Nomads travel to bream
By joshua stratton
Nomads continue to play with pride when many aspects of the game were going against them
Nomads made a trip down the A48 for a hastily arranged fixture as their league game was called off. A squad of 17 made the trip but once again the number of regular back line players was extremely limited, resulting in many forwards playing out of position in the backs. Exiting the changing room, the site the greeted the Nomads did nothing to raise the spirits - The pitch was the most sloped that all of the Nomads had ever come across in all their years. (And there was at least 180 years amongst 4 of the players!!!)
Squad: 1 Damien Cox 2 Lee Marshall 3 Craig Hill 4 Jack Keightley 5 Nick Stringer 6 James Nash 7 Adam Clark 8 Mark Samak 9 Callum Gibbs 10 Jake Marsh 11 Chris Jones 12 Tom Warner 13 Mark Phillips 14 Tom Munson 15 Tom Flanagan 16 Fred McCllellan 17 Rob Shipton
With the appointed referee unavailable, Nomads were regularly at odds with the stand in referee’s interpretation of the laws, which resulted in a fractious game with very little structured rugby played by either side.
Nomads started strongly with excellent pressure from the kick-off from Keightley and Clark forcing an error. An early scrum however would set the tone with this area of the game being dominated by Bream. Samak regularly had to try to secure ball with the Nomads scrum in retreat, resulting in a lack of quality ball. Nomads defence was solid, with good line speed forcing handling errors, one of which was pounced upon by Stringer. He was able to collect the ball and stretch away only to be felled 5m out by the Bream Full-Back.
Camped inside the opposition 22, Nomads continued to exert pressure on Bream but clean fast ball was rare due to the breakdowns being extremely scrappy. Warner and Phillips carried strongly from Marsh’s distribution, whilst short range drives from Keightley and Samak were held up just short.
Flanagan (out of position at Full Back) returned clearance kicks strongly, regularly beating 2 or 3 opposition and making excellent ground. He also showed great strength and bravery when working back to collect kicks over the top as Bream seemed keener to play for territory rather than keep ball in hand. From one kick, Bream made huge yardage but great work from Flanagan and a typically strong clear-out from Jones secured the ball. For once Nomads were able to string a few phases together, all be it from within their own 22, with first Gibbs feeding Clark and Warner before Marsh found Phillips, who made good ground. Still inside their own half, Gibbs then switched play to Samak, who was able to carry play back deep into the opposition 22 before being hauled into touch. Nomads pressure however came to nothing with them again being penalised at the breakdown.
Penalties conceded moved Bream into the Stroud 22, where initially solid defence kept the line intact but eventually the Bream pack drove over from a turned scrum. Try Converted 7-0.
The last few minutes of the half again saw Nomads pinned within their own 22 after conceding penalties. Strong defensive work from Stringer, Samak and Phillips stemmed the tide but Nomads were penalised for a high tackle and from a quick tap and go Bream were able to cross again. Try Converted. 14-0.
Half Time Bream 2nd XV 14Stroud Nomads 0
The second half mirrored the first in many ways with the Nomads unable to go through phases due to huge disruption at the breakdown. On the occasions ball was secured, Warner and Flanagan carried strongly while Marsh regularly exploited space in behind the Bream defence with the chip and chase. One kick was not secured by Bream and regathered well by Phillips allowing Gibbs to spread the play to the left wing. Jones showed great strength picking up loose ball and driving over the line. 14-5.
Jones left the field and was replaced by Shipton with Nash moving out to the wing. Nomads looked to try to use width with good hands from the backs freeing Munson, who showed elusiveness and strength to carry play into the Bream half. Another strong carry from Warner continued momentum before Gibbs fed Marsh, who half broke the defensive line before offloading to Samak. With Nomads pushing for another score once again they were stopped by the whistle allowing Bream to once again kick their way back into the Nomads 22. The last 10 minutes saw a great deal of Bream pressure, especially at scrum time but Nomads defence held firm. McCllellan came on to replace Hill and was soon part of the defensive effort that at least allowed Nomads to finish the game with pride intact.
Full Time Bream 2nd XV 14Stroud Nomads 5
A disappointing game on many fronts, at least the afternoon saw Nomads continue to play with pride when many aspects of the game were going against them.
Nomads have no scheduled fixture next week but are looking to arrange a game and hopefully gain a victory that will hopefully reverse the fortunes of their season so far.