Match Report – Vikings Vs. Westcombe Park – 14th October, 2023

10/15/20230

Difficult 7-59 home defeat for Vikings

It was a first half where the Vikings dominated possession and field position for long periods. However they could not trouble the scoreboard operator even when Westcombe Park had a front row player yellow carded in the 33rd minute. Westcombe by comparison made several incisive breakouts giving them the first half lead 0-26 ahead and the four try bonus point.

The first Westcombe try came quickly, in the 2nd minute. After a break away through several tackles near the halfway line Westcombe broke clear, the ball was handed off on the 22m line for Kiernan Thompson to evade the last line of defence and sweep in and score. This was converted by Nathan Wyman.

The next 20 minutes were spent mainly in and around the Westcombe 22m line. This was a scrappy period of play for both sides. There were penalties, misdirected passes, balls dislodged in tackles, and plain knocks on. However the Vikings’ scrum was holding up well with the lineout functioning smoothly. The Vikings’ crowd were feeling quite optimistic during this period.

In the second quarter three Westcombe tries ensued.

The first of these was from Calum Harris on 26 minutes. A long Westcombe kick downfield resulted in a Westcombe scrum 15m out from the Vikings line. Westcombe were, however, penalised for holding on in a tackle and driven back. They soon returned for a line out 5m out from the Vikings’ line which they won and drove over the line.

The next try on 30 minutes went to Rafael Lofinmakin-Dutta. Two of Westcombe’s large backs broke clear into the Vikings’ half. They drove up to within 5m of the line before being stopped. In the resulting ruck/maul the ball was scuffled over the line.

The fourth Westcliffe (bonus point) try came from pressure at an incursion into Vikings’ territory just before half time. On the 22m line a long pass went out to left wing Joseph Ratcliffe who dove over the line to score.

The second half was dominated by Westcombe Park. In all they scored five more tries from Toby Wallace (2), Rafael Lofinmakin-Dutta (2), and Harry Hudson

The most marked of these tries was Lofinmaka-Dutta’s 64m one. The Vikings turned over the ball on the Westcombe try line. Westcombe broke clear from the melee and the ball went the length of the field in a foot race for the try.

These were answered by some good drives by the Vikings. One in particular by Dan Smith took play up to Westcombe’s 5m line. Another was held up over Westcombe’s line. There was also the Vikings’ try from innovative play. The ball was chipped over the Westcombe defence and Benji Hewitt scored near the posts converted by Ross Magnus. This try lifted the crowd for a while.

Overall it was an excellent performance by Westcombe Park and a chastening 7-59 defeat for the Vikings.

After the game Vikings’ Director of Rugby Niall Lear said “We have a great group of young players getting National League experience. However we have had a bad start to the season and need to get together, coaches and players, to decide how we can salvage this season. There is no magical fix.” He named Charlie Fethney as the Vikings’ Lacon Brewery Man of the Match.

Vikings: 15 Lucas Atherton, 14 Harry Dye, 13 Dan Smith (C), 12 Jon Younie, 11 Tawanda Kandemwa, 10 Ross Magnus, 9 Benji Hewitt, 1 Tim Weber, 2 Mark McCall, 3 Henly Brightman, 4 James Blaldwin, 5 Ethan Holmwood, 6 Billy Tait, 7 Jobe Brooks, 8 Charlie Fethney. Replacements: 20 Kit Brodie, 21 Russel Arnold, 22 Hudson de Lucci, 23 Jamie Hooker, 24 Matthew Austin.

Substitutions: 28m Austin for Kandemwa, 40m Kandemwa for Austin, 43m Austin for Kandemwa, 55m Hooker for Atherton, 58. de Lucchi for Baldwin, 64m Brodie for Younie, 64m Arnold for McCall, 70m Baldwin for Tait, 75m Atherton for Baldwin

Scorers: Tries: Benji Hewitt Conversions: Ross Magnus

Westcombe Park: 15 Toby Wallace, 14 Kieran Thompson, 21 Thomas Vickers, 12 Matthew Harrison, 11 Joseph Ratcliffe, 10 Nathan Wyman, 9 Ricki Gould, 1 Todd Bailey, 2 Calum Harris, 3 Samuel Kenny, 4 Samuel Fombo, 5 Rafael Lofinmakin-Dutta, 6 Aidan Devane, 7 Harry Hudson, 8 Nicholas Cook. Replacements: 16 Taine Wagstaff, 17 Kareem Swandells, 18 Henry Kenny, 19 Kyan Braithwaite, 20 Benjamin Fryatt.

Scorers: Tries: 2m Kieran Thompson, 26m Calum Harris, 30m, 66m & 81m Lofinmakin-Dutta, 39m Joseph Radcliffe, 42m & 60m Toby Wallace, 77m Harry Hudson. Conversions: 2m, 26m, 30m, 42m, 77m, 81m Nathan Wyman; 66m Wallace

Referee: Michael Lamb

Half Time Score: 0 – 26

Final Score: 7 – 57

 

Richard Hewitt 15.10.23

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