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Match Report: Paviors 26 – 25 Melbourne

Results are beginning determined by the finest of margins - Last week Pavs lost by a point, this week they won by a poiint

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Saturday January 27

This weekend Pavs welcomed Melbourne RFC in what was the first home fixture between the two clubs. The reciprocal away fixture was a close affair with Pavs coming out on top, so Melbourne were keen to redress matters at The Stump.

The early contacts showed that this game had the potential to be a very competitive affair with both sides going at it hammer and tong. Early signs were that messrs Hyams, Taylor and Collier were beginning to dominate the scrummage and Pavs were awarded a number of penalties which they used to pin Melbourne back. On twelve minutes and from one of these penalties and resultant plays flanker and vice-captain Josh Alton-Smith gave Pavs the lead at 5-0.

With Pavs moving the ball through the hands and in front of their posts, the official deemed that Pavs were guilty of crossing and awarded a penalty which was gratefully accepted to bring the score to 5-3 in fifteen minutes.

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Six minutes later and as Pavs continued to push forward Antipodean lock Tom Gladwin finished off a fabulous movement that saw Pavs go from their twenty-two to score and with the George Billam extras extend Pavs lead to 12-3. Of late, Pavs have suffered with the damaging effects of yellow cards and this was the case when the unfortunate Josh Alton-Smith was invited by the official to take ten minutes rest on twenty-seven minutes.  This gave Melbourne a huge boost in energy and they scored two quick tries on twenty-nine and thirty-three minutes to put them in front 15-12 at the break.

During the half time period scrum half Jonty Green was replaced by youngster Dan Flint following a nasty looking hip abrasion. Back to full strength Pavs again looked to find the width. Following a number of powerful runs, Number 8 Phil Eggleshaw touched down out wide. George Billam executed a fine kick to put Pavs in front at 19-15 with fifty minutes in the clock.

Following this there was a period of chaos, as first lock Aaron Langan left the field of play with an arm injury , and then seemingly at the same time hooker Owen Taylor succumbed to a shoulder injury. Harry Kerr and Tom  Ryan replaced Langan and Taylor respectively. As Pavs reorganised, Melbourne again seized the moment and pressed at least for an equalising score.

When two things go wrong you are always looking for third, so when Matt Molyneux departed to the bin on sixty-one, it seemed as if the rugby gods were not smiling on the home side. Immediately after, on sixty-two minutes Melbourne went in front at 20-19.

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Pavs again began to settle and put some effective play together. Following another sweeping movement, speedy wing Will Taylor danced his way through the tightest of gaps to squeeze in the corner. George Billam again struck a super conversion from the touch line to put Pavs back in front at 26-20.

If the Pavs squad and their supporters felt that they had done enough, they were in for a shock when Melbourne worked the ball into the Pavs twenty two, before scoring in the corner to bring them very close at 26-25.  The conversion was missed, so four minutes left and game on.

The inevitable “squeaky bum time” was suffered by all Pavs supporters before Melbourne were penalised at the ruck and George Billam punted the ball into touch to register a hard fought for bonus point win at 26-25.

There were so many top performances from the chaps, but one would like to mention the front row boys en bloc.(Dan Hyams, Owen Taylor, Theo Collier and Tom Ryan)  Their contribution is always vital in winning any game. In particular, Dan Hyams deserves a mention as representative of the front row club. Not only scrummaging, but throwing in and then making so many tackles he thinks he should move to the back row!!! 

As we transition to the end of the season games seem to be ramping up in terms of competitive spirit. Results are beginning determined by the finest of margins. Last week Pavs lost by a point, this week they won by a point. They will inevitably look back on their discipline as a factor over the week and stress the need for composure and clear thinking. They travel to Sutton Coldfield RFC next weekend hoping to establish rather more control as they continue develop as a squad. Onwards …..

Starting Squad: Dan Hyams, Owen Taylor, Theo Collier, Tom Gladwin (1 try), Aaron Langan, Josh Alton- Smith (vc, 1 try), Josh Flanagan, Phil Eggleshaw (1 try), Jonty Green, George Billam (3 conv), Will Taylor (1 try), Doug Billam (C), Morgan Jones, Alex Rimmington, Matt Molyneux. 

Impacts: Dan Flint (40 mins), Harry Kerr ( 55 mins), Tom Ryan ( 55 mins)

Paviors Rugby Club play at Burntstump Hill, Arnold, NG5 8PQ and the club runs over twenty teams.

New players are always welcome – girls, boys, men & women, there is a team for all.

Further information about the club including contact details can be found on http://www.paviorsrfc.co.uk/ .

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