The A’s went away to the defending Championship Cup Champions, Ealing Trailfinders in their second game of the year for what would prove to be another tough day against top draw opposition.
The vast majority of the squad are adjusting to life in the Championship and whilst the scoreline wouldn’t suggest it, the Coaches can take some positives from the game.
Our forward pack have a lot of work to do to improve the set-piece and the first Ealing score came from an A’s scrum which got shunted back, the ball popped out of the back of the scrum and Trailfinders open side flanker Durutalo scored the first try and conversion to leave the A’s 7 v 0 down after twelve minutes.
A’s were having there fair share of territory but any loose play and the Trailfinders were on it immediately.
Ealing winger Joseph finished a good length of the field try with the A’s defence caught defending narrowly, which also caused the next try scored by Sloan to give Ealing a 17 v 0 lead after 20 minutes.
The A’s responded far better than they did against Coventry the week before and started to play there way into the game. With Ealing on the back foot, fly-half Louis Grimoldby completed a great cross-field kick for winger Will Foster to score in the corner. Grimoldby pushed the conversation just wide and the Trailfinders lead was cut to 17 v 5 on the half-hour.
Coming up to half time the A’s looked to be seeing the half out, but once more a set-piece meltdown at a simple line out when the A’s forward lifter missed his jumper and the ball dropped nicely into the open arms the Trailfinders backline. After three phases centre Tovey scored to make the half time score 24 v 5 which whilst harsh on the A’s was a fair reflection of a very good side capitalising on the many A’s mistakes.
The A’s started the second half well and more than held their own against the defending Champions, but a harsh yellow card for replacement prop Tom Foulkes led to the A’s conceding two try’s whilst Foulkes was in the bin and the Trail Finders led 36 v 5.
A’s centre Serafin Bordoli then put a good grubber kick in and Sam Baker read it well, recovered the ball and ran sixty metres with Bordoli in support but Baker took the wrong option and turned into the defender and had the ball stripped away. Trailfinders lock West ran the length of the field to score Ealing’s seventh try and seal a resounding 43 v 5 win.
Head Coach Paul Turner said
“The boys are learning some really hard lessons after being soundly beaten twice by two very good sides. If you make mistakes at this level the opposition will score try’s simple as that. Our set-piece isn’t good enough but we know we can improve that area.
The scoreboard doesn’t lie but if we had taken our own line out at halftime we would have turned around 17 v 5 down and we would have taken that.
The Baker break should have led to a try but instead, the Trail Finders go the length of the field to score again and that is a 14 point swing right there. We need to learn our lessons and sort our set-piece out and it won’t be any easier next week when we go to Goldington Road to play Bedford Blues.”