RUGBY: Market Rasen can’t cull powerful Badgers

Jake Pryer on the run for Market Rasen
Jake Pryer on the run for Market Rasen

A much changed Rasen side made the long trip to Bugbrooke to take on the “Badgers” for the first ever league encounter between the sides.

The strength and pace of the home side left the red and greens shell shocked as Bugbrooke amassed a 28 –0 lead in the space of just 13 minutes with Rasen barely touching the ball and falling off tackles with monotonous regularity.

A powerful catch and drive from a lineout opened the scoring for Bugbrooke, which was quickly followed by hooker Sam Lappin galloping in under the posts after Bugbrooke secured the restart and attacked down the blindside.

In a brief moment of Rasen possession the ball fell to ground and was hacked on by Badgers scrumhalf Tom Wood, who outpaced the lethargic defence to win the touchdown.

More strong running from the Bugbrooke backline pierced the diaphanous Rasen defence to unleash the electric pace of winger Adam Pepper to register his first try of the afternoon.

Fullback Shaun Boyson’s unerring boot converted all four tries to give Bugbrooke the perfect start with the try bonus secured within the first quarter.

After this early onslaught Rasen’s motor then spluttered into life as the forwards managed to put some phases together and the propensity for turnovers diminished.

At a scrum deep in Bugbrooke’s twenty two Wood fired the ball back for Boyson to clear, but Rasen scrumhalf Chris Everton was on it like a shot and charged the kick down in true Lewis Moody fashion. As the ball bobbled in the in goal area, fly half Matt Sutton was quickest to react and dived on it for a try. Centre Meehal Grint added the conversion to further lift the spirits.

As Bugbrooke went back on the offensive, hooker Matt Ashton intercepted in midfield and charged forward beyond the last line of home players, but as he was caught he found the supporting Dan Robinson, who in turn passed to the strangely out of sorts Peter Everton.

The rangy fullback didn’t trust his pace on the outside and cut back in to be smothered by the retreating defence.

Bugbrooke finished the half on a high by running in two further converted tries as the pace of Pepper was used to devastating effect with the winger completing his hat trick to give his side an unassailable half time lead of 42-7.

The second half did not begin well for the red and greens as Bugbrooke crossed the whitewash in the fourth minute following a lineout catch and drive from 20 metres out, finished by Lappin.

Despite the widening margin Rasen continued to play with passion imbued by the pride in the jersey. Prop Danny Wootton rumbled the ball up field before the backs took over as George Eddell, an inspired substitution by coach Ruari Pike minutes earlier, sliced through the home defence and then forced his way over the line. Grint’s conversion further buoyed up the visitors’ spirits as they continued to enjoy some territory.

Frustration appeared to creep into Bugbrooke’s game and number eight Kie Fewster received a yellow to further enhance the Rasen prospects.

Rasen bungled the quick tap penalty, but a break up the blind side by lock Will Inman set the platform for another attack with the ball being swept back across the field.

Grint, now operating from fullback, took the ball on and with his unique style of running meandered his way through the defence to score Rasen’s third try and tantalisingly set up the opportunity for an unlikely bonus point from a fourth try as a losing bonus point had long since disappeared over the horizon.

Bugbrooke hit back with another long range catch and drive completed by lock Jay Smith.

The smug home coach was now exhorting his side to deny Rasen a bonus point, but he hadn’t taken into account the indomitable red and green spirit.

With four minutes remaining Rasen took their chance as the backs worked an opening for winger Robinson. The youngster still had a lot to do when he received the ball, but his determined running ended with a try in the corner for a richly deserved bonus point.

Handicapped by the unavailability of several players and further injuries sustained during the course of the game, Rasen were blown away in the first quarter. However acting captain Matt Sutton rallied the troops leading by example and epitomised the Rasen spirit with a last ditch tackle that gained him a painful mouth gash for his efforts.

Despite the scoreline there were some good passages of play and every player should be commended for the way they fought to the end to get something out of a game that looked to be a lost cause at half time.

On Saturday lowly Coalville are the visitors to Willingham Road, kick off 2.15pm.

Teams: Rasen: Simpson, Ashton, Wootton, Inman, Crowe, Chamberlin, Pryer, Dearden L, Everton C, Sutton, Norton F, Grint, Beasley, Robinson, Everton P

Subs: Dennis (Dearden L), Eddell (Everton P), Mc Ketchnie (Simpson)

Bugbrooke: Judge, Lappin, Holding, Smith, Hulatt, Pardon, Pattle, Fewster, Wood, Pooler, Atkin, Wykes, Miller, Pepper, Boyson

Subs: Debell, Flynn, Wintle