Result: 14 : 21
The Baltic Exchange rugby team played its first match in the new London Occasionals’ League last Saturday (31 October), needless to say an almost worthy prequel to the World Cup Final.
With 20 players eager to get onto the field, it was clear from the kick off the Baltic were not afraid to attack from deep, which came as a surprise to the opposition.
There were some exquisite individual displays and the sunny weather particularly helped the Baltic’s surprising style of expansive rugby.
Defensively, there was decent structure however Downside manged to slip through two tries in the first half, largely was down to their set plays which were not adequately managed.
Towards the end of the first half the Baltic was again explosive in the open play, attacking the opposition’s tryline only for the ball to be ‘turned over’ twice, missing out an opportunity to level the score.
Arguably the ability of the opposition to somehow turn over the ball at the breakdown, much to the Baltic’s frustration, really took the wind out of the sails – repeatedly knocking the Baltic back after gaining good ground.
Justice was eventually served in the second half when a flamboyant cross field kick expertly picked up by Henry Potter (Hartland Shipping) to glide through on an inside line to score.
The second half saw an even more frantic and fragmented game with scrums becoming uncontested due to opposition injuries.
The Baltic, enthused from the first half came out all guns blazing with excellent offloading and vision.
As the game progressed you could see the Baltic gelling, and working the ball nicely into smaller spaces. This led to the Baltic’s second try from Jack Lyons (Howe-Rob) thundering through from nowhere for Henry Reynolds (Gearbulk) to pop the ball inside off a set play scrum.
With the scores equal it was anyone’s game, however as the Baltic started to tire it is fair to say the structured play of the opposition paid off with them scoring a last minute try to win.
Overall a solid performance for the Baltic’s first match of the season.
Man of the Match: Derek Ikwueke
Our next fixture is against Eastbourne Old Boys – 28th November Regent’s Park
Please contact Humphrey.firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in playing or supporting.