The Baltic Exchange rugby football club (BERFC) came up against RICS Surveyors last week in a match perhaps akin to a David and Goliath story, well at least in squad sizes anyway with RICS having 30 players and the Baltic a more ‘slim line’ number of 16.
Like all Baltic games the match started at a quick pace, which might be the reason why penalties, turn overs and sloppy tackling were in abundance from both sides.
The opposition took the opening spoils after some well- structured play at the ruck and getting the ball efficiently out to their back line. In all honesty in the opening 20 minutes, the Baltic were nowhere to be seen, like every team under pressure infringements occur in defence and structure is lost in attack. Arguably this led to what can only be seen as a severe haemorrhage from the Baltic’s defence letting RICS to slip through with four tries in worryingly quick succession.
At the 30 minutes mark and with the opposition 25-0 up, the Baltic finally got the hang of it. Realising that it was not necessary to compete at every ruck allowed, the defensive line to spread and communicate effectively with some big hits coming in from Ben Jozwiak (Hartland) and Andy Hughes (EDF man). The Baltic managed to stem the flow of tries being conceded and even gave platform to attack, notably from the back of the ruck.
Before the end of the first half the Baltic down in the opponents 22 drove the ball from a lineout to give Jamie McDonald (Clarksons) to make a run from the back of the maul and score.
End of first half the Baltic were on the back foot at 35-5.
BERFC, however had clearly learnt from their mistakes from the first half and put the refreshed opposition under pressure.
Under the stewardship and quick passing of Chris Symes (Clarksons) at fly-half the Baltic gained control of the match allowing for Humphrey Hodgson (O’Keeffe & Partners) to crash the ball up and make some ground. However it was Martin Bazley (Frank-Symons) who glided through to open up the score in the second half.
Ryan Mcanearney (Clarksons) instinctively coming off his wing to take possession forward, gave scrum half Colin Mortimore (ISCA Marine) to find the quick gap around the ruck dismantling RICS’ defence. James Sedgwick (EDF Man ) always on the supporting run, allowing for smooth offloads gave the Baltic their next score.
Further tries from the Baltic gave a very credible performance particularly with 16 players to finish the game at 40-20 (L).
Next game against Investment Bankers on April 26 at East London Rugby Club, more details to follow.
—————–STOP PRESS: TV NEWS – BALTIC EXCHANGE RUGBY CLUB —————————-
Special Mention to Harry Rodney (Clarksons) for sporting the mighty Baltic Shirt at a recent showing of BT’s Rugby Tonight programme.
Strategically placed behind the sofa during the interview to make sure everyone knows about the Shipping world!