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1st XV - Match centre

Rams
Bury St. Edmunds
Sat 29 Sep 14:30 - RFU National - National 2 South Full time Attendance 221

Bury on the end of a Rampage!

Bury were soundly beaten at title favourites Rams in Reading on Saturday.

National League Division 2
Rams 47 Bury 21
Bury were soundly beaten at title favourites Rams in Reading on Saturday.
The hosts had surprisingly slipped up in the mud of St Albans the previous week and Bury felt the full backlash of that as they encountered a fired up home side. Bury welcomed back Scholes, Kohler and Leng to the side but were missing the injured Ritchie, Browne and skipper Watson.
For most of the first half Bury matched the Rams and in fact had the brighter of the starts! A penalty on half way was kicked to the 25m line, the forwards nudged on a further 10m before Leng and then Uri drove hard into midfield crating the space for Alex Stanley to dive over. Nick Perez added the extras and Bury were 7 points to the good after just 6 mins.
The hosts seemed over keen to make amends and Bury were able to deal with the initial frantic threats. However the power of the Rams scrum soon became evident as they began to pick up penalties at scrum time. Bury cleared their lines once but on 15 mins the pressure was put on and Nick Perez’s clearance kick was charged down by Humberstone who then won the race to his own kick through.
It was frenetic stuff, Rams roared back from the restart, only for Bury to intercept and charge the other way, before Rams stole the ball back.., a trait that would haunt Bury all day. Rams edged ahead when Bury, having enjoyed a promising spell, fumbled the ball and two passes later Jak Rossiter was racing away. The winger was caught but Full Back Duffelen was up in good support and he ran in by the posts. Seer’s extras made it 12 – 7.
With their noses in front, the Rams began to ooze confidence. They began to attack at real pace, flooding players through in support and cleverly off-loading the ball out of contact on numerous occasions. Bury were stretched but they were hanging on and the scramble defence was good.
Just before the half hour they got back on terms after forcing the Rams to knock on. Jaid Wiltshire pounced on the ball and escaped the initial clutches, Kohler took the ball on who in turn found Leng. Leng then spotted a gap in the home defence and switched the ball back to Alex Stanley to gallop in 20m for a cracking try. Perez’s fine touchline conversion put Bury back ahead 12 – 14.
The response was swift and when Leng was isolated, his penalty for holding on was kicked to the corner. Bury managed to stop initial advances but the Rams stayed patient, stretched the defence one way then the other before Hooker and Man of the Match, Ben Henderson proved unstoppable from 6 metres. Seers easy conversion sent the hosts into the break leading 19 – 14.

HALF TIME RAMS 19 BURY 14
Rams deservedly led at the break being the more dominant team, but Bury had matched their intensity in defence and always looked capable of scoring on the counter… Could they perhaps claim the spoils with a smash and grab performance?
The answer was an emphatic no! The second period was a humbling experience for Bury as the Rams turned on the pressure in the set piece and the Wolfpack had no answer.
The home side went to the tried and tested method of attack. Pressure the opposition into conceding a scrum, earn a penalty, kick to the corner, power your way over. Except that for the first try of the half it did not end like that! The first three parts were correct, but as Bury held firm on their line, Seers elected to kick cross field for Rossiter, who somehow mid air, managed to get the ball down before Sharp bundled him into touch.
The lead now 12 points, the hosts began to turn the screw. Both sides were flying into tackles but the power of the Rams scrum was hurting Bury and they were forced to live off scraps. The tenacity of the home defence often forced Bury to fumble the ball and a promising attack was turned on its head when Rams won a penalty at a scrum in their own 22 and moments later were camped on the Bury line. Stanley saw Yellow for halting the move, Mike Graham then hobbled off after a lengthy delay following a collapsed scrum before inevitably the penalty try was awarded.
The score read 33 -14 just before the hour mark and the game looked lost for Bury.
The closing 20 minutes was painful viewing. The Rams continued to put pressure on in the scrum and earn both penalties and territory as a tiring Bury side were forced to defend deeper and deeper. Stanley’s return to the field was countered with Dave Coutts being shown Yellow for a series of offences at the scrummage.
Bury’s day was typified in the Rams 6th try. Bury had managed to turn the ball over on half way only to then knock the ball on. The Rams pounced and cleared down field. Bury still had the chance to clear but again knocked the ball on into the arms of Humberstone who easily sent Denham away for a simple score.
Bury were battered and broken and the Rams were not going to ease off in the closing minutes, instead they were brutal, running riot with ball in hand to send Rossiter in for his second
Having used up all their substitutions and with Coutts in the bin, the game had to go to uncontested scrums. A reasonable platform showed what Bury could achieve when with 5 minutes left Catuogno’s fine break finally got behind the solid blue line and quick hands and recycling gave Kohler enough space to squeeze over. With Perez off injured, Adams landed the fine conversion and with just under 5 minutes left, Bury sniffed the chance of a 4th try that would bring them the bonus point.
Uri collected the re start well and made yards before finding Fin Sharp to again get Bury behind the home defence. A penalty was earned, kicked to 30 metres and Bury set off in a series of drives that edged them close to the line. However with the line at their mercy they lacked composure and inevitably a player became isolated and was penalised for holding on when just inches from the line. Seer’s happily kicked the ball from the field to end a sobering day for The Wolfpack.

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

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Old Albanian

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# Team Pl Pts
7. Worthing Raiders 7 21
8. Old Albanian 7 20
9. Bury St. Edmunds 7 20
10. Dings Crusaders 7 18
11. Clifton 7 16
12. Barnes 7 13
13. Guernsey 7 13

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