Smiths make a winning start to their league campaign

Smiths Rugby travelled to Ashley Down Old Boys RFC in north Bristol and came away with a 47-25 bonus point win.

Playing on the new Bristol Combination artificial pitch suited Smiths’ game plan but a couple of heavy showers made handling a little tricky early on. Starting against the wind, Smiths had to repel some early possession from the home side. Smiths were more than equal to the test though with great line speed and ferocious tackling throughout the opening 20 minutes.

Once in possession Smiths were able to drive upfield and soon troubled Ashley Down by generating quick phase play. A couple of quick tap penalties awarded for ruck offences had openside Charles Peters shooting through the line.

After time spent in the Ashley Down 22, the ball eventually found it’s way to back row Ellis Hill lurking on the left wing and he had the simple task of flopping o

ver the line. A fine conversion by fly half Will Pritchett gave Smiths a 7-0 lead.

Peters then grabbed a quick double with a knack of being in the right place at the right time and shrugging off tackles to score from close range. Pritchett knocked both kicks over and Smiths had blasted to a 21-0 lead.

Ashley Down had a man in the bin by then but they managed to finish the half strongly as Smiths switched off and conceded two tries a penalty goal and a man in the bin themselves. The scoreline was 21-15 at halftime with Smiths needing to refocus during the break.

The tight five were certainly switched on for the next score as, not for the first time, they completely dismantled the Ashley Down scrum. Driving from 10m out the referee put Ashley Down out of their misery by awarding a penalty try.

Smiths kept the pressure on and a smart break by centre Pete Reed saw him reach the Ashley Down 22 wide on the left. A perfect nudge infield allowed winger Andrew Hockley to slide in to score and take their lead to 35-15.

The home side were next to score but Smiths hit straight back, this time Hockley setting up Reed to outpace the cover defence to take the score to 40-20.

Smiths make a winning start to their league campaign

Smiths Rugby travelled to Ashley Down Old Boys RFC in north Bristol and came away with a 47-25 bonus point win.

Playing on the new Bristol Combination artificial pitch suited Smiths’ game plan but a couple of heavy showers made handling a little tricky early on. Starting against the wind, Smiths had to repel some early possession from the home side. Smiths were more than equal to the test though with great line speed and ferocious tackling throughout the opening 20 minutes.

Once in possession Smiths were able to drive upfield and soon troubled Ashley Down by generating quick phase play. A couple of quick tap penalties awarded for ruck offences had openside Charles Peters shooting through the line.

After time spent in the Ashley Down 22, the ball eventually found it’s way to back row Ellis Hill lurking on the left wing and he had the simple task of flopping over the line. A fine conversion by fly half Will Pritchett gave Smiths a 7-0 lead.

Peters then grabbed a quick double with a knack of being in the right place at the right time and shrugging off tackles to score from close range. Pritchett knocked both kicks over and Smiths had blasted to a 21-0 lead.

Ashley Down had a man in the bin by then but they managed to finish the half strongly as Smiths switched off and conceded two tries a penalty goal and a man in the bin themselves. The scoreline was 21-15 at halftime with Smiths needing to refocus during the break.

The tight five were certainly switched on for the next score as, not for the first time, they completely dismantled the Ashley Down scrum. Driving from 10m out the referee put Ashley Down out of their misery by awarding a penalty try.

Smiths kept the pressure on and a smart break by centre Pete Reed saw him reach the Ashley Down 22 wide on the left. A perfect nudge infield allowed winger Andrew Hockley to slide in to score and take their lead to 35-15.

The home side were next to score but Smiths hit straight back, this time Hockley setting up Reed to outpace the cover defence to take the score to 40-20.

Ashley Down kept fighting and after another two yellow cards were shared between Smiths and the home side they were next to score as Smiths again took their foot off the gas.

Hockley grabbed a second score for himself with Pritchett making it 6 kicks from 7. A last minute Ashley Down score was disappointing for the Smiths men but a 47-25 win away at a Bristol team playing in Gloucester 1 last year was a great result.

Smiths welcome Cotham Park to the Prince of Wales Stadium next week with an invitation open for any ex Smiths players and members to join in with celebrating their first home game of the season (7 more sleeps!).

Smiths 2nd XV’s match was cancelled as their opposition could not raise a side. The Hamsters play Coney Hill 3rds away next week.

Words courtesy of Julius Bryant Images courtesy of Skinny Tins