The Wolfpack blown off course.
By Simon Lord
Redruth deservedly took the spoils with a hard fought victory at a Windswept Greene King Haberden. Three second half tries sealed the game in a scrappy match.
Bury St Edmunds 17 v Redruth 19.
The key to the Cornishmen’s victory was a strong defensive display, particularly in the first half when they restricted Bury to just 3 points despite the hosts having the strong wind at their backs.
It was a puzzling display by Bury… With the elements at their back and a firm dry playing surface, one expected The Wolfpack to kick deep and stretch the visitors with fast wide attacks. Instead, the wind was hardly used, and Bury engaged in a physical exchange against a large well drilled Redruth side.
Bury were unlucky not to be given an early try when Mike Graham’s stretch and touch down was deemed to have been a knock on by the officials. Bury wasted a couple of glorious scoring opportunities but in fairness their insistence in trying to bludgeon their way through a solid red wall cost them dearly. Redruth in contrast, with in theory nothing to play for, showed they had not made the mammoth journey in vain.
“Ruth” showed real Cornish Pride in their commitment to the cause and their big physical ball carriers caused Bury real problems when they had ball in hand.
Ben Leng’s driving run earned Bury a penalty mid way through the half, but Limlei’s successful kick was a poor return for having had the majority of territory, possession and elements in their favour. That cause was not helped when Cam Ritchie hobbled off, just before the break.
HALF TIME BURY 3 REDRUTH 0
Turning around just 3 – 0 down after the break, Redruth immediately went onto the front foot and scored within 3 minutes. Richie Kevern pushed his men forward before, the Cornish pack took over and finally Todd Prisk crashed his way over from just 5 metres.
Bury responded well with skipper Ben Leng weaving his way over from 15 metres following Afflecks clever off load, to get the hosts back in front but the lead did not last long.
Early engagement at a scrum was seized upon by scrum half Kevern to send his side downfield before the ball was worked wide for Bond to squeeze over in the right corner. Simmonds could not quite convert but the visitors now led 12 points to 10.
Neither side were really creating clear cut opportunities as they locked horns in midfield. Both sides midfield defences were on top and it took the power of the Redrtuh pack to create the next score. A strong drive allowed Kevern to pounce on the scrappy ball at the back of a Bury scrum and dart towards the line. The scrum half was stopped short but former Wolpack Prop, Loma Kivalu was on hand to smash over from 2m. Simmonds added the extras and the Cornish had a 9 point cushion.
There was still plenty of time for Bury to gain back the lead but they seemed incapable of breaking out of the inertia they had drifted into. With just under 10 minutes to go, Bury finally raised their intensity and upped the tempo.
Some great interplay and clever off loading saw Wiltshire escape down the right but when the ball came in field the momentum was halted by Nonu’s cynical high tackle, earning the huge Kiwi centre a Yellow Card. Bury elected to kick the penalty at goal but Limlei’s attempt into the strong wind fell just short.
Redruth could not quite clear their lines and Bury turned the screw, a strong driving maul earned the hosts a penalty 10m out. Experience showed as the visitors slowed the play down, took an age over setting the scrum correctly and frustrated Bury.
Jake Clemson joined Nonu in the bin for deliberately intercepting the ball from an off side position meaning the visitors would play the last few moments with only 13 men, just as Bury had finished in the previous fixture in Cornwall.
In that match over 10 minutes of injury time was played and Redruth grabbed a dramatic draw. It was not to be this time around, and although Bury pushed hard, it was too little too late, and it took until the 80th minute for Bury to score, Will Affleck dummying his way over. Limlei’s successful conversion was the final act of the game.
Tries. Leng (52) Affleck (80)
Cons Limlei 2 Pen Limlei
Tries. Prisk (43) Bonds (58) Kivalu (64)
Cons Simmonds 2
Bury: Limlei, Wiltshire, O Reilly, Leng, Kohler, Ritchie, Harvey:
Robinson, Torpey, Cooper, Bixby, Graham, Grey, Walker, Browne.
Res: Hill, Scholes, Bentley, Affleck, Stanway.
Redruth.Simmonds, Simmons, Payne, Nonu, Bonds, Kevern, Oulton :
Tompsett, Gidlow, Kivalu, Prisk, Hazelton, Stevens, Clemson, Howe.
Res: Brown, Hodge, Hattam, Notman, Tucker