JAMES 67-5 GOODRICKE
Images: Agatha Torrance
A highly impressive and disciplined display from the forwards and an assured performance from fly-half and man of the match Charlie Burton helped James romp to a devastating 67-5 win over a depleted Goodricke side.
The first of four tries from Phil Scott on the wing spearheaded a memorable morning for James College. With conditions proving blustery and difficult for the kickers, Goodricke outside-half Alex MacDonald kicked off deep into the James 22. However, after a few passages of play it was clear that the physical James forwards had found their rhythm early on. A moment of magic from Scott out wide lead to his first, a breakaway try.
Captain Jamie Boyd lead from the front and immediately James applied pressure to the Goodricke defence after the restart, with Burton putting together some excellent phases. After a move deep within the James 22, full-back Matthew Collins broke through the line before putting Scott through for his second in the corner.
After a passage of scrappy play and frequent knock-ons from both sides, Goodricke began to put together a few passages of play, with vocal inside centre Tom Bradley leading the charge. However, Goodricke lost an ensuing line out and James were able to win the ball back from inside their own half.
With James dominating the possession, and back-rows Jack Robirosa and Ed Reay providing quick, quality balls, a beautiful offload lead to Burton diving over for a try under the posts, which he subsequently converted.
A raft of tries now followed as Burton ignited the back line. As James pulled away, the enormous gulf in class was clearly evident. The forwards throughout provided excellent ball for intelligent scrum half Ben Brummit, their physicality being far too great to match, with Goodricke loose-head Josh Wright going down injured despite a valiant effort.
Despite the very clear difference between the two sides, the effort from the Goodricke players cannot be faulted, and they did not lose heart, even though at one point they only had 12 players on the pitch due to injuries and absence. Andy Monyard scored Goodricke’s only try, intercepting a pass from the James 12 and beating Collins to dive over at the half hour mark.
However, this only seemed to spur James on even further, Burton again bossing the play with confidence and assurance, touching down for his second just before half time.
The second half followed in a similar vein, although Goodricke did prove a more competitive outfit, despite wasting a number of good opportunities. Phil Scott scored two more tries, magically side-stepping the Goodricke full back with twinkle-toed feet for his third, and his fourth coming from an offload after a period of forward crash ball. The substitutes also impressed, a few of which managed to get on the score board as well.
After the match captain Jamie Boyd was “pleased with the performance.” He said, “The boys played well and used the overlap well. The pack were too physical for them at the breakdown.”
Goodricke captain Callum Collins felt that Goodricke could take a lot from their performance despite the obvious difference between the two sides. “We were very much an under-strength side. We were unlucky with injuries. But man for man, I felt the players played with real spirit.”
The display from the James forwards and the magic of both Burton and Scott has sent out a clear message to their rivals that they are a force to be reckoned with this year, and off the back of this performance, they have shown that they can dine at college rugby’s elite table.