Frome rugby round up including a full match reporting of the winning seconds - anything but

By Susie Watkins

15th Apr 2022 | Local Sport

Chippenham RFC II 0 - Frome RFC II 52

Match report by Andy Vince

The Frome RFC 2nd XV travelled to Chippenham RFC last Saturday, with the prospect of securing the league title whilst currently sitting in the top spot, but with Trowbridge RFC 2nd  XV given a home walk over and therefore being three points ahead, Frome had to win.

The first half started with Frome kicking down the slope. 

During the first few exchanges it was clear that Frome were nervous, electing to kick for posts on an early penalty, which went narrowly close, followed by Winger Izaak Salmon-Brown being tackled into touch only a metre short.

Another penalty kick went just wide of the uprights, before Centre Leone Naucukidi broke through to look to have scored, before being brought down and held up on the line.

Then on 16 mins Flanker Matt Smith out jumped his opposite number and drove forward and managed to break free and stretch out to touch down for the score.

On 25 mins, the Forwards began to build momentum and it could be seen that the team had settled any nerves. The Front Row of Jason Barraclough, Alex Chalmers and Phil Clarke started to dominate and Frome won the scrum against the head, the ball went wide, Centre Naucukidi made his trade mark break and fed Salmon-Brown who off loaded inside to Centre Ethan White to touch down. The extras were added by Naucukidi.

Shortly after Frome were again unlucky as they were held up on the line, but from the resulting drop out, there was a strong carry by Prop Clarke followed by another great carry by his front partner Baraclough, with the ball then going out to the backline, Fly Half David Abrahams put Centre White into space, who then dummied and went through the gap and over the line for the try. The kick was missed. 

Then on the stroke of half time Frome gained a scrum 8 metres from the home sides line. The Frome pack then drove Chippenham to their line and No. 8 Rob James controlled the ball brilliantly and touched down for the try.

HT Chippenham RFC II 0-22 Frome RFC II

The second half started well for Frome, and with in 3 mins of the restart, Frome were awarded a penalty which Naucukidi stepped up to put it through the middle of the posts.

On 49 mins Frome should have had another try following another great break through the home defensive line by Naucukidi, who was unable to put the ball down securely and the ball was knocked on.

Apisalome Tulwakaya, now playing at No.8, picked up from the base of the next Scrum and broke a tackle to feed Winger Salmon-Brown who took the ball up into the home sides 22 and passed to White who touched down for his Hat trick. 

Then on 53 mins Salmon-Brown made another break and fed Flanker Matt Smith, who raced clear of the defence to touch down. The kick was made by Naucukidi. 

Then two mins later following some great forward play the ball went through the hands and Centre Naucukidi, who broke two tackles up the touch line and made it to the line and made sure of the his grounding to score. Kick was missed.

On 75 mins Frome went the length of the pitch, with Full back Craig Thompson running a great line to brake through, he then linked up with his Winger who then managed to get an off load to Grierson who touched down. Kick was missed.

Then right on the stroke of full time, Frome had a 5 metre scrum, number 8 Tulwakaya picked up and used his strength to crash over and touch down. Kick was missed.

FT: Chippenham RFC II 0-52 Frome RFC II 

Player of The Match was awarded to Prop, Jason Barraclough.

Frome RFC 2nd XV Team Manager, Andy Vince commented "What a season Frome has had. There is a lot of thank you's, Toby Cuff Head Coach, Dom, Elliott, and JJ, Assistant Coaches. Director of Rugby Cameron Hastie, the other Team Managers Trevor and Simon. Matt Warnock for his efforts since his injury. My Captain David Abrahams, who has been epic. My medical man James Bennett not just for keeping the players on the field, but keeping me calm throughout the season, Garrie Webster for his council when things weren't going as well as wanted. And lastly My wife Julia for all her support and allowing me to spend so much time at the club."

The victory secured the Frome RFC 2nd XV's place at the top, in doing so winning the Tribute Dorset & Wilts 1 North title.

