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For those who remember rugby as a game always played in wet, windy and muddy conditions, then last Saturday was the game for you. In very difficult conditions Ross failed to deliver another away win, finally going down 18-6 to Tewkesbury.

It was the home team that was the first to show, moving the ball quickly out of contact and stretching the Ross defence. On a couple of occasions it looked as if they would score, but the Ross defence held firm and after weathering the early pressure it was Ross that opened the scoring. After both scrum half, James Hughes and No.10, Gareth Holdsworth had given Ross good territory, the Tewkesbury 8 came offside at the ruck and James Hughes calmly slotted the penalty against a gusting wind.

With the game entering the second quarter, Ross looked in control. Their kicking game was putting pressure on the Tewkesbury back three and their defence was looking comfortable. However, with the half coming to a close, Ross took their foot off the pedal and let Tewkesbury in for a try. From a Ross scrum, Tewkesbury stole possession and quickly moved the ball to their Winger who crashed over to score, giving a half time score of 5-3 to the home team.

Early in the second half, both teams exchange penalties and going into the last quarter Tewkesbury were 8-6 ahead. The Ross pack picked up the tempo through their pick and drive game. This tactic delivered some big yardage gains and from a delicate chip through from Gareth Holdsworth, Centre, Chay Brine nearly slid over to score. The game was in the balance and it looked as if the next score would settle it. However, after a period of good territory and pressure it was Tewkesbury who dealt the killer blow. From another chip through by Gareth Holdsworth, the ball bounced up kindly for the Tewkesbury centre who had enough pace to go outside the cover defence to score. They added the conversion and moved 15-6 ahead. A late penalty sealed the win and after competing effectively for most of the match, Ross saw another opportunity slip away.

The Walford Timber Man of the match was Tim Hanks for a strong game in defence and attack.

Next Saturday Ross have a friendly at home against Greyhound of Hereford. Kick off is at 2.30pm.

by Ian Howell

The Ross high performance crew of Phil Davies, Paul Carpenter, Anthony Dixon-Gough and Steve Randell with Morgan Baynham-Williams coxing, produced exactly the standard their coach expected and duly won their event over the 4 mile course from Mortlake to Putney on Sunday.

This event is a key winter training race which gives an indicator to boat speed for the sprint season. It is clear that the crew is continuing to make progress under the watchful eye of Malcolm Pobjoy. There was an excellent field to compete against with London University, Worcester and Cambridge 99 amongst the competition. It was however a very tight finish with the Ross crew winning by only 4 seconds over the second place opposition from Tyrian.

This result is yet another high class result for the local club which continues to impress on and off the water.


Saturday saw Ross 2nd XV entertain Malvern in the latest round of the Midlands Merit table. Ross started well, putting pressure on the Malvern XV and for the first 10 minutes all the play was in the oppositions half.

After this initial period Malvern started to come into the game and after an infringement at the ruck, Malvern were awarded a penalty which was converted to make the score 3 nil. After this, Ross's main problem was not the opposition, but a lack of concentration. Malvern soaked up pressure for 10 minute spells before Ross went to sleep, allowing them to start scoring trys at regular intervals during the remainder of the match. Ross's only consolation points came from a fine try by Andy Bevan and a penalty by Chris Gage. The final score in this very disappointing performance was Ross 8, Malvern 31.

If Ross are to improve more concentration and commitment is needed by all concerned.

Ross 2nd XV have no match on saturday. Training is on Tuesday and Thursday at Ross Sports Centre at 6.30pm.

Sspecial thanks to this week's match sponsors, Morris and Aubrey Ltd. Electrical Contractors.

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