BUZZARDS GIVEN A LESSON IN THE BASICS
LEIGHTON BUZZARD 8 – 34 SALISBURY
Buzzards welcomed second-placed Salisbury for their final home league game of
the season but ended comprehensively defeated by a very efficient performance
from the visitors. Salisbury showed how to do the basic skills well – their set
piece was rock solid, their defence well organised and their kicking game
purposeful. Consistently, the visitors took the correct option so whilst Buzzards
showed enterprise and, indeed in the first half played most of the rugby, they
only briefly looked liked securing a home victory.
Salisbury kicked off and, whilst the first few minutes were played in midfield, it
was soon clear that Buzzard’s lineout was mis-firing. From an over-throw on a
Leighton lineout, possession was turned over and a clever grubber from the
Salisbury fly-half allowed an easy touch-down. With the conversion Buzzards
were 0-7 down after 5 minutes. Worse was to follow 10 minutes later – a
dropped ball in midfield was intercepted and whilst the initial attack was
stopped just short , quick recycling allowed the visItors to score their second try
to lead by 12 points.
However, the Buzzards showed real attacking intent – a great break from Darren
Braybrook split the Salisbury defence open but when the recycled ball was spun
wide the overlap was wasted. Further opportunities went begging and
Leighton’s pressure only told through a Lee Walker penalty in the last minute of
the half, to make the score 3-12 at the break.
The second half started well for Buzzards with a succession of driving mauls
allowing Michael Lynch to cross the line after 4 minutes. The conversion was
missed but with the score now 8-12 Leighton were back in the game. However
Salisbury were not rattled and continued to stick to their conservative but
efficient gameplan. Following a rolling maul from a lineout after 13 minutes, they
scored a converted try and a penalty six minutes later gave them a 8 -22 lead.
Any remaining hope of a Buzzard comeback ended with a yellow card for Tom
Byard for an offence at a scrum close to the Buzzard line. Unsurprisingly,
Salisbury chose a scrum from the resulting penalty and under pressure a penalty
try was awarded. With the score now 8 -29 with ten minutes left, the large, but
athletic, Salisbury pack were in control and it was no surprise when they added a
further try following a lineout to leave the final score 8-34.
Despite being well beaten, Leighton remained competitive throughout with Ryan
Fraser, Buzzard’s man of the match for the second week running, outstanding.
Buzzards remain eighth and next week travel to ninth-placed Windsor.