2nd XV Captain, Dave Abrahams commented "The playing squad and backroom staff have been superb this season, I can't begin to thank them enough for all their efforts.  We've been able to achieve something our 2nd XV have never done before, and I'm immensely proud to be part of that. 

The 2nd XV has always been a great place to breed future 1st XV players, and with a wealth of experience within the side already, I believe we've achieved that this season, with a multitude of players representing the 1st XV."

Frome RFC 24 - 17 Newbury RFC 

Match Report by Trevor Osborne

Frome RFC welcomed 4th placed Newbury RFC to Gypsy Lane on Saturday.

The game started with the home side playing up the slight slope and the Newbury Blues were immediately putting pressure on the Frome line however stout defence held them out for the first 24 mins. 

A Scrum on the Frome line released Full Back Bailey Rusz up the left touchline, supported by Winger Finn McNulty made 80 metres. Frome were then awarded a penalty and from the resultant line out set up a rolling maul marshalled by Hooker John Benstead who touched down for the first points of the day.

Frome continued to battle up the hill with some great tackling lead by JJ Gagiano leading the defence, and the front row of Geoff Taylor John Benstead and Elliott Bowler starting to get on top in the scrums. 

However the pressure finally told when the visitors 10 found a gap with Frome down to 14 men and off loaded to the supporting player for a converted try for a 7-5 lead at half time.

HT: Frome RFC 5 - 7 Newbury RFC

Frome started strongly in the second half with the forwards, lead by Captain Alex Mallon and Flanker Will Button, carrying hard and  releasing the backline marshalled by Dom Jones. 

However Newbury increased their lead when a Frome indiscretion at the breakdown gave the visitors the opportunity to kick a penalty.

Frome continued to press and regained the lead when a deft inside ball from Scrum Half, Simon Westlake allowed Player of The Match, Elliott Bowler to crash over from 5 metres for a try converted by Ali Frost. 

The Frome replacements of George Benstead Matt King and Dav Jones added further energy to the Frome effort and they extended their lead when after good work by Mike Rutt his centre partner Frost burst over from close range to extend the lead to 19-10.

This prompted a response from the visitors and they put pressure on the Frome line but great defence from all the team including Connor McPherson and the returning Ross Toten kept the visitors at bay.

A dropped ball in the Frome 22 was pounced on by Dav Jones who raced clear and with the defence closing in kicked ahead and gathered his own kick he then off loaded to Rob Sully to score in the corner. 

With 5 mins on the clock Newbury scored out wide, superbly converted by the visiting 10 to bring them within 7 points. 

The final 5 mins saw Frome defend strongly to keep the line secure and see out a memorable win. 

FT: Frome RFC 24 - 17 Newbury RFC 

We caught up with Head Coach, Toby Culff after the game who commented "One of our targets for this year was to beat one of the four big teams at home. We came up short, sometimes by very little, with our first three attempts, but none of those teams found their visit to Frome an easy one. All three, I think, we're a little relieved to get out of town with a win. So this game against Newbury - a Club of such pedigree - became emotionally very important to us. Before it was too late, we wanted to show the league and our supporters that we could topple a Club of this quality. We wanted to prove it to ourselves, too.

Oddly, we actually played pretty poorly in the first half. We're prone to poor halves sometimes but, crucially, we stayed in touch on the scoreboard this time. Some of the last ditch defence was magnificent. We felt very confident turning around at halftime facing only a two point deficit. 

In the 2nd half, the players were incredible. The rugby was ragged at times, and rugged throughout, but it was brave and fullhearted, packed with determination and desire. It was fantastic to watch and the tries were exciting and expertly finished. Most pleasing of all was the character of the performance and the bravery displayed in defence. Well done and thank you to everyone involved.

After the final whistle, the whole team was thrilled to learn of the 2nd team's victory. Massive congratulations to them. Their success this year is richly deserved and a source of enormous pride for the entire Club."

A great result for the last home match of the season and they look forward to the final league fixture of the season away to  Marlborough RFC. 

The players and staff would like to thank all of the supporters for their support this year.


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