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Longton 1st XV 7 v 45 Worcester

Longton conceded four interception tries when in strong attacking positions in the opposition “22” which went along way in accounting for their heavy defeat to Worcester Wanderers by 45pts. to 7.

Playing into the wind Longton conceded a try after 90secs. when they dropped the ball in their own half, allowing Worcester to counter swiftly to score under the posts. The simple conversion made it 7- 0pts. This early score led to Worcester producing a period of attacks in the Longton “22” before a second try under the posts resulted, the conversion making it 14 – 0tps.

Longton were trying to play open rugby by moving the ball wide but made numerous handling  errors when in good field position and they were unable to capitalise. The next score came on 29mins. with the first of the interceptions as Longton tried to move the ball wide in their own “22”. The conversion from in front of the  posts was good  making the score 21 – 0pts.

Half-time was reached with no further scoring as Longton continued to produce numerous handling errors, including one when they were camped on the visitors’ line.

The second half was only 4mins. old when Worcester kicked a simple penalty from in front of the posts making it 24 – 0pts. The game in general was evenly balanced for te next 20mins. with Longton still making too many handling errors.

With 22mins gone Longton attacked the visitors’ line for 5mins. before another interception led to a length of the field run for another try. The conversion made it 31 – 0pts. There again followed several minutes of fairly even play before Scott Rawlings received a quick tap penalty and burst through several attempted tackles to score under the posts. The conversion was good making the score 31 – 7pts.

However, Worcester then scored an excellent try on 33mins. by switching play left after initially going right. The difficult conversion was good making it 38 – 7pts. With one minute of normal time remaining Longton made one final attack but another intercepted pass gifted Worcester another easy try, the conversion making the final score 45 – 7pts.

This was a game which saw Longton make enough handling errors and interceptions to largely bring about their own downfall. The lineout and scrum generally were secure, producing good clean possession. Worcester, on the other hand, showed excellent handling ability in their backs who were slick, accurate and pacey.

Next week Longton are at home to bottom club Malvern, a must win game although relegation now seems almost inevitable.

M. Wheat.

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