RUGBY: Minch show their fine defensive qualities against higher level Westbury

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: RUGBY: Minch show their fine defensive qualities against higher level Westbury RUGBY: Minch show their fine defensive qualities against higher level Westbury

GLOUCESTERSHIRE Division Two side Westbury-on-Severn proved too strong for Minch in this friendly.

Friendly

Minchinhampton 12

Westbury-on-Severn 41

With a much-changed side from the previous week, Minch started slowly while Westbury attacked from the outset, taking only five minutes to use their powerful midfield to score out wide.

A period of outstanding defence kept Westbury at bay until with some clever play and a lucky bounce, they scored again under the posts.

Playing into the wind, Minch attacked, using the pack to gain the hard yards, as good possession and plenty of phases saw them camped in the 22. Minch went close until a knock-on brought relief for Westbury.

The visitors then profited from a stray kick into the strengthening wind to establish a good attacking position. From the line-out the ball went wide where the winger ran in to give Westbury a slightly flattering 17-0 lead at half-time.

A different Minch emerged in the second half, not giving an inch in defence.

Attacking the breakdown, Minch forced a turnover inside the Westbury half. Quick ball and good hands put returning centre Little over in the corner.

However, with a long kick forward and three bounces to beat the full back, Westbury recovered to score a fortunate try.

Minch rallied and after the forwards had driven upfield, scrum half Sparkhall scored under the posts, with the conversion making it 22-12 in Westbury's favour.

As the game went on, Westbury's greater physical presence was starting to take its toll. For long periods Minch defended well, until some harsh decisions led to another score. Then Minch found themselves defending under their own posts and the pressure finally resulted in a further score for the visitors.

Westbury finished the game with a fortuitous final try, the referee missing a knock-on which halted a strong Minch attack. Westbury broke upfield at speed and crossed the line.

The score was not a true reflection of a hard-fought game played in a good sprit.

Captain Matt Austin said: "There were lots of positives and we will move on to Tetbury next week looking for a big home win.

"There are things to work on in training, but overall Westbury are a big physical side who played well and deserved to win."

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