Brixham welcomed a large Stroud squad to Astley Park as they started off their tour weekend in Devon. Brixham due to unavailability on a Saturday and injury were missing 8 regular players however still managed to put out a team of 15 players.
Both teams made great starts and were spending time in attack and great defence while the teams worked each other out, a sunny day and a great conditioned main pitch at Brixham only helped to improve todays rugby. The visitors were first to break the deadlock after 20m with a great catch and drive, the rolling maul took them into the corner for a well deserved try, the kick was a great attempt from touch but just wide. Both teams continued to play a quality game and despite great efforts from Matt Cripps who was just short of the line and the collaborative effort of the Brixham pack, several playing out of position, they were unable to score but kept the defence line to close the half without further scores for either side.
HT Stroud 5-0 Brixham
Brixham came out the stronger in the second half with several forward drives led by Dylan Griffiths and George Weedon along with the constant presence of the rest of the pack at all breakdowns, this was putting pressure on the fresher Stroud team who were able to make use of the large squad. Although they had territory Brixham could not convert into points, finally when Brad McKee used the slope at Astley Park to kick deep into Stroud’s 22 they attempted to clear only for playing at full back today Ed Simpson to charge down, McKee and Simpson both chased the ball but McKee touched down to level the scores, conversion from wide was just outside the far post.
Brixham 5-5 Stroud
Brixham continued the pressure , strong runs from centre Jason Capaldi and speed from scrum half Harry Williams kept Brixham in the Stroud half, great lineout ball today from Jack Rogers kept Brixham moving forward, a penalty chance for Brixham was slotted from 35m and wide by McKee to take Brixham into the lead for the first time.
Brixham 8-5 Stroud
Stroud however were far from done and the strong pack worked up the pitch to release the backline, phases were stopped by Archie Hodge and the ever present Capaldi but the Stroud winger spotted a gap and took his chance well to take back the lead with a score under the posts, converted to give Stroud back the lead.
Brixham 8-12 Stroud
The game had moved into its last 10m and it had seemed that the Brixham bare 15 had done all they could , however some great tactical kicking and solid defence when required kept Brixham playing rugby in the Stroud half , with the teams playing such good rugby and cancelling each other out so often it would take something different to change the game. The difference happened when Brixham were again camped in the opponents 22, as the ball was worked from scrum half Williams to captain McKee he stepped and dummied the complete backline then drifted at pace into the gap he had created , a simple conversion after a move that had all supporters and coaches applauding had put Brixham back into the lead .
Brixham 15-12 Stroud
Minutes left and Stroud were again back on the attack and had several forward phases threatening the Brixham line, stunning defence from all Brixham players putting themselves into all sorts of places held up the Stroud pack just short of the line, the scrum that followed was won by Brixham who kicked to touch to close what was a great game from two great sides.
FT Brixham 15-12 Stroud
Many thanks to a good Stroud team but credit must be given to a Brixham 15 who played several players out of position and battled through injury to complete the full fixture with the starting line up. Stroud will go on to play Withycombe before retuning home from their tour.
McKee x 2
McKee x 1
McKee x 1Follow