Brentwood 33 v 12 Shelford (London & South East Premier Division) 20th October 2018
By Matthew Burr
Brentwood move up to 5th in the table with bonus point win
Brentwood secured their second successive bonus point win with a powerful display against Shelford, a fine all round performance that moves them to 5th in the league. Only one change from the team that won away to Tunbridge Wells, captain Ben Amato had recovered from his recent injury and James Vogel moved to the bench.
Brentwood dominated the early exchanges and only a combination of good defence and lack of precision kept them off the scoreboard. It was to be that combination that allowed Shelford to pick up a loose ball deep in their own half and score in the corner despite Liam Batty making up 20 metres on the try scorer and just failing to hit the try scorner into touch. Shelford missed a kickable penalty 2 minutes later and this seemed to galvanise the team, the lack of precision was put right straight away and strong carries from Ben Patterson and Louis Payne made good ground and had the visitors’ defence scrambling. An overlap was spotted and quick hands through the backs put Charlie Wilkinson in for his first score of the season. Brentwood went on to play some lovely rugby through multiple phases. One attack freed up James Killington who expertly beat his man to score near the posts, Bradley Burr hit the conversion and the hosts moved to 12-5 up after 25 minutes. With the slope against them in the second half it was important to stretch the lead before halftime, Josh Stannard did just that with a trademark try from halfway; brilliantly beating 4 defenders and dotting down near the posts.
H/T Brentwood 19 – 5 Shelford
Brentwood carried on where they left off, the forwards dominating at both scrum and lineout and keeping the ball for long periods after halftime, this seemed to tire the Shelford defence and gaps were appearing across the pitch. A rare Shelford attack was halted when Liam Batty intercepted a pass and ran under the post from his own half on 50 minutes and continue his fine scoring run, that brought up the 4 try bonus point and with Burr successful with the conversion the score moved to 26-5. More fine play on 60 minutes saw Brentwood score a great try, created by the forward power of Tijde Visser, Billy Aldous and Matt Whaley as they moved from their own 22 to 5 metres from the Shelford line, a perfectly weighted Burr grubber was collected by Stannard and he dotted down under the posts, an easy conversion followed. Brentwood continued to pile on the pressure but just failed to increase their lead, in fact Shelford scored a breakaway try on 75 minutes put a slightly misleading look to the scoreline. Brentwood deserved the win and should have put more points on the board but that should not detract from the fact that they played some brilliant rugby and are being recognised as a force in this league.
The Davlav Man of the Match went to Louis Payne, bullied the opposition with a powerful performance, regularly broke tackles and constantly put Brentwood on the front foot.
Team: Visser, Payne, McMillan, Killington, Whaley, Amato, Aldous, Patterson, White, Burr, Wilkinson, Thomas, Stannard, Batty, Simpson Subs: Bevans-Royston, Vogel, Galligan