MATCH REPORT: Rams promoted after victory over Clifton.

MATCH REPORT: Rams promoted after victory over Clifton.

By Sam Harrison
7th April
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FT: Clifton Rugby 21 Rams 45

The large crowd of Rams supporters who travelled down the M4 to Bristol arrived with the
hope of returning triumphant as champions of National 2 South with promotion secured to
Division One for September. Their dream was duly met thanks to the efforts of their players
who played to their strengths and seized on weaknesses in the Clifton armoury
The Rams pack had decided more power and caused disruption to the Clifton eight in tight
play. At times route one rugby was their strongest attack with skipper Tom Voogt often
leading play in the loose. Fly half Alex Seers showed great game management in his choice
of options with astute tactical kicking.

Clifton had their moments and shortly before the interval actually led 14-12 after some
spirited play over turned a 12 point deficit. Elusive centre Sam Goatley benefitted from
some quick ball in a cross filed move to score under the posts and flanker Shek Sheriff
powered over with Luke Cozens converting both efforts.

A proud Rams Head Coach Seb Reynolds commented “A fantastic day for the club after only
four years in this league during which time we have avoided relegation and progressed to
something really special as a result of genuine togetherness and continuity to play consistent
excellent rugby. We were nervous today with so much at stake as Clifton can be a
dangerous team capable of striking quickly and we had 20 minutes when they really put
pressure on us but our forward power prevailed to give us the platform we needed”
Clifton Head Coach Matt Coach was quick to praise the Rams “as a well drilled outfit who
know how to play to their strengths and today exposed some of our inaccuracies”

The early lead for the champions came from slick handling for Andy Denham to score with
the impressive Seers converting followed by prop Sean McDonnell-Roberts seizing on some
disruption to the Clifton scrummage to score. These scores were followed by Clifton having
the best of fifteen minutes play to cause some uncertainty in the ranks of the Berkshire men
who eventually pulled clear before the interval when hooker Ben Henderson went over with
Seers converting.

In the second half Jamie Guttridge who had just returned from a yellow card for a deliberate
knock on was at the end of a push over try before replacement Craig Nightingale took
advantage of some Clifton mishandling to score with Seers again adding the extras

The lavender and blacks then showed the spirit which has moved them up the able to apply
pressure for hooker Jack Williams to go under the post with replacement Tom Francis
converting. They were now sniffing a try bonus point and showed great character to
advance to the corner only to lose possession which resulted in replacement Jak Rossiter
racing down the pitch to score soon after he had already scored a try from a well judged kick
into space from Seers who covered both his tries.

Celebrations began immediately in the clubhouse!

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