The A’s had a six-day turnaround after the away win at Yorkshire Carnegie last weekend, and a number of changes to the starting team because of the short time to prepare for the Hartpury fixture.
A hard first half when the Mob had to play into the elements, on what was a stinking night weather-wise where underfoot conditions were should we say rather moist. The A’s had most of the territory and large amounts of possession despite playing against the elements.
Louis Grimoldby kicked a penalty for the only points of the half and this was down to a bit of inaccuracy with the ball in hand and a strong Hartpury defence.
The second half started with the A’s being in control, and Captain Grimoldby kicked a further two penalties to give the Mob a 0 v 9 lead. Hartpury responded and put the A’s under the most pressure they had been in the whole game and camped in the Mob red zone for ten minutes. Ben Christie was yellow carded and Hartpury scored their only points of the game with a try in the right corner. Josh Gillespie, the Northampton Saint dual-reg winger subsequently sacrificed so the Mob could have eight forwards on the paddock.
The score now stood at 5 v 9 and the bench started to join the fray, making a real impact on the game with replacement props Soane Tonga’uiha and dual-reg Saracens prop, Sam Wainwright wrestling the scrum away from Hartpury and with that any chance of a Hartpury win disappeared with it.
Louis Grimoldby spotted that the Hartpury wing had gone missing and put a pinpoint cross-field kick from which Sam Baker scored a great try. Grimoldby followed up with his best kick of the night, a wide left conversion that split the posts and the A’s now had a unassailable lead of 5 v 16.
Jon Kpoku, the dual-reg Saracens lock had his best game of the season so far and once more A’s back-rowers Syd Blackmore, Jack Arthur and Joe Bercis had a great day at the breakdown and defended like trojans.
Louis Grimoldby produced another Captain’s performance and rightly won Man of the Match with three penalties and a conversion plus an assist with his cross-field kick for Bakers try.
Another historic day with the A’s first win away at Hartpury. The Mob are now up to fourth place in the Green King IPA Championship and all credit must go to the players, coaches and support staff.
The boys now have a week off before Cornish Pirates visit Dillingham Park on Saturday 14th March. Tickets are on sale now here