League campaign starts in impressive style

October 03 2017

Chipping Sodbury 15 - 7 Gloucester Spartans

Chipping Sodbury 15 - 7  Gloucester Spartans

The early exchanges of this early season encounter went the way of Spartans as Sodbury conceded 3 rapid-fire penalties. The intense nature of the early clashes led to some over-frank discussions up front leaving the referee with little option but to brandish a red card to a player from each side. 

Spartans maintained their pressure on the Sodbury try line but were unable to cross it largely due to the tackling from Jon Cook, Lee Ralph and Phil Player. They were also stung by their own lack of discipline conceding penalties. 

After Raffi Sheik had sparked a foray into Spartans territory, Sodbury claimed another penalty which Jon Cook stroked between the uprights for a 3-0 lead. 

Spartans had some success out wide but Sodbury’s scrambling defence kept them at bay. Both teams went on to miss a shot at goal and to receive a yellow card each. This left the new coaching team of Harvey Skelton and Matt Dew plenty to sort out at half time. 

The half time team talk seemed to have some effect as Sodbury’s effort began to have some cohesion. After James Bennett set in motion a wonderful sweeping move from 75metres out, rapid passes found Cook, who easily drew two defenders before feeding to Raffi, who cruised in to score. 

After 60 minutes the Sods kicked a penalty for a line-out 15m from Spartans try line. They lost the ball but then ripped it free. One brutal ruck found Jake Lewis and he scampered in for a try which Cook converted. 

With the score at 15-0 Sodbury now had a bit of breathing space but they seemed to relax and kept infringing. From a penalty, Spartans found touch just 10m out and the resulting drives at the Sodbury try line had real venom. As the fatigue started to bite one tackle rode up and was deemed high enough to award a penalty try. 

The game played on for another 10 minutes after the Spartans try but neither team could add anything to the scoreboard.

 

Photo credit Jeff Gendall Photography