Clifton v Hucclecote
Hucclecote put to the sword
There was a faint whiff of rum in the air as the coaches gathered before this Gloucester Cup group game on the 1st XV pitch.
And with memories of the night before’s Cuban cocktail party lingering, we were aptly served up some champagne rugby by the boys in this nine tries to two victory over a Hucclecote side whom we only narrowly beat last year.
But before we kicked off both sides joined players, parents and coaches from all the other age groups for a service of Remembrance at the club war memorial.
Then the action got underway as hail pelted down and it wasn’t long before Sam C scored one of his now trademark tries, the first of another hat-trick. He had picked up the ball in our half after they had kicked over the top and scorched away from defenders to go over.
Soon after, Sam C was over the try line again, this time finishing off a superb handling move.
Herbie was next up with a drive over the line after a nice break by Matt and some impressive recycling. Elliott’s conversion made the score 17-0.
Dave Hilton’s pre-match scrummaging session was paying dividends as we gained the edge at the set-piece, but we were conceding a few penalties at the breakdown, including one on the edge of our 22.
To our surprise Hucclecote decided to go for goal. The kick was wide and gave us possession which led to a great kick over the top of their defence into space which was chased down by Sam Read for a fine try. The kick took us to a 24-0 lead.
There was one more try before half-time which was earned by the forwards who created a powerful driving maul from which Dom burrowed over the line. 29-0.
Intent on not letting up the pressure, we were straight at it from their restart, moving the ball through the hands for Sam C to complete his hat-trick with another good finish.
Disappointingly we conceded two tries from poor defence, a rare occurrence in the past couple of years. Perhaps with the win in the bag we had lost concentration but in general there was an unusual lack of aggression in our tackling.
However, we remained unrelenting and aggressive in attack and more tries came from Riley, powering over after a deft off-load from Kit, and Sam R with a classic, solo weaving run taking us to a 48-12 lead.
We passed the 50-mark when Matt ran in after more good handling to leave the final score 53-12.
The boys came off the pitch to a well-deserved, rousing reception from quite a substantial crowd in the main stand.
There were good performances all round from the whole squad and we held our shape well despite having to make a reshuffle with injuries to full-back Elliott and scrum-half Luke.
In fact, Sam S’s cameo at scrum-half was memorable and Hugo impressed with his passing and tackling, as well as some sparkling sidesteps.
Our next two games in the group are against Painswick on Sunday and then Dursley at the start of December.