Old Priorian Rugby Football Club - MatchReport

Old Priorians RFC 27 - 43 Diss RFC

7th October 2017

Diss opened proceedings immediately with a rapid try from their deceptive No 15 putting the hosts on the back foot from almost the whistle, 0-5. Maynard and Eloi leading the charge with crunching tackles pinned the visitors back in their 22 for the next 5 minutes. Andrew Wilkie then linking with Ozegovic forced the Diss error and shortly after Ari and Dave Wilkie  put Dan Porter through to score under the posts 7-5. Eloi was removed from the game for a short time for a quick assessment as Diss launched another wave of attacks and using several phases were able to bundle over 7-12. It was now Joe Wellings turn to take the game by the horns gaining territory with several rapid breaks. However Diss took advantage of some handling errors and yet again used their forwards to cross the line 7-19. Both Si March and Jack Dever continued to throw themselves into defence and with a beautiful cross field kick from Dever and some very shrewd play by Andrew Wilkie, Si March croseds the line to close the deficit, 12-19. An OP injury and clock stop killed momentum and allowed Diss to regroup and they reverted to yet again giving the ball to their no. 8 to score 12-26. Jack now spotting the gaps took us half way up the pitch with a darting run but was stopped meters short and the Diss defence managed to scramble the ball to safety. A blistering run from Ari who passed to Dave Wilkie saw Jack Dever completely open up the Diss defence to score a great try, 17-26. Again OPs took the game to the visitors with Maynard and Howe pushing forward. Diss on the counter attack were rapid though and only a try saving tackle from Si caught them short. Ari again beating a number of opposition players put Dave Wilkie over for a try and the sides went in 22-26 for the half.

Diss mimicking their opening move from the first half struck first, 22-33. But within minutes another huge run from Dan Porter allowed Cian McBride to score and put OPs back into contention, 27-33. Ari with a darting run was brought down unfairly and OPs were awarded the penalty. Electing to kick for the corner saw us drive for the line only to fumble a meter out. Frustration from the Diss pack resulted in a small interruption to play. Diss attacked again and only some quick thinking from George Majstorovic and a box kick from Si got OPs out of trouble. Diss returned quickly to the line and despite Ozegovic throwing everything at them, their No.8 crossed again, 27-40. Ozegovic catching a great pass sprinted up towards the 22 only to be brought down with a questionable hit and Guy Djedje was yellow carded in the subsequent action. Cian McBride sensing a gap and finding it was brought down 3 meters short as Ari went on to beat a number of defenders before linking up with Adam Heynes who was stopped short. With less than 2 minutes on the clock Diss elected to kick for the posts and the final score was 27-43.

Joe Codrington Award: Ari Goualin
Damo Langley Award: Joe Wellings

Old Priorians RFC 24 - 54 Amersham & Chiltern RFC

23rd September 2017

OPRFC took on, recently relegated from the Nationals, Amersham & Chiltern at Perivale this last Saturday. A well equipped and well funded team travelled to Perivale looking to maintain their early push for a top place in London 1.

The opening minutes saw the visitors push hard and OPs were fighting in defence as Jono Moore threw in some hard tackles, however minutes later and the scrum was awarded to A&C and their pack allowed a great ball to be played to their centre who crossed the line for their first making it 0-7. Again OPs passion in defence wasn’t lacking but it was only minutes later that several phases through the hands allowed the visitors to touch down again making it 0-12. There was a sense of urgency from the restart and Wellings with an incisive break took OPs into the opposition 22 for the first time, however the A&C defence managed a huge kick to clear. Again it was Joe Wellings off the back of a scrum linking with Dan Porter who charged forward only to be brought into touch outside the 22. Ari now took on the challenge of taking the game to the opposition with a series of hard tackles keeping any counter attack at bay. Despite this the A&C defense held strong, soaking up wave after wave of attack and with great audacity launched a counter attack resulting in a score, 0-19. Wellings and Porter combined yet again shortly after the restart taking OPs up to the the A&C try line, but a turnover and huge kick kept the visitors safe from any score. An A&C infraction saw OPs bravely kick for the corner but another turnover and rapid counter attack brought yet more misery for the home side 0-26. Heads still held high, Ozegovic and Maynard made some ground against formidable opposition and an interception from Ozegovic with line of sight under the posts was held up only by the refs whistle. Again A&C regrouped and pressed forward, using their huge pack to win a penalty try, and the half time whistle went 0-33.

The opening minutes of the second half again saw OPs probing for a gap in defence but with no luck, the A&C forwards using their size to bundle over and take the score to 0-40.  Within minutes A&C struck again with a well worked try from their backline this time , 0-47. Resolve held firm and OPs refused to give in. Mark Makram began to cause havoc around the breakdown and cause concern to the opposition. A misdemeanour and Jono was sadly yellow carded further putting OPs on the back foot. Confidence remained high and Jack Dever yet again launched another attack with only an incomplete pass stopping the score. This time it was Barney Wellings exploiting the gaps in the defence, but an interception took A&C back to the OP try line where they subsequently scored, 0-54.

