Mighty Vees vanquish Saracen hordes
Vees start new year with super away win
Saracens Amateurs 3 Verulamians 15
It was a great day for the V’s who recorded an impressive away victory against promotion candidates Saracens Amateurs to the despair of their five first team coaches.
The V’s took to the field with high spirits after Christmas break and looked sharp in the opening stages. After early pressure from the Vees the visitors forced early points after a silly penalty from Saracens with T Crowne kicking the points.
Still playing to a good pattern Luckhurst stole a Sarries lineout and set up a ruck. The ball was spread out wide with speed and accuracy leaving full-back Ricci the space to finish in the corner, but T Crowne failed to convert.
With the Saracens defence rattled and their attacking play looking amateurish the Vees easily soaked up a period of possession for the home team. Sarries tried to kick for territory but they kicked poorly and when a kick landed in the hands of rampant Ricci he made the home side pay yet again. The full-back gathered the ball and stepped one player, chipped the next, with football skills suitable for the FA Cup Third Round and finally kicked the ball with great precision down the touchline to land the ball a metre away from the Saracens try line. The chasing fly-half Maile merely had to gather the ball and touch down, but fumbled over the line.
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In the second half the Vees introduced some fresh legs in the scrum, Luckhurst and Bloomfield were replaced for the experience and knowledge of Luxford and John, to ensure what could be an important away win for the Vees.
Saracens showed why they are perennial promotion contenders and asserted their authority early in the second half and managed to gain a kickable penalty with the three points gratefully taken.
The home side kicked to touch regularly to gain the field position required to get themselves back in the game but sub Luxford showed his excellence in the lineout as he began to dominate the set piece. Starved of possession and territory the Saracens pack soon became frustrated, but instead of focusing on the task at hand they took their frustrations out on the referee who quickly lost patience with the home side.
With Saracens desperate to get back in the game they adopted a new tactic and began to target the V’s tight five. Tighthead replacement John bore the brunt of Sarries overly physical approach to the game and was wounded in the process. John eagerly awaited the next scrum to exact his revenge and when a scrum was awarded to Sarries 15 metres from their own line the prop’s eyes lit up. With the call of “V8” the Sarries felt the full force of John and the Vees pack as they drove the home side off their own ball. Coyle controlled the ball at the base of the scrum and John and his front row colleagues continued to turn the screw to force a push over try against the head. With T Crowne converting and five minutes left to play the immense forward effort sealed a crucial away win for the Vees.
The Vees welcome league leaders HAC to Cotlandswick on January 15 and with an impressive away win will look to extend their five match winning streak and climb the table. The game is followed by a charity event on behalf of Dreams Come True and the club would like to welcome anyone who wishes to give to a good cause to attend what should be an entertaining evening.
Vees: Trojans, S Crowne, Bloomfield (John), Luckhurst (Luxford), Wildey, Matthews, Westhead, Coyle, Rees, Maile, Paton, T Crowne, Wooley, Choppin, Ricci. Rep not used: Waters.