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RUGBY UNION: Spalding’s half-time lead quickly thrown away




Action from the home defeat to Nottingham Moderns in November
Action from the home defeat to Nottingham Moderns in November

Spalding were beaten for the second time this season by bottom-of-the-table Nottingham Moderns.

With three first-half tries and kicking off with the benefit of a sloping pitch, Spalding had a three-point advantage.

But Moderns burst into life within the first 10 minutes of the second half to secure victory.

A fourth try towards the end earned a bonus point as a consolation for Spalding.

During the game, especially in the first half, in patches they looked threatening when the backs found room to capitalise on the forceful running of centres George Brown and Adam McHugh.

In the first 15 minutes, Moderns pinned Spalding deep in their own half.

Spalding’s first break into opposition territory brought immediate rewards as the scrum-half Ben Shields moved the ball quickly left down the blind side with winger Chris Douglas finishing off.

From the restart Moderns worked their way deep into Spalding territory and from a scrum, their back row broke and missed defensive tackles let the home team open their scoring with a converted try.

Ten minutes later, passing along the line saw Moderns open up a three-on-one advantage for a further converted try.

Spalding’s scrum looked very solid with young Jordan Butcher joining John Barrett and Jacob Greaves in the front row.

From a scrum near the halfway line, flanker Harry Cole passed to right-winger Ashton Capes who used his speed to score out wide. Capes was denied a couple of further scoring opportunities before half-time.

Brown took a knock to the head in a challenge and was replaced by Tom Wilson at outside centre.

Again Spalding used their scrum as a platform to attack with fly-half Dan Adams putting McHugh in space with Cole finishing off and Capes converting.

The opening 10 minutes was rather disastrous for Spalding with a period of missed tackles and very poor cover defence allowing Moderns to sink their hopes with three tries.

For the first, Moderns again were able to create a three-on- one overlap on the left with Spalding’s back row failing to cover around.

Moderns exploited the same cover defence weakness and for their third try in this period, a high relieving kick by Spalding was gathered in by the full-back who raced down the right wing.

Midway through the half, Wilson also took a knock and Liam Adams came on in the backs.

Spalding steadied the ship and came back with their fourth try late in the second half.

Again it was developed from their scrum 10 metres out from Moderns’ try line with the ball being move quickly along to full-back George Douglas to dive over. Moderns claimed the final try from open play.

On his debut, Butcher carried the ball well in open play by always getting across the gain line and setting up the ball well for the next phase.

Cole was everywhere, especially with his carries and pace in an impressive game.



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