This was, however, where the tide turned. Porter with a crunching tackle conveying the message that OPs were yet to surrender at home in front of their home support. Ari breaking the line and making some great distance released Myles Stringer who crossed for the first of OPs trys of the afternoon, 5-54. Heads lifted a little and Ari with an electric chip and chase despite receiving yet again another late body check passed onto Eloi Durand who in turn passed onto Joe Wellings who finally got the score he deserved, 10-54. Jack Dever now took the game by the horns and started turning the opposition defence inside out with carving runs. Eloi seizing his opportunity at a breakdown made a 40 meter dash for the try line and despite a very cynical knee  being place against his head kept his composure and scored a great try with no retaliation. With minutes to go it was left to a darting run from Si March to secure the OPs a point and quite a bit of pride.

Joe Codrington Award Winner: Dan Porter
Damo Langley Award Winner : Joe Wellings

Fullerians RFC 31 - 5 Old Priorian RFC

16th September 2017

Old Priorian RFC visited Hertfordshire in their second away fixture of the season to play the second placed team in the league, Fullerians RFC.
A great pitch and beaming sunshine during the warm up made sure that spirits were high. Fullerians known for their oversized pack had drawn a decent crowd before kick-off.

As the whistle went, the heavens opened and stayed open for the next 80 minutes. Fullerians dominated the opening passage of play only to miss a complete sitter of a penalty in front of the posts. Within minutes though the home side’s pack had forced another error and this time the kicker made no mistake and put Fullerians ahead 3-0. OPs not to be deterred counter attacked repeatedly with Si March putting a grubber kick through allowing Charlie Page with the chase to take OPs into the opposition 22. This is where the next ten minutes of play unfolded with the Fullerian defence holding strong against a barrage of attack. An unforced error from the OP back line allowed the Fullerian winger to touch down in the corner against the run of play and the home side heads lifted having survived the OP barrage, 10-0. Minutes later and the same winger in the same corner managed to get a more deserved score as the deluge continued. The half time whistle went with both sides staying out in the rain to take stock, 17-0

The opening minutes of the second half saw Fullerians throw everything they had at the OP back line, but refusing to relent and ably led by Alex Ozegovic OPs counter attacked and a great kick again from Si March took OPs into the home sides 22. The momentum was with OPs and a slick move allowed debutant Charlie Page to score. The kick missed and with the tide turning Fullerians became determined to make their presence felt. A late body check on Ari Goualin not too long after Barney Wellings needed medical attention for a strike to the face spilled over into a brief altercation and Fullerians seized this break in momentum to score again , 24-5 . Guy Djedje with more bulldozing runs put the home side under pressure, but an OP error saved Fullerians and they managed to kick to touch. Oli Altimeyer continued to put his body on the line but the pressure told and Fullerians struck just before the whistle , closing the game with a score line of 31-5.

Joe Codrington Award: Si March
Damo Langley Award: Barney Wellings

Old Priorian RFC 19 – 14 Ruislip RFC

9th September 2017

Sunshine and a sizeable crowd welcomed Ruislip to the first home game for Old Priorian RFC. Despite a heavy defeat to Chingford the previous week OP spirits were high and there was an air of confidence around the ground and amongst the 50 or so supporters who partook in the pre-match lunch.

Opening skirmishes saw the two sides pretty evenly matched with little ground made by either side until a Myles Stringer kick, executed with great skill , took the home side deep into the opposition half. Some strong play by the OP forwards forced the Ruislip error and Will Clarke drew first blood for the home side with a three pointer. Ruislip regrouped and attacked with vengeance but a huge defensive effort, including several tackles of note by Ari Goualin, kept them at bay. It was OPs turn now to go on the offensive, but Ruislip defended their line well, however frustration told and they conceded yet another penalty allowing Clarke to get his second of the day and put the hosts 6-0 up. Yet again Ruislip regrouped and went in search of a score. With minutes to go they go what they were after with a well worked try touching down in the corner, the subsequent conversion meant they went in at half time leading 6-7.

The second half brought some rain, but even that couldn’t dampen the OP support as the game ramped up a level. Clarke yet again punished the Ruislip poor discipline and put the home side ahead 9-7. The lead was short lived though as Ruislip’s back line with some slick hands scored again, the conversion was good and OPs found themselves trailing 9-14. It was down to Will Clarke to cut the deficit as he yet again scored 3 points with his boot from another Ruislip infraction taking the scoreboard to 12-14. OPs now sensed that victory was close and several phases took them into the opposition 5 before Andrew Wilkie thundered  over for the clubs first try of the season. Clarkes trusted boot added the extras taking it to 19-14 . The last ten minutes saw OPs confidence build as they searched for another score but Ruislip managed to hold tight and the final whistle brought a conclusion to what was an excellent derby. The only two Middlesex sides, both still amateur, putting on a great display of rugby.