View From The Terraces: Plymouth Albion
Blackthorn Pete looks back on a disappointing week for Bristol Rugby
It’s been an interesting week to be a rugby fan. Last weekend, the World Cup finally burst into life. The competition favourites, New Zealand, completed their second successive demolition job of the group stages defeating Japan 83-7. Next up for the All Blacks are France; I wonder how that will go?
I prised myself out of bed on Sunday morning to watch England continue their customary slow start, defeating Georgia 41-10 whilst Wales laboured to a 17-10 victory over Samoa.
Then, of course, there was Australia who would surely cruise past Ireland - wouldn’t they? Well, apparently not. The boys in green put in a sterling performance, running out deserved 15-6 victors. Just goes to show that team spirit and maintaining good discipline are everything in this game!
So far, it has been a week to forget for Bristol. On Wednesday evening, we sent a much-changed side to the Mennaye Field. The youthful starting line-up, featuring 12 players under the age of 21, gave a good account of themselves for the first 40 minutes.
The boys were unable to sustain the momentum after half time and the experienced Pirates side ran out convincing 22-50 winners. Aside from the score however, this was a great opportunity for some of the fringe players to get game time at a competitive level.
Last Sunday we travelled to Headingley Carnegie aiming to sustain our 100% record against a Leeds side without a win. Alas, it was Bristol’s turn to underperform as Leeds shaded a close encounter to the tune of 12-11. This puts us third in the table behind Bedford Blues and Cornish Pirates, so it is important that we regain our momentum on Sunday when Plymouth Albion come to town.
When the sides last met, Bristol secured a place in last season’s Promotion Playoffs, playing a good deal of “backs to the wall” rugby during the closing stages of the game. We “won ugly” that day and no doubt Graham Dawes’ side will return to the Mem seeking revenge.
There’s likely to be some exciting World Cup rugby this weekend but most importantly, I’m looking forward to watching Bris bounce back on Sunday afternoon.
See you at the game.