Melton Mowbray Rugby Club can take the positives from Dunstablians defeat
Dunstablians 14 Melton Mowbray 0
Melton Mowbray were back in action on Saturday after an enforced absence due to lack of opposition.
Crying off fixtures because teams don’t want to travel will be a problem in this league this season as many teams struggle to get a side out regardless where they are playing.
Melton, to their credit, travelled the round trip of 150 miles to play the fixture despite other distractions, especially the conditions, which were atrocious.
Despite the weather both teams made a fist of it and tried to play some direct rugby using the elements to good effect.
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It was a game of two halves dominated by the gale-force wind which Dunstable used to slightly better effect in the first half, although Melton defended well, particularly through Jack Forfar, James Cavanah and Simon Peters.
Gary Whitechurch, making his full debut at scrum half, was a live wire alongside number eight Karl McGee, whose direct running style always made ground.
Together they made excellent inroads throughout the match. It could be a really productive partnership for the future.
Harvey Green, at full back, also had a tidy game but the team need him to be closer to gain line to make full use of the range of skills he has in abundance.
Dunstable scored a fortuitous try after 30 minutes when a loose kick found the hosts back line and a missed tackle saw them move the ball right to left scoring out wide despite some brilliant cover tackling from the Garnett brothers.
Melton had a chance to score three points but bravely went for a line out which the gale obliterated and the chance was gone.
Being only 7-0 down at the break was a result in itself but still needed solid rugby in the second half.
The second half saw Melton dominate both territory and possession, especially through the scrum where Luke Pawley, Tom Allen and Jordan Pawley were constantly in the thick of the action.
Again, a unit which should get better the more they play. It was good to see they all lasted the whole game without injuries.
Melton used the wind to good effect but as the end result was a line out the game turned into a lottery.
From one scrum in the Dunstable half a moment of magic from the home outside half saw him beat two Melton players and feed the supporting centre, who outstripped the cover defence for a second converted try.
It was against the run of play but enough to win the game.
The last 15 minutes were frenetic with George Kaczmarczyk and Dan Evans carrying the ball several times to the opposition, whilst Jake Beasley and Sam Dennison put in a real defensive shift to thwart the hosts attack and prevent further scores.
Melton should take great confidence from this game.
They travelled a huge distance to play the match in horrendous conditions and showed coach Mike Holford that they can front up when they have too.
Also several unit partnerships are taking shape and can only get better the more they play together.
On Saturday Melton host Huntingdon (KO 2.15pm).
A large touchline support should give them extra motivation and supporters are welcome.