25th Nov, 2017

Cook encouraged by solid Malvern display

Craig Gibbons 23rd Aug, 2017

MALVERN continued their fine pre-season form with a 39-19 victory at Nuneaton Seconds.

With more than half of the first XV squad missing due to holidays and other commitments, Saturday’s game gave director of rugby Rob Cook the prime opportunity to fully assess the depth of his squad.

With a very strong wind blowing into their faces, Malvern knew the first half would be a test of their resilience and game management skills.

Within two minutes, Cook, who was starting at fly-half, made an early mistake as a floated pass went straight into the hands of the Nuneaton centre who scored unopposed under the posts for a converted try.

This was Cook’s only mistake of the game as he showed his class in the way he ran the game and the confidence he gave to a squad with an average age of about 23.

Malvern responded with an afternoon of power, pace and passing.

The pre-season training was very much put into play with players committing the right numbers to rucks and mauls, always looking for the offload and overlap and enjoying their rugby.

A catch and drive from a line-out just inside the Nuneaton 22 resulted in a forwards try.

Free-kicks were taken as scrums and not once all game did the forwards take a backward step at scrum time.

Tries for Batty (2), Wood, Frazier, Potter, Bywater and Curtis were fair reward for a good day on the road.

After the game Cook said: “It was a good start and a solid performance.

“There is a lot of work still to do but week by week I am expecting performances to improve.”

On Saturday, Malvern entertain Cleobury at Malvern College.

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