Drink & SteakBRFC
22 - 19Full Time
|Île de Puteaux|
|6 Allée des Sports, 92800 Puteaux, France|
BRFC vs Drink and Steak
by Ben Swift
After a very promising start to the season, the BRFC’s frustrating away defeat at the hands of the Drink and Steak team has to be understood as a sign that the squad needs to keep working if they are to achieve their goals for the season. While the expats displayed many of the building blocks necessary for success, when the final whistle sounded the score stood at 22-19 to Drink.
On Saturday morning, and despite a continuing public transport grève, the British traveled to the Ile de Puteau sporting complex for their away game against the Drink team. The first twenty minutes of the game evolved into a tenacious back and forth. The home side in particular used the boot to sound out their opponents and put some pressure on the BRFC’s back three. Both sides got the chance to kick for the posts but couldn’t quite put points on the board. It wasn’t till the 25th minute that the stalemate was brought to an end; when a Drink lineout in the BRFC’s 22 led to an opportunity for the home side, one of their forwards barreled over to put them in the lead. After a successful conversion, the score stood at 7-0.
The British took this in their stride and responded minutes later. Winger Bastien Bonvalet broke the line leading to a try by fly half Kieran Chandler. This offensive effort came off the back of great offloads by Charlie Hall and Davy Portway. While the try was unconverted, the Expats remained on the hunt with the score standing at 7-5. Yet as the half came to a close, they gave the Drink team a chance to pull ahead. A penalty against the British awarded for a high tackle gave the home side a chance to kick for the posts which they happily took. At half time, the Drink team led the British 10-5.
When the BRFC kicked off, the Expats looked to turn the situation to their advantage. Flanker Constantin De Langautier’s kick chase led to the ball been recovered by the visitors in the Drink half and the British surged forward. Yet, BRFC attacking plays were repeatedly stunted by penalties which allowed their opponents too many opportunities. This included a kick at British posts, which went wide, and a yellow card against the expats early in the second half.
Drink demonstrated the ability to put this self-inflicted pressure on the British to use. A scrum to the home side 5 meters out from the British line put them in a good position to cross the line, making the score 17-5 after the try was converted. The British responded by putting their own points on the board. Sustained pressure by the expat forwards gave Kieran Chandler his second chance to dart through Drink’s defensive line and score another 5 points for the BRFC. With the try successfully converted, the British had kept themselves in contention with a score of 17-12 to Drink.
Ultimately, penalties continued to take their toll on the BRFC and they found themselves too often on the wrong side of the referee’s decisions. They found their attacks repeatedly breaking down, conceding territory to their opponents and consequently having to defend on the back foot. When Drink turned a ball over in the British half, a chip over the British defensive line was pounced on by the home side and they scored in the corner. Again the gap widened as an unconverted try made the score 22-12.
More positively, the BRFC squad showed their resolve as the match came to its final 20 minutes. An attempt by scrum half Nick Sanders to steal a try down the blind side was just thwarted. Strong ball carries by players such as Kris James in the forwards, and Alex Rankin in the backs, meant that the expat side continued to barge their way into the opponents half. It was as the match came to a close that these efforts paid off; the forwards again creating the platform just shy of the Drink try line. When the ball was given to the backs, center Charlie Hall was given the opportunity to scythe through the defensive line. Final score: 22-19 to Drink.
While the side will no doubt be disappointed by the result, one off-game does not determine a season. The BRFC walked away from the game with the knowledge that there are things that they need to get right if they are to transfer their potential into further success on the field.