Queens’ Go Joint Top With Downing Victory
Queens’ look to be title contenders after pulling off a shock result against Downing. Includes latest league table.
Downing 0 – 5 Queens’
Away from the hype of the historic John’s-Jesus showdown, Queens’ stayed joint top of the First Division by defeating Downing on Tuesday.
Their 5-0 victory saw them maintain their impressive start to the season, having now won all three games after promotion from Division Two last year.
Pre kick-off, the ref let out an audible “f*!ck yes” when he heard that scrums would be contested; Queens’ were short of their two first choice props but still managed to field a competitive front row.
The teams go head to head in a fully contested scrum.
Downing were dominant for most of the first half and gained good territory on at least six occasions when they drove mauls forward. However clever and accurate kicking (helped by a strong tail wind) from Mike Griffiths repeatedly got Queens’ out of trouble.
Downing had an early chance to put some points on the board with a penalty 20 yards out but mistakenly opted to run the ball.
Queens’ defended for the majority of the second half and Downing had the lion’s share of the possession. The home side put down roots in Queens’ 22 but failed to score a single point. They got over the line twice but both attempts were ruled to have been held up.
The away side’s try came from an error, as wing Rob Blencowe latched onto an interception and ran the length of the pitch to score.
Downing’s line outs were generally weak.
After the game, Queens’ Captain Matt Jones praised his team’s defensive work: “Downing’s pressure in our 22 was always equalised at the last minute by strong Queens’ defence, putting their bodies on the line. Downing dominated the possession and territory for much of the match, but in games like these, it takes one slight error to decide the fixture, and that’s what happened”.
Jones added: “I am immensely proud of my boys, many of them playing out of their usual position due to seven first team injuries, especially the front row.”
Jones finished his post match interview with this Jonathan Davis-esque bit of analysis. “I thought it was a sterling performance by both teams in the wet. Although expansive running rugby wasn’t there due to the conditions, both teams wore their hearts on their sleaves in a physical, gritty display characterised by big tackles, forward runners and strong scrums; exactly how rugby should be played.”
Next week joint league leaders Jesus take on Queens’ in crucial top of the table clash at home, whilst Trinity host John’s and Downing visit Magdalene.
Division One Table