New players, fresh start for Cleve
CLEVE Rugby Club has started the season with a new bunch of players among some of the old guard.
The first game against Clevedon promised a fast-flowing standard of rugby.
Clevedon were an old nemesis of Cleve but the new guard brushed them aside.
Clevedon kicked off but in a resulting scrum Cleve pushed on, leading to a penalty, and from this the veteran Cleve forward Paul Vinnicombe drove to the line. Henry Williams converted for 7-0.
Cleve dominated the forward exchanges and an inside pass to No 5 Will Callaghan led to a try and a 12-0 lad.
Two breaks on the restart, which featured Dan Conibear, resulted in a penalty which Henry scored for 15-0.
Cleve then had the misfortune of going over the line and dropping the ball. The restart was one of the new rules: a dropout behind the touch line.
In the second half Clevedon came out fighting. A lineout and drive saw Ollie Jones go over, wit the kick converted by Ethan Thomas.
But Cleve were not to be outdone. Another lineout saw Cleve captain Louis Bartlett go over for a 23-7 final score.
Cleve's second match of the season was against a new opponent: Gordano.
Cleve continued their good attacking form in the first 30 minutes, dominating the play.
Gordano rarely got out of their own half and the Cleve forwards were always on top in the scrums, however in the 30th minute the Gordano fullback intercepted the ball and went the full pitch to score, then converted his own try.
He was to become the main problem for Cleve.
During the next 10 minutes Cleve came back with three penalties, to lead at the half 9-7, due to our consistent kicker Henry Williamson.
The second half again saw Cleve dominate against the wind.
Eventually a try came through James Nicholls, who took it superbly in the corner after a nice run for a 14-7 lead.
Gordano came back and put pressure on Cleve before their hooker went over for 14-all.
The last eight minutes were on knife-edge but Gordano broke the deadlock and their fullback went over for a final score of 21-14 to Gordano.
Cleve are learning and doing well but need to develop a more ruthless approach.