London & South East Division: North 1) 14th April 2018
Bonus point win sets up massive final game
Brentwood travelled to Watford to face 8th place Fullerians in the penultimate game of the season on Saturday, they were greeted with a perfect playing surface and weather to match and came away with a bonus point win to set up a massive final game of the season.
Fullerians started well, strong in defense and with the early advantage in the set piece they still struggled to make any impact going forward, strong Brentwood defence keeping them on the back foot. One big tackle in midfield from Adam Thomas forced a penalty which set up a 5 metre lineout. A well executed rolling maul saw Harry Fisher crash over to score his first try on 14 minutes, a fine Burr conversion from out wide added the extras. James Vogel then touched down after a Fullerians kick was charged down which, with another good conversion, doubled the visitors' lead on 20 minutes. Brentwood were winning the collisions with Tijde Visser and Billy Aldous causing havoc every time they touched the ball or made a tackle. Although they were dominant, multiple attacks were cut short by strong defence and handling errors which frustratingly kept the score down until Louis Payne finished off a powerful forward drive, another fine conversion put Brentwood 21-0 up and looking for the bonus point. Fullerians had other ideas from the restart, collecting the kick expertly and scoring their first try after multiple carries from their forwards. Brentwood realistically could have taken a bigger lead into the half time break but dogged home defence had kept them to 3 tries.
H/T Fullerians 7 v 21 Brentwood
The game followed a similar pattern in the second half, Fullerians making ground from penalties while Brentwood put some lovely moves together and regularly broke through the home defence but as in the first half, handling errors forced by committed defence kept the score down until a perfectly executed 1st phase move opened up the home defence for Adam Thomas to score under the posts. The try highlighted the difference between the teams, Fullerians were only playing a forward-orientated game while Brentwood were equally potent using their big forwards or talented backline. The home side finally put some decent play together and scored a converted try after some more strong forward play but normal service was soon resumed when another lovely move saw Josh Stannard continue his fine scoring run, hitting a perfect line and scoring out wide. Brentwood continued to play some nice rugby, intelligent kicking from Burr kept the hosts on the back foot, ably supported by his back line with Ed Hornby, Tom Simpson and Chay Pollinger hitting hard in defence and going close in attack. Luke Tilly doubled his season try tally on 75 minutes, barging through 3 tacklers and taking Brentwood to 42 points with another Burr conversion.
A win against Amersham next would see them crowned champions and promoted to level 5 for the first time in their history but they will have to be at their very best to overcome a tough Amersham side who are guaranteed 4th place.
Brentwood are a young side who have consistently played the best rugby in the division, they are organised and commited in defence with a strong pack of talented forwards but have the bravery and skill to play expansive rugby when needed; it's been a pleasure to watch them develop over the season.
The Davlav Man of the Match went to Adam Thomas, massive defensive hits when Fullerians started to put some phases together and integral in attack, scored the try of the game.
Brentwood Team: Bevans-Royston, Payne, Visser, Amato, Whaley, Aldous, Fisher, Vogel, White, Burr, Pollinger, Thomas, Stannard, Hornby, Simpson Subs: Tilly, Richards, Wilkinson