Nomads win at home
By joshua stratton
Full team effort for a great victory
Nomads were looking to bounce back from the disappointing loss to Old Cryptians and hopes were high as they took on a Saracens team, who they had had a number of close games with in the last few seasons. Nomads had the rare luxury of 19 available players on a cold but dry afternoon at Archway School.
Nomads started positively with the set –piece being dominant. The scrummage was rock solid as ever, with the front row of Charlie Foote, Sam Davies and the returning Tommy Allen not only securing Nomads ball but also disrupting the Saracens scrummage. Adam Clark, on debut and Tom Flanagan were impressive in providing great ball from the lineout courtesy of accurate throwing from Cory Baker.
Strong carries from the back row of Cory Baker, Tom Flanagan and Mark Samak took play into Saracens territory. Chris Toon continued the momentum with a trade-mark straight run breaking through the defensive line. Clean ruck ball and quick hands from Jordan Phipps freed Carl Ranscombe, who sidestepped his opposite number before making a fine outside break. Only a last ditch tackle stopped him but Mark Samak was on hand to pick up and drive over the line for the opening score.
Nomads continued their dominance with more direct running in midfield from Chris Toon leading the way. The direct route was also taken by Chris Jones with a typical powerful burst, which earned Nomads a penalty when Saracens infringed at the breakdown. An excellent long –range kick from Joe Spurrell extended the lead to 8-0
Nomads were unlucky not to extend their lead further with first Mark Samak being denied a second try by the referee’s call of obstruction. Jordan Phipps then almost had a free run to the line after a clever blind side pass from Callum Gibbs.
Unfortunately, he was pulled back for a foot in touch.
Nomads were unable to add to the scoring in the first half despite coming close with a number of well executed catch and drives from secured ball from Adam Clark. Although Saracens brave defence kept their line intact, they did have a player sin-binned.
Half Time Nomads 8 Cheltenham Saracens 2ndXV 0
Nomads were able to make use of their replacements and made a number of changes at half time. This however did not alter the positive approach of the Nomads. Despite some early pressure from Saracens, excellent defence led by Sam Davies, Cory Baker and Chris Toon kept the line intact.
A long clearance kick from Joe Spurrell drove Nomads up field, where excellent disruptive work at the lineout meant Nomads regained possession. Forward drives from Josh Merrett and Charlie Foote continued the momentum before the backs spread the ball wide to free Joe Little on the wing, only once again to be called back - this time for a forward pass.
Nomads were not to be denied for long with another lineout catch and drive resulting in Craig Hill driving over in the corner.
A further extension of the lead was only denied by the cross bar, following a long range penalty from Joe Spurrell. Nomads continued to pressurize Saracens with Chris Toon almost pulling off a miraculous one handed scoop when travelling at full pace.
Saracens unfortunately suffered a number of injuries in the final quarter so Fred McCllennen and Charlie Foote donned their shirts to even up numbers.
The scoring was completed with a try in the corner from Tom Flanagan, who outpaced the Saracens winger to touch down following a superbly judged grubber kick through by Cory Baker. Joe Spurrell added the conversion with a fine kick from the touchline.
Full Time Nomads 20 Cheltenham Saracens 0
This was an excellent all round display from the Nomads, who always had control up front and played some highly entertaining rugby. The benefit of having a full squad and replacements was clearly seen and hopefully this will be continued next week and into the New Year.
Next Fixture Saturday 16th December v Old Pats 2nd XV (Away) KO 1430