After two disappointing weeks, Market Rasen and Louth RFC completed a convincing 66-0 Midlands One East victory over newly-promoted Old Laurentians at Willingham Road.
The struggling visitors have lost many players with the side fielded at Rasen having the unusual distinction of including their first, second and third team captains.
The forwards made great in-roads early on, recycling the ball to edge closer to the visitors’ line, and after eight minutes, Rasen took possession at a lineout and drove forward for prop Dave Haig to open the scoring. Front row colleague Tom Alldridge added the conversion.
But the Red and Greens stalled and couldn’t capitalise on their lion’s share of possession as unforced errors crept in. It took a break from Peter Everton to put them back on track as the fly-half glided through a hole before taking the tackle and popping the ball to winger Adam Goodwin who sped in for his first try in Rasen colours.
Alldridge added the extras and was lining up his next kick eight minutes later after centre Dave Starling had cut back to power his way over the line.
With half-time approaching, number eight Ben Chamberlin latched on to a poor Laurentians throw to instigate another attack. With ruthless efficiency the forwards recycled the ball and play switched back for poacher extraordinaire Chamberlin to secure the try bonus and leave Rasen 26–0 ahead at the break.
A lineout peel early in the second half put Haig in sight of the line, but desperate defence held him up short of the line. The ball was shipped to the backline where Greg Wise steamed up from full-back to cross for his first Rasen try.
Having failed with his last attempt, Alldridge added the conversion.
The exertions of almost constant defending was taking its toll, and when a penalty was awarded close to the Laurentians’ line, Rasen opted for the scrum and marched their fatigued opponents over the line for Chamberlin to dot down.
Alldridge obliged with another conversion.
A tactical switch returned Adam Beasley to his favoured centre position and he repaid his coaches’ decision with a devastating break before a simple pass put his midfield partner Dave Starling in for his second try, converted by Alldridge.
Moments later Beasley crossed following a break-out, led by debutant substitute prop Scott Brown, who showed a fine turn of pace down the touchline.
A speculative kick pushed Laurentians deep into Rasen’s 22, but flanker Leigh Dearden retrieved the ball and set up a counter-attack driving into the oncoming chasers.
As support arrived the ball was worked to the narrow side where Rob Batterbury, now operating on the wing, tore up the touchline before linking inside with scrum-half Chris Everton who weaved his way to the line past some despondent visitors.
The scrums became uncontested as the Laurentians front row players had fallen by the wayside, blunting the Rasen set-piece. But the Red and Greens were still gorging themselves on possession, and simple hands sent Peter Everton clear on the wing to emulate his brother’s scoring feat.
Alldridge capped the scoring with his third straight successful conversion.
A big bonus point win was a good return, but complacency and white line fever crept in. There were good passages of play, but on the flip side there were periods when the fundamentals were lacking.
There is plenty to work on, and while there are signs of promise, the side is some way off being the finished article.
Rasen: Haig, Alldridge, Southwell, Mills, Thornes, C. Starling, L. Dearden, Chamberlin, C. Everton, P. Everton, Beasley, Batterbury, C. Starling, Goodwin, Wise. Subs: Brown (Southwell), Inman (Thornes), Norman (Goodwin).
* Rasen travel to old adversaries Paviors on Saturday who will be looking to recover from their 50–0 drubbing against Kettering.