Nelson leads L&Y victory charge
Lowestoft & Yarmouth 38 Braintree 22
L&Y notched their second five-point win of the season with a solid brand of continuity rugby in an exciting and good quality match against a young fit and eager Braintree team.
Braintree struck first then were overhauled by L&Y before making a temporary comeback and L&Y pulled away in the final quarter.
With Russ Chapman immediately working the blindside well, L&Y broke deep into the Braintree half from the outset through breaks involving Tyler Beales, Marc Thomas and Chris Howe.
As the home team kept up the pressure, Dave Tiueti missed an ambitious drop goal and Howe was almost released but for a forward pass. Against the run of play Braintree poached the first points after winning a turnover on their 22 and hacking long, the ball bounced cruelly for the covering Myles McAlone and Tom Castleton, and the Braintree winger Glen Whyatt pounced for an unconverted try.
L&Y won a free-kick just outside the Braintree 22, Adams charged forward, Russ Wilkinson and Tom Port cleaned out and Chapman, Tiueti and Thomas worked 17 year old Beales into the corner for his third score in two games.
Braintree kicker Joss Adams and Tiueti exchanged penalties then on the half hour L&Y pulled away after a sustained attack down the left, heavily involving Port, Thomas and Howe, came back right and McAlone was able to finish off some swift handling by Scott Nelson and Tiueti for L&Y to reach the break 13-8 ahead.
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Braintree were well organised and keen in defence but with Chapman and Nelson in particular making good use of the ball their forwards were producing, it was the home side looking much the more dangerous, and obvious cracks appeared in the visitors’ discipline as they gave away a number of penalties for backchat. Tiueti added another superb penalty from distance then missed a sitter a few minutes later after Braintree were marched back for dissent.
Matt Howell made some bruising charges off his wing all game, and helped set up position in the Braintree half.
Another dissent penalty marched the visitors back to within 10 metres and Nelson took full advantage by quickly tapping and plunging through for a third try converted by Tiueti.
L&Y were well in control and Howell was eventually given room to score the fourth bonus try on the left by another well-constructed attack.
Braintree showed their guts with a series of strong scrums and clawed back a second try from Whyatt after a powerful shove snatched a ball against the head and their no8 broke blind. Another lapse in defensive concentration allowed the winger to bag his hat-trick shortly afterwards and Joss Adams brought the visitors to within six points.
However, the Essex team were still having discipline problems and although Tiueti missed with a penalty, he was immediately given a second easier chance after more backchat. He took it gratefully, and L&Y finished with a flourish.
Port, handsomely earning the Man of the Match award, made a remarkable charge down the left, bouncing off the defenders, and when the ball recycled across the face of the posts, Nelson, himself having a huge influence on the game, bluffed the fanning defence and touched down for his second score.
Tiueti converted and L&Y easily saw off the remaining minutes for a fine win.
Captain and head coach, Scott Nelson, said: “When we get the ball in our hands we look dangerous, but we’ve still got work to do with concentration and organisation in defence. The best bit of today was the positive attitude and great teamwork. For a change it was the opposition who couldn’t control their discipline and we took full advantage with smiles on our faces. A really enjoyable game.”
Team: Howe, Powles, Stephenson, Port, Wilkinson, Fewkes, Adams, Thomas, Chapman, Nelson, Howell, Tiueti, McAlone, Beales, Castleton
Subs: Protheroe for Stephenson, Beer for Howell, Lewis Fox (unused)
Tries: Beales, McAlone, Nelson 2, Howell
Cons: Tiueti 2. Pens: Tiueti 3.