Rye recorded only its second league win of the season on Saturday March 24 against Worthing Azurians, with a great display of open attacking rugby during when they ran in five tries and kicked five goals. A large crowd of vocal supporters cheered them on and thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle. Both the team and their supporters were clearly enjoying getting back to winning ways. Worthing arrived at the New Road ground, bright and early with a coach load of players, coaches and supporters, to be greeted by a lovely spring day and a pitch in immaculate condition. The efforts of Andy Brown, our groundsman and playing veteran, together with his trusted team had yet again produced a beautifully manicured pitch, which is a pleasure to play on.
The game got off to a bright start with both teams testing each other’s defences. Rye though had the edge, spending a long time in their opponents’ half and several times putting Worthing’s defence under stress, but they eventually had to settle for a kick at goal from a penalty, which fly half Gary Edmonds duly kicked. Rye then settled into a period of dominance when they played their trade mark style of open, off-loading rugby, clearly to the delight of the spectators. The home team started to dominate the set pieces, scrum, lineouts and kicks which produced fast attacking ball. After one attacking scrum deep in the Worthing half Rye Captain Rory Creavin scored the first try under the posts which Edmonds converted.
Rye continued to apply the pressure playing increasingly confident rugby. Quick ball was produced from the rucks, hard running players kept breaking the Worthing defensive line and passes were made out of the tackle, with support always flooding round the ball carrier. Eventually this relentless pressure produced another fine try by winger Tom Martin, again with the conversion by Edmonds. At half time with the score at 17-0 the team were in a determined mood to play even better, having achieved their goal at this point to be in control of the game.
The second half started with the home team dominating possession and field position and putting their opponents under sustained pressure. As confidence grew and with their favoured brand of attacking front foot rugby clearly improving by the minute, further tries were inevitable. They duly arrived in the form of two fantastic successive tries by Edmonds which he converted himself. During the whole of the match the forwards had been controlling the ball and earning the hard yards as they smashed the ball up the park. The backs marshalled by Edmonds took this quick supply of possession and showed what they are really capable of with flair and finesse as they cut through their opponents’ defence repeatedly. The final Rye score came from a further assault on their line when Club Captain Matt Cooke cut a great line and scored a try.
Worthing who clearly came to play, never stopped competing all match and several times forced Rye to defend their goal line for sustained periods. They finally got a reward for all their effort when they scored a consolation try at the end of the game. On a day when the whole team played well, including the bench, looking for a stand out player can be tough. Our three youngest players Will Nunn, Harry Charles and Jackson Harvey all came on and acquitted themselves well and our returning fly half Gary Edmonds played an exceptional game scoring 21 points and using his backs and forwards to great effect. However, on a day of enormous forward endeavour one player stood clear of the rest, Tom Pierce was immense. He worked tirelessly in the scum and lineout, tackled remorselessly and carried the ball in traffic to great effect. His work rate was exceptional and should have been rewarded with a try, but the referee ruled it held up and therefore no score.
Rye has had a difficult season having lost all its games, home and away this year, except for one walk over when their opponents cried off. However, they have now won three games in succession, in a recent friendly against local rivals Cinque Ports and a league match against Newick two weeks ago. This victory sets up their remaining games nicely, to end the season on a high.
The next home game is on Saturday April 14 against Midhurst, kick-off at 3pm.
New players are always welcome, training is on Thursday evenings from 7pm, or contact the coach Jeremy Nobbs 07803 817272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Team: Ceri Ap Bryn, Chris Cordeaux, Ben Hassell, Matt Cooke, Tom Martin, Gary Edmonds, Jack Cox, Stephen Cooper, Paul Bingham, Graham Nunn, Dave Smith, Tom Pierce, Dan Harvey, Tom Foster, Rory Creavin.
Bench: Andy Brown, Ben Sinclair, Liam Booth, Jackson Harvey, Harry Charles, Will Nunn, Giovanni Massola
Photo: Jeremy Nobbs