DERWENT 62-0 VANBRUGH
Images: Agatha Torrance
Derwent started the New Year in cut-throat style, as they dismantled a Vanbrugh side with a surgical precision worthy of Harley Street’s finest.
Their lethal attack grabbed every opportunity with both hands, showcasing some exceptional finishing.
Derwent’s strength, however, was Vanbrugh’s weakness, the ability to find the final ball deserting them. With greater ruthlessness, Vanbrugh could have perhaps offered some resistance.
The first try was scored after a matter of minutes, as Josh Clewes found the decisive gap in the Vanbrugh defence after Derwent were stalled on the opposition try-line.
The pressure on Vanbrugh did not halt, however, as their opponents continued to dictate play.
After Vanbrugh were again forced back onto their line, Will Harnden was the man to skate over under the posts after gliding into space.
Vanbrugh enjoyed few forays into the Derwent half in this early period, as the speed of their rival’s counter attack remained a constant thorn.
They provided staunch defence, however, putting in some vital try saving tackles to frustrate Derwent.
Derwent could only be limited for so long, and they soon scored their third.
Hugo Marino reacted quickly after a ruck on the tryline, leaping over incisively.
Oliver Wessley kicked superbly in this match, with his third conversion sailing over from a considerable distance despite the blustery conditions.
Marino soon scored his second, after a dangerous Derwent break allowed the productive Harnden to feed in the number eight.
This was soon followed by Derwent’s fifth, a gradual push towards the Vanbrugh line over a number of phases eventually bundled over by Henry Guest.
Lacklustre defending led to one more Derwent try before half time, after a passive Vanbrugh line allowed Ed Kemp to stroll through and score completely unchecked.
The half-time score of 38-0 was justified by the supreme potency of the Derwent attack, succeeding in every opportunity they created.
At the start of second half, Vanbrugh were able to match Derwent in the middle of the park, as they attempted to search for that elusive score.
However, it took just one mistake for their enterprise to punish them.
A knock-on on the right wing was caught by a Derwent back, who sprinted away from the unprepared Vanbrugh defence.
This quick thinking led to Jamie Criswell dashing along the flank and over the line.
But Derwent were far from finished at this stage.
Phil Hammick was the man to finish at the end of a passage of decent back play, whilst Dominic Munns scored the easiest try of the match after some abysmal positioning by Vanbrugh, perhaps due to tiredness at dealing with the constant Derwent threat.
Munns sliced through a sizeable gap at the halfway line, running it home himself amidst placid Vanbrugh resistance.
Marino was able to grab himself a hat trick before the final whistle, breaking free within his own half, and, in the manner of Munns’ effort, powering over the line without assistance.
The full whistle brought an end to a worthy victory for an incisive Derwent side.
Captain Tolga Necar spoke to Nouse after the match: “Obviously, I’m really happy with the result. Vanbrugh aren’t a bad side though, and the score didn’t reflect how they played. It was a scrappy game, but we were better able to gain from the open ball.”
Meanwhile his Vanbrugh counterpart Chris West agreed that his side didn’t deserve such a heavy defeat: “It was frustrating, we deserved to score. It was a few errors that prevented us, maybe a bit of rustiness after the Christmas break. We’re still developing as a squad, though, and we’ll come back stronger.”