last gasp touchline penalty from the Bristol scrum half
was enough to deny Ross a deserved victory against a quality
Saracens outfit at the match on Saturday.
was the visitors who started the brightest, keeping ball
in hand and asking questions of the Ross defence. Initially
the defence held firm, however, after establishing territory
deep in the Ross twenty two, Saracens moved the ball quickly
left to score in the corner. The conversion was made and
after 5 minutes, the Saracens were 7-0 ahead.
three recent heavy defeats, things did not bode well for
Ross. However, as a team they dug deep and through the intensity
of their physicality they dragged themselves into the game.
They were ferocious in the tackle and the rucks, which forced
Saracens to kick away possession and the back three of Ali
Rees, Sam Griffiths and Josh Morgan, took every opportunity
to run the ball back at Saracens.
one such attack, Ross should have opened their account.
Josh Morgan ran back a loose kick, beating three defenders.
From the ruck, Craig Powell fed Gareth Holdsworth, who put
Centre, Casey Morgan into a gap. He outpaced the cover defence
and looked certain to score, however his pass to Paul Hayward
five yards out was knocked on by a Saracens player and the
opportunity was lost. Ross
kept battering the Saracens defence, refusing to take the
kick at goal option when they had penalties. Instead, they
went for the try. However, a combination of good defence
and lack of composure saw Ross to half time still 7-0 down.
second half mirrored the last quarter of the first half
with Ross keeping ball in hand looking for that elusive
try. They continued to dominate the rucks with Gavin Oates
and Mike Davies proving a constant nuisance to the Saracens.
With Dave Mince, Matt Jones and Matt Redman carrying the
ball deep into the Saracens defence, Ross eventually got
onto the score board. From yet another penalty, Ross decided
to go for goal and Casey Morgan converted putting Ross 7-3
the game entered the final quarter it was Ross on the offensive
and with cracks in the Saracens defence appearing, Ross
finally got that elusive try. After some strong running
by prop Tara Barnett, Ross quickly moved the ball right.
The ball came to Centre, Chay Brine who drew the cover defence
before delivering a perfectly timed pass to player coach,
Lee Cleaver who scored in the corner. The conversion was
missed but Ross were now 8-7 ahead.
the game entered the last few minutes, the Saracens won
a penalty 35 yards out on the right touchline. The Saracens
scrum half stepped up and the ball just cleared the upright
breaking the hearts of the Ross players and supporters.
The score put Saracens 10-8 up and they held out for the
last two minutes.
Audreys Fish Bar man of the match was Casey Morgan, who
looked dangerous every time he had the ball.
1st XV will play away at Southmead next Saturday, whilst
Ross 2nd XV have a home league match against a Hereford
XV. Kick off is at 2.15pm.