MATCH REPORT: Brighton RFC 1XV (24) v TWRFC 1XV (26)
Match report by Jim Hendley
Wells played the first half with the brisk northerly wind at their backs on a fine but cold day for rugby at Brighton. Ultimately, it was Brighton’s lack of discipline that brought Wells back into the game at the start of the second half with 2 quick yellow cards.
Whilst Wells started of brightly it was Brighton who struck first with a fine flat pass from their fly half to the No8 who took a great line to score under the posts which was converted to give a 7-0 lead. Wells worked themselves back into the game but Brighton were exerting more continuity & control during the half and Wells had to defend well to keep them out. Finally, Wells broke into the Brighton 22 and after good close quarter driving by the forwards quick feet from Hobbs saw him scorch under the posts with Day adding the extras to level the score 7-7.
Wells tried to play their attacking style and all too often passes were put down or speculative passes didn’t find their target. Brighton were more secure in their play and went ahead again 12-7 with a well worked unconverted try in the corner. They extended they lead further to 19-7 their centre strolled through after it looked like the Wells defender had been taken out.
As the halftime whistle approached Wells mounted a sustained attack on the Brighton line which forced their No 8 to prevent the ball being released to the backs and duly received a yellow card and from the resulting penalty Wells drew closer after a Ben Whale try but the kick went wide to leave the score 19-12 at Half time.
Wells started the second half into the wind in fine style as Williams made a great break down the pitch deep into the Brighton half which was initially repelled. Wells continued to pressure and Isbell scored after a good close driving and Day added the conversion to bring the scores level again at 19-19.
Wells now in the ascendancy moved the ball well out to left wing Hobbs who was taking out by a high tackle leading to another yellow card and with Brighton down to 13 Wells pressed for their bonus point try. This was duly delivered by Isbell again after good continuity & driving play by the forwards. Converted by Day for Wells to hit the front for the first time 19-26.
Brighton got back to full strength but couldn’t make much headway into the Wells half until the last 10 minutes when they did score in the corner. Wells had made a hash of a try line drop out to give Brighton an attacking scrum 5 yards out under the posts. Good control and then swift hands created the opening but importantly the conversion was missed and Wells held a 2 point lead.
Wells managed this last period quite well and held out for another good away win. However, there was a farcical end to the game with Wells deliberately throwing the Ball into touch after the 80 mins were up giving Brighton a final chance to snatch victory but their flyhalf kicked the ball dead to end the game.
Wells remain in 3rd place in the League and host Bournemouth at St. Marks on Saturday.