Western Force Over Powers Eastern Promise
RN Western Region
Western Region v Eastern Region
A 54 – 7 victory showed that the Western Region are a force to be reckoned with in the 2014 Inverdale Challenge. With Johnny Stephen pulling the strings from scrum half, the Westos over powered Eastern Region at Keyham and will now host the Fleet Air Arm full of confidence next week.
Johnny Stephen had a hand in all three of the Western Region’s first tries. First, following a turnover at the lineout, he released his backs for the outside centre to score out wide. Shortly afterwards a sniping run from the ruck released James Shain for try number two, whilst a quickly taken penalty caught the Eastern defence napping and Stephen crossed himself for the third. 17 – 0 up and Eastern Region had a mountain to climb.
Despite conceding a soft penalty to go 20 – 0 down, Eastern rallied and from a quickly taken penalty of their own they moved the ball quickly, with strong running centre Roko crossing for their only score of the night. The successful conversion reduced the deficit to 20 – 7 but it was the last joy that the Eastern Region were to have all night. Before half time Stephen again ran a quickly taken penalty and left wing Culson was on hand to make it 25 – 7 at the break.
The second half started as the first finished. Again it was Stephen who was controlling the tempo of the game and he crossed for his second try shortly in to the second half. The next two tries went to promising U23 flanker Jack Tindle. The first was probably the try of the night as Western Region broke from deep in their own twenty two to go the length of the field. The second was a kick and chase with Tindle showing a good turn of speed to win the race for the line.
Though Eastern Region never let up they could not contain a purposeful and at times ruthless Western side. Two further tries from their outside centre and blindside flanker Chapman completed the scores. With Dale Smallbone’s accuracy from the kicking tee they broke the 50 point barrier and gave notice to the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Marines that at long last there may be a third team to challenge they Inverdale Challenge Cup dominance.
Library Images by Alligin Photography / © Mark Andrews