RUGBY UNION: Spalding count cost of errors in another away defeat
Spalding missed out on a first away win of the season through a catalogue of errors and lapses in concentration.
Despite scoring five tries and in patches playing excellent rugby, they self-destructed and earned a solitary bonus point - dropping down the league to fifth place with Rolls Royce moving above Spalding.
The visitors fielded a team more than capable of a good performance.
However, the home team took the lead with a penalty and shortly afterwards they added the opening try and conversion.
Spalding responded within five minutes as they mounted pressure and fly-half Willis Ingleby sliced through Rolls Royce's defence.
From the kick-off, Spalding’s defence seemed to go to sleep and with missed tackles there was space out wide on the left for a simple run in and five points.
A quick response was needed and it came following good work by the forwards with Jason Steels relishing his return with his thrusting carries always gaining territory.
The ball was spread wide and a long pass out to right-winger Ben Shields saw him touch down near the posts but the conversion was missed by Ingleby.
As the half-hour mark approached, Spalding looked to counter-attack with left-winger Gav Sharman in space and Conall Mason on his inside.
But the pass by Harry Sharman was read and the interception left Rolls with a simple run in.
This was followed shortly afterwards by Rolls having a scrum on the five-metre line and with their front row gaining ascendancy they drove forward for a 17-point lead.
Rolls lost their dominant prop to a yellow card for not releasing and rolling away at the tackle area.
Spalding kicked the penalty for a lineout but they knocked on as they drove forward and a good scoring opportunity was lost.
Coach George Reid started to call upon his experienced bench with Richard Cooke replacing Edward Williams but Spalding’s mistakes continued to blight them.
In possession and driving upfield the ball was lost. Rolls hacked it forward and with Spalding’s defence in disarray, the home team gratefully picked up and ran through.
Captain Dan Adams showed how a simple game plan move can work with an excellent break through Rolls' midfield defence to score under the posts but the conversion was missed by Ingleby.
Spalding started to control the match through their forwards picking and driving with hooker John Barrett full of running and Harry Cole breaking tackles with his carries.
Harry Sharman helped himself to two tries in quick succession and the home team’s lead had been reduced to 10 points with 25 minutes remaining.
Instead of building momentum as Spalding looked to take control for an away win, lack of concentration and poor execution killed off a comeback.
From the restart kick Will Shields failed to gather in the ball, leaving a simple run in which was gratefully accepted by the home team.
From the restart kick Ryan Chappell caught the ball at pace just beyond the 10-metre line but the referee called it back and awarded a scrum to Rolls.
With play opening up, Rolls took advantage to built some pressure.
Mason looked to have cleared his lines with a relieving kick into open space but it was picked up by their left-winger and with no defence in front of him the next try was scored.
Next up was a Spalding lineout 15 metres out from their try line. The throw was tapped back from the jumper to Shields having moved to scrum-half but their hooker ran through the line, intercepted the tap and scored.
Spalding were still creating opportunities and from a lineout Cole carried forward, releasing Harry Sharman to claim his hat-trick.
But too many errors, lack of concentration at key times and poor execution they left themselves with too much to do.