RUGBY UNION: Spalding stay bottom after heavy defeat

  • Midlands Two East (North) - Melbourne 60 Spalding 10
Have your say

Saturday’s heavy defeat leaves Spalding routed to the bottom of the league while Melbourne went clear at the top by two points after an impressive display.

On paper Spalding looked to be fielding a solid team but Melbourne immediately brought a higher level of intensity and within the first couple of minutes a penalty saw the home team go three points up.

Melbourne’s confidence flowed and it was no surprise that the first try was scored by the flanker. With a successful conversion they had a 10-point margin after five minutes.

The next score went to Spalding as James West stepped up for a penalty kick from out wide.

The restart saw Melbourne capitalise on possession to work their way upfield. A quick pass from a ruck saw the centres make space for the right winger to score easily.

The next phases of play saw Spalding have a succession of lineout opportunities deep into Melbourne’s territory and each one was lost. By contrast the home team’s lineout was dominated by their lock.

Melbourne were into their rampaging best with forwards and backs combining.

A further try and penalty kick followed and at half-time the lead had increased to 27-3.

Harry Brown came off the bench at lock and it was not long before he was in a passage of play instigated by a thrusting run from Jason Steels.

Brown’s offload saw Tom Duerden taking the ball at pace five metres out as he charged over with West converting.

Not long after Harry Winch on a crash ball move saw him held up on the line.

Later Spalding were encamped for several minutes, using their forwards to pick and drive but the movement finally died out due to poor execution.

With ball in hand, the home team regularly pulled Spalding’s defence apart with their backs playing at pace and power and being helped by some poor tackles with players tiring as they ran in five further tries.

During the game there was a big contrast with the home team playing with confidence, winning nearly all their first phase possession followed by excellent execution in their moves, especially the backs.

Spalding had at least half a dozen excellent field positions close to the try line but failed to convert into points lacking the confidence to execute and faith in the ability.

Spalding: Barrett, Cowell, Caley, Piccaver, Haighton, Cooke, Waine, Duerden, Shields, West, G Sharman, Winch, G Brown, H Sharman, Winch. Subs: Osborne, H Brown, Steels.