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Home > News > Southport 31 - Crewe & Nantwich 17
Your News Southport 31 - Crewe & Nantwich 17

Southport Rugby Club, sponsored by Nationwide Produce, celebrated a good home win last Saturday, but the champagne was soured a little by their inability to dominate the opposition for the full eighty minutes. The game was settled in the first half, when John Roberts team scored four tries and made Crewe and Nantwich look a very inferior team, particularly in the forwards were the Southport pack, which was missing some of its established stars, brushed the visitors aside. The second half was a different story.

Crewe opened the scoring with a fine try after 3 minutes, when Southports scrum half Andy Boland allowed the opposing No9 to pick up the ball as it emerged from the side of a scrum. They moved the ball to the right, recyled to the left, and centre Karl Tatlock raced into the corner. This score was quickly matched by Southport, when the forwards drove down the pitch, and then worked the ball out to Chris Tees on the left wing for an equally good score.

With plenty of possession, the Southport backs were able to use their practice-ground moves to good effect, and gave centre-threequarter Clark Walton the chance to break through the Crewe defences. He retained possession when he was eventually tackled, and the ball was quickly moved out to Liam McGrath on the right wing. He was stopped but the support play was superb, and Boland moved the ball quickly to Steve Hunter at outside half, who slipped it to Matty Astwood five metres out from the posts. The massive No8 charged in for the try, which John Sawbridge converted.

Another break by Walton was well supported by lock George Baumber, and he strode through the remaining defence to score his first try of the season.

Shortly before half time Walton burst through the opposition again, and this time it was captain John Roberts who was at his shoulder to collect the ball and place it between the sticks.

The scoreline was 26-5 at the interval, and the home supporters expected a rout in the second half. Within five minutes of the restart Hunter showed what a dangerous player he is, by taking a pass from the base of a maul, cutting back inside the open-side flanker, and then jinked through the remainder of the Crewe defenders, who gave a creditable impression of the Anthony Gormley statues on Crosby beach.

However, the home side became complacent, the statues came to life, and it was Southport who wished they could find Another Place. Crewe suddenly realised that the Southport team were vulnerable to the counter attack, and began to take the game into the home teams half. Poor tackling, and general lethargy were all that Southport could produce, and Crewes captain Andy Thompson was the extra man on the outside of a good threequarter move. He gave his side some hope with a try in the right corner. Southport returned to the attack, but a poorly directed pass was intercepted by Tatlock, and he had the pace to out-strip Southport from 70 metres out.

So what should have been a total annihilation was just a satisfactory win for Southport, who moved a few places up the table to fifth, just behind Ruskin Park, with the same points but a slightly worse scoring record. Later we heard that South African flanker Janus Lamprecht , who had come on a substitute in the second half, suffered a broken ankle in the last minute of the game. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Gordon Jackson

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