A disappointing afternoon for the Nomads
By joshua stratton
Excellent commitment and some close calls towards the end of the game, Nomads can have no complaints about the result
Nomads began their second half of their season with a trip to Tetbury. They were met with a cold damp day and a heavy pitch. Despite the conditions, hopes were high with Nomads travelling with 22 players.
Nomads started slowly with Tetbury dominating possession in the early stages. Solid defence led by Chris Toon and Jamie Leworthy in the centres and the back row of Cory Baker, Tom Flanagan and Mark Phillips kept Tetbury from making any great territorial gains. A number of penalties at the breakdown however gave Tetbury easy passage into the Nomads 22. Their well drilled driving line out led to another penalty that their #10 kicked for the opening points of the game.
Nomads continued to be deprived of the ball. Too often the lineout did not function accurately and secure ball was at a premium. The scrummage was solid but in no way dominant and Nomads were struggling to develop any continuity within the game. A line break from Flanagan from a short pass from Luke Peer could not be converted into a score and although Jordan Phipps always looked dangerous, the Tetbury defence was holding secure.
Tetbury were soon back in the Nomads 22 courtesy of another penalty and despite brave defence on the line another infringement allowed the Tetbury #10 to extend their lead with a penalty.
Half Time Tetbury 1st XV 6 Stroud Nomads 0
With Nomads unable to take advantage of the slope in the first half and lift in performance was needed and retained possession of the ball would be vital to turn the tide.
The second half started on much the same foot with Tetbury in control. Further solid defence kept the line intact with Adam Clark and Sam Davis to the fore. Tetbury changed tactic but a high kick was well fielded by Sam Strange, who despite being forced back behind his own line was able to offload to Kyro Thomas, who was able to show his pace and break out to the 22 and kick ahead. His chase was only curtailed by the touch judge’s flag, which deemed he had a foot in touch just before the kick. This defensive effort seemed to galvanise Nomads, who dominated possession in the next 10 minutes driving their way up field. A series of short pick and goes from Charlie Foote and Ryan Kibble put Nomads on the front foot. Further ground was made by Phillips and Lee Marshall. Tetbury infringed at the ruck allowing Luke Peer to kick a penalty to reduce the deficit.
The ball was gathered from the kick off and again driven up field by the forwards, directed by Phipps. Continued ball retention forced another penalty that was converted by Peer to level the scores at 6-6.
An unfortunate knock on however soon coughed up possession and Tetbury forced Nomads back in the corner. A well-executed catch and drive allowed one of their forwards to squeeze in by the corner flag for a crucial try. 11-6
Nomads were now really up against it and replied immediately with Baker expertly regathering the kick off only to be taken out in the air. Phipps spotted the opportunity for a quick tap and go but unfortunately was called back by the referee when appearing to be clear. With points at a premium and plenty of time on the clock Peer kicked the penalty from a wide angle to narrow the gap. 11-9
Tetbury however had the advantage of the slope and a strengthening breeze and used this well to pin Nomads back. Despite more gutsy defensive work, another penalty was conceded allowing Tetbury to extend the lead back out to 5 points. 14-9
This lead was soon extended further with a penalty from wide out kicked by the #10.
With 10 minutes to go and Nomads needing 2 scores, Baker once again regathered Peer’s kick off. Chris Jones was introduced to the fray and produced a trademark charge that pushed Nomads deep into Tetbury territory. Quick ball allowed the ball to be spread wide and Nomads appeared to be in at the corner but play was called back for a knock on. Nomads continued and forced another penalty and with time running out the ball was kept in hand. Once again Nomads went close but Flanagan was denied a try in the corner by the touch judge’s flag.
Full Time Tetbury 1st XV 17 Stroud Nomads 9
A disappointing afternoon for the Nomads – Despite excellent commitment and some close calls towards the end of the game, Nomads can have no complaints about the result. It is now vital that continued commitment to training in the upcoming weeks will add cohesion to the side and allow them to show their true potential.
Next Fixture: v Matson 2nd XV (Home) Saturday 13th January.