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Park learn quickly to extend unbeaten run
Blackheath 8 Rosslyn Park 21
If there’s one thing you can be certain of in rugby union it’s that the set-scrum will dominate post-match discussion and, despite the recent changes to the laws, welcomed by most, interpretation can still baffle the best aficionados of the art.
Nevertheless, on this occasion it was Rosslyn Park who managed to wade through the instruction manual to better effect, enabling the visitors to control a disappointing game and stroll to a relatively comfortable victory.
The very first engagement saw the Club front-row backing away in bewilderment after conceding a free-kick, and as the hosts were penalised for illegal engagement on eight minutes, the Park pack powered open-side Sam Shires across goal-line at pace from the resultant line-out for the game’s first try.
Fly-half Scott Sneddon added a strike through the uprights soon after as Blackheath came under pressure at another scrum on their twenty-two, and when a hole opened up for Jack Gash to race home from a training ground line-out move, Park held a 13-0 lead after only 24 minutes.
The temporary removal of loose-head Aaron Liffchak for a dangerous tackle opened up more space for Blackheath to operate, but the loss of Dave Allen for collapsing a maul from the powerful Park pack evened up the numbers, and the Club did well to resist massive pressure on their goal-line, and retreat to the changing-room with no further addition to the score.
Blackheath have not always been at their best following the interval, but inspired by the running of Mike Canty from full-back, the Club began to find a little more penetration after the break. The reward was a David Marshall penalty, but within five minutes a well-worked scrum move between Hugo Ellis at number-eight and Gash saw the scrum-half break down an empty blind-side for his second try.
Sneddon added a second penalty to the tally, and although Bertie Haskins’ arrival to the fray looked to firm up the Club scrum, enabling the hosts to dominate the final moments, Jack Walsh’s try was too little too late to halt Park’s unbeaten run.
Blackheath travel to the West Midlands next Saturday to take on Coventry. Kick-off at the Butts Park Arena is 3.00 pm.
Tries: Shires, Gash 2
Pens: Sneddon 2
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