Regional 1 Midlands Round 4: Burton 43 – 34 Derby

Injuries are starting to bite for Derby. Jeri Oldfield (making his 50th appearance), Dave Cowell, Josh Ridley and Rhondell Stabana all started as the pack made 4 changes. Jake Roome made his return from the bench, while James Godfrey made his first appearance of the season, also from the bench. It is only fair to point out that Burton had similar injury problems.

Burton kicked off, playing into the breeze, on a pleasant, sunny afternoon.

It was Derby who struck first, after 8 minutes. A McGrath Van Wyk penalty hit the post and Burton cleared to touch. Josh Ridley took the line out and the forwards drove on. Sam Tebbs took the ball, fed Simon Moon and he scored. McGrath Van Wyk added the conversion.

Burton hit back, with a converted try of their own, 5 minutes later.

After 20 minutes, Derby scored a magnificent try. They kept the ball moving and stretched the Burton defence, before Sam Tebbs sliced through the defence to score. McGrath Van Wyk converted.

A McGrath Van Wyk penalty, 10 minutes later, after Derby had destroyed a Burton scrum extended the lead, but it was Burton who had the last word, with a try just before the half time whistle.

Derby led 17 – 12 at the break.

The 2nd half started well for Derby, with a try after 46 minutes. Derby kept the ball in hand and James Godfrey put Will Town away to score.

Burton scored a converted try to narrow the gap to 3 points, before Derby scored again, after 53 minutes. It was almost identical to the previous try; the ball was sent wide and touched down. This time the final pass was Kristian Powell’s and McGrath Van Wyk touched down. He then superbly converted his own try, to put Derby 10 points clear.

Derby failed to deal with the kick off and Burton took full advantage to score a converted try.

Burton were having a good spell and scored 2 further tries. Amazingly, both conversions hit the post! Derby also lost impressive scrum half, Joe Acton to the sin bin.

6 minutes remained and Burton were 36 – 29 ahead.

Jack Bates disrupted Burton’s take from the kick-off and Dave Cowell picked up the ball 40 metres out. Off he went and there was no stopping him; he scored in the corner to narrow the gap to 2 points.

With the game almost up, Burton scored another try, to snatch the losing bonus point from Derby.

An excellent game of rugby, with both sides looking to create opportunities. Derby will be disappointed that they only came away with a 4 try bonus point, after all the good play and efforts they put in.

Stourbridge visit Haslams next week

Come on Derby!

R. Bambra