08:44AM, Sunday 17 November 2019
Windsor 21, Trowbridge 7
Windsor RFC enjoyed a fine Saturday afternoon inspired by an emphatic defensive performance marking their second win of the season with a 21-7 win over Trowbridge.
Jack Pattinson’s side began the afternoon in 13th place of the South West 1 East hoping to show an improved defensive display from their most recent league outing, a defeat to Marlborough who they were leading against at half time last weekend. If there was ever a game to prove themselves against, Trowbridge were certainly the most favourable opposition.
The visitors sat one place above Windsor in the league at the start of the day, and made the journey over to Home Park also determined for a result to start to climb away from the lower reaches of the table.
But the tries of Tom Noakes, Sam George, and George Blackburn, with the extras added to each by Jack Gaylor, gave the hosts a thoroughly deserved victory with the team unfortunate not to grab a bonus point with a fourth try.
In dry but cold conditions, the visitors kicked the game off and were the dominant side in the opening exchanges, building pressure well with the use of the scrum to help them push upfield.
But for all of their efforts, Windsor looked comfortable to contain the advances and it took just seven minutes for the first try to be scored and in the hosts’ favour.
Upon recovering possession, Sam Woodhall kicked the ball upfield to put Windsor deep within Trowbridge’s 22. Tom Noakes received the ball before pushing and pulling his way past the Trowbridge defence and over the line to open the day’s scoring.
Full back Jack Gaylor stepped over the subsequent conversion and slotted it away to give Windsor the maximum points and perfect start inside ten minutes.
From the restart, George Blackburn prevented what could have been an instant reply for the visitors with a well-timed tackle on the Trowbridge attack.
The visitors made hard work of finding a reply to Windsor’s lead occasionally fumbling the ball in some dangerous areas under pressure from the hosts.
Such errors gifted Windsor their second try on the 22nd minute. With no visible route through Windsor’s solid midfield, Connor James elected to punt a ball to get the ball up and over the players.
However Sam George was able to intercept and drove with pace from just inside Trowbridge’s half to touch down another five points. Gaylor routinely secured the extras to give the hosts a convincing 14-0 lead.
With the wind on their backs, Blackburn scored Windsor’s third try just minutes before the end of the first half with an impressive solo run. From the left side of the field, the number 12 used his feet cleverly to evade several incoming tackles and get over the line. With another successful conversion from Gaylor, Windsor finished the half with a invaluable 21-0 lead.
After the break, Windsor’s tempo was evidently lower with Jack Pattinson’s side looking comfortable to preserve their lead with their defensive prowess.
Trowbridge’s best effort of the second half came just before the hour with the visitors pressing on Windsor’s 22, kicking the ball out of play for a tactical line-out in search for a try.
The period of pressure lasted several minutes but Windsor’s backline held firm and strong, kicking clear the turnover in possession, much to the frustration of the Trowbridge coach.
The visitors managed to secure a try six minutes from full time, and would not have done so had it not been for the fatigue and tired legs of Windsor who had fought to the end tirelessly in both attack and defence.
Windsor trade places with Trowbridge with the win and will give the team the confidence to push on in the league from what has been a shaky start to the season.
After the match, head coach Jack Pattinson said: “I thought the first half was definitely the best we’ve played all season”
“I think the way we defended showed so much character. It would’ve been nice to get that extra try. It would’ve been perfect.
“It was a really exciting result for us and just shows how far we’ve come.”
After an injury in pre-season, George Blackburn marked his first start for Windsor at Home Park this afternoon, capping off a fine performance with a try. I caught up with him after the game. @windsorrugby @MaidenheadAds pic.twitter.com/ktVazJ6wZM— Joshua Browne (@JoshuaB_BM) 16 November 2019
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