Sat 10 Feb 2018
Saddlebacks make hard work of Walcot in poor match
Devizes edged a match they should have won more comfortably making many errors throughout these eighty minutes played in a mud bath. Devizes welcomed back stalwarts Lewis Paget and Craig Bryant back into the pack whilst keeping an unchanged back line.
The opening exchanges saw Walcot retain possession yet going nowhere met with some ferocious Devizes defence, including a couple of spectacular hits from skipper Josh Gould. After ten minutes of play, Devizes nudged in front, after Lewis Dodds broke through off first phase scrum ball to go over, however the conversion was missed.
Jorge Wadman went off with an injury after 15 minutes or so and Cameron McGready came in. A reshuffle in the back line saw Travis Orwin move into the number twelve jersey.
Devizes looked to build on their earlier score, but to Walcot’s credit were met with some resilient defence and some uncharacteristic errors from Devizes let the visitors off the hook. It wasn’t long though when the second score of the day was sealed. From a penalty, Devizes kicked to the corner and a expertly assembled maul scythed through the Walcot pack and Charlie Paget came up from underneath the mass of bodies. Brown converted to make it 12-0.
At this point, Walcot were under severe pressure and a third score was on its way. Devizes thought they had got it through some strong carries in the pack before the ball was shipped to wing Cameron McGready who slid in over the line. Everyone thought this was another score, however the ball was adjudged to have been held up for a 5-metre scrum to Devizes. A couple of Devizes players took exception to this decision and this was changed to a penalty to Walcot.
Walcot cleared their lines and went in at the break just 12-0 down.
The visitors started the second half well, with Devizes making too many silly errors, allowing their opposition to get a foothold into the match. John Bramwell was sent to the sin bin for not being ten metres from a quick tap penalty and from the resulting pressure Walcot bundled over from close range.
The visitors had their tails up and continued to batter away but Devizes held firm with their line speed in defence forcing errors. Devizes edged up the field and after a clearance kick of Walcot’s was charged down, the ball went up in the air over the Walcot try line and it was Travis Orwin who won the aerial challenge to dot down to make it 17-5.
Errors continued to be the general way of play with both sides struggling with the conditions. Gideon Hunter and Tim Alchin both came off the bench for Seb Hutchings and Charlie Paget for the final twenty minutes or so.
Walcot tried to get a response with some strong carries which edged them down the field. Lewis Paget was then sent to the sin bin after not retreating ten metres from another penalty, but Devizes repelled the Walcot attack enforcing further errors.
A frustrating display was capped off after multiple knock-ons from both sides ended a dismal display in poor conditions.
Devizes will be disappointed with the performance and for not securing the try bonus point which was duly on offer. Walcot battled bravely throughout, however did not offer much in the way of attack with Devizes’ defensive sets forcing errors.
Next week Devizes head to North Dorset to try and get a rare double over the 5th placed side after putting in one of their best performances of the season back in October.
Devizes 1st XV:
1. Wilkinson 2. Hutchings (16. Hunter, 62) 3. Randall 4. C.Paget (17. Alchin, 62) 5. L.Paget 6. Harries 7. Bryant 8. Gould (c) 9. Brawmell 10. Brown 11. Orwin 12. Wadman (18. McGready, 15) 13. Dodds 14. Jones 15. Barter
Try scorers: Dodds (11), C.Paget (24), Orwin (58)
Conversion: Brown (25)
Yellow Cards: Bramwell (44). L.Paget (70)
Man of the Match: Josh Gould