1stXV 43 v Bridgend 15, Pre-season Fixture Match Report, Aug 20, 2016
Ampthill welcomed visitors Bridgend Ravens to Dillingham Park on a blustery day with heavy showers, sunshine and a cutting edge to the wind. Olney Field’s 1st Team pitch, having been heavily watered on Friday through divine intervention, looked a picture.
Amps led 24-10 at half time (4 tries to 1) after a flurry of late tries, Bridgend came back at the hosts in the third quarter with the teams exchanging tries before the home side scored twice more in the final five minutes.
A’s opened the scoring on 8 minutes with an unconverted try from flanker Joseph Bercis, Bridgend replied with a penalty goal on 19 minutes but failed with two further attempts before centre William Goodge extended the home side’s lead on 39 minutes, fly half Joseph Tarrant adding the extras.
Flanker Loti Molitika, brother of Maama and making his home debut, made a 50m break for Tarrant’s 42nd minute try before scrum half Kevin Barrett’s kick was touched down by wing Samuel Baker in the 45th minute, Tarrant converting.
Bridgend responded with a 48th minute try and conversion to leave the score 24-10 at oranges.
The second half saw Maama Molitika cross the whitewash on 56 minutes, Stefan Jones converting before Bridgend’s best period of the game saw them reduce the deficit to 31-15 with a 62nd minute unconverted try.
A competitive period followed until the hosts sealed the game late on with a 77th minute unconverted try from hooker Viliami Ma’asi and an 82nd minute Elliot Reeder try, converted by Jones.
The latter was the pick of the game with Tarrant making a 40m break from his 22 with outstanding support play from first Samuel Hanks, then Barrett and Reeder.
A feisty pre-season fixture which saw three yellow cards gave full opportunity for both coaching teams to review their strengths and weaknesses, our thanks to Bridgend for extending our Welsh connections and friendships.
Forwards:- Sturgess, Lutui, Collins, Hehea, Braband, Molitika L, Bercis, Molitika M
Backs:- Barratt, Tarrant, Baker, Goodge, Reeder, Weightman, Wilson
Replacements:- Ma’asi, Muncaster, Gulliver, Walker, Bell, Calder, Jones, Hanks
Tries:- Bercis (8), Goodge (39), Tarrant (42), Baker (45), Molitka M (56), Ma’asi (77), Reeder (82)
Conversions:- Tarrant (40, 46), Jones (57, 83)
Forwards:- Boyce, Merriman, Lewis , Pope, Bilton, Evans , O’Driscoll, John
Backs:- Williams, Scrivens, Davies, Gatt, Jones, Griffiths, Bennett
Replacements:- Wilkes, Francis, Apsee, Evans K, Kenny, Beer, Lougher, Edwards, Baird
Tries:- (48), (62)