Egremont Rugby Union faced St. Benedicts

THE still and dry day on Saturday, October 22 should have been ideal conditions for the clash away to St Benedicts Ravens.

The 2016 - 2017 Egremont Rugby Union first team - photo by Jeffrey Dixon

The 2016 – 2017 Egremont Rugby Union first team – photo by Jeffrey Dixon

However the match was a strangely muted affair with neither side able to settle into a consistent pattern of play.

The Ravens made the better start and tried hard to get their close quarters, pick-and-go game into action.

However, they made too many basic handling errors and repeatedly conceded possession in the face of a well organised and determined Egremont defence.

As soon as the visitors relieved the early pressure and took the game into the Ravens’ half they looked dangerous from both set piece and open play.

Led superbly by the Temple brothers, Graham and Jimmy, Egremont forced a series of five metre scrums and short range rucks before the referee deemed that the Ravens had infringed once too often and awarded Egremont a penalty try for a 7-0 lead.

This lead was extended on the stroke of half time when the all-action Jimmy Temple powered over under the posts from a number 8 pick up to give Egremont a 14-0 advantage, following Callum Aitken’s second successful conversion.

This should have been the cue for Egremont to take control of the match, but St Benedicts came back strongly at the beginning of the second half and scored their first try of this still scruffy encounter.

To be fair to them Egremont immediately countered with their third try scored inevitably by a Temple, Graham on this occasion, and they looked comfortable for much of the remaining time with a healthy 19-5 lead.

The Ravens were not finished and scored their second try of the game to close the gap to 19-12, which at least gave some excitement to the closing stages for the quietly frustrated supporters of both teams as the game came to it’s conclusion.