RUGBY: Blackburn hat-trick sets up win for impressive Cricklade
12:01pm Monday 28th October 2013 in Sport
A HAT-TRICK of tries from Matt Blackburn saw Cricklade through to a comfortable victory over Swindon College Old Boys.
Dorset & Wilts Div 2 North
Swindon College Old Boys 12
For once, Cricklade came out of the blocks quickly and soon exposed College OB's defensive shortcomings with a try by Nick Bond.
The home team came back bravely, but they were no match for Cricklade in the scrum or at the breakdown and the visitors secured possession at will.
In addition, the distribution, handling and running of the centres and backs was better than has been seen for some time.
Nathan Waite was running the show in the middle of the park and it was his pass that released Blackburn down the left flank for his first try.
As the visitors' confidence grew, the home team's discipline slipped and it was from one of these silly errors that Mike Murrey took a quick tap penalty and raced through for his try; Waite slotted this kick as Cricklade led 17-0 at half-time.
Swindon used the wind to send the visitors back into their own half whenever they could in the second half.
One kick led to a line-out for the visitors, but it was won by Swindon who put on a powerful drive to open their account.
Minutes later, Cricklade retaliated with a drive of their own that sucked in defenders and left openings through which Rhys Mills jinked for a classy try.
The home team continued to kick for position and were again rewarded via a line-out and resulting drive which brought them another try.
Trying the tactic again, however, proved their undoing as it was cleanly taken by Waite who, along with Callum Watkins, helped set up Blackburn for a touchdown between the posts.
Moments later, Blackburn was through for his third try after Cricklade won a scrum against the head.
Blackburn could have had a fourth try just before the final whistle, but he unselfishly slipped the ball to Lewis Palmer who skinned the last man with his speed and ran in to score between the posts.
Waite slotted his final kick to bring his tally to three conversions from seven.
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