23rd Oct, 2019

Malvern boss hails ‘outstanding’ forwards

Malvern Editorial 4th Feb, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

DIRECTOR of rugby Dave Irish hailed his “outstanding” forwards after Malvern returned to winning ways with a 39-12 victory over Droitwich at Spring Lane.

The hosts’ pack dominated their opposite numbers and gave them momentum throughout the match, while their backs took their chances.

James Southall claimed a hat-trick, while Luke Milton and Rory Jones all crossed the whitewash as Malvern recorded an impressive win over their Worcestershire rivals, which delighted Irish.

“This was a tricky fixture for us,” Irish said. “Droitwich came to play rugby and we needed to be at our best to beat them.

“Our forwards were outstanding today showing a great mix of grit and discipline to give our backs plenty of ball.

“There was some great interplay between forwards and backs that was a pleasure to watch. We can now kick on and hopefully climb back up the league.”

Droitwich won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to play with the wind as they looked set their stall out to try and build a lead and then defend it.

However, Malvern also had a strong game plan and it seemed to be working as their forwards were bossing a big Droitwich pack who continually sent their big forwards into the Malvern defensive line, which held firm. It was a credit to the Malvern forwards that in the face of pressure they did not give any penalties away at the breakdown.

Following some good interplay between forwards and backs, stretching the Droitwich defence, Southall found some space behind the ruck and scampered over for a try under the posts, which Ben King converted.

The home side continued to put more width on the ball and this opened up another opportunity to increase their lead. Luke Milton was put through before ran in to give Malvern a commanding lead. King added the extras.

Droitwich got the final word in the opening period as they took advantage of a slip in the defensive line to score. But having defended against a strong wind the Malvern players were upbeat going into the second half.

The away side were fortunate not have a man off the pitch for a deliberate slap down when the Malvern backs had men over for what would surely have been a try. However, Ben King kicked the ensuing penalty to punish the misdemeanour.

George Roberts and Jordan Nwanchku, who had worked so hard in defence in the first half were now enjoying the benefits of playing with the wind at their backs, making telling inroads into Droitwich territory.

Soon after Southall found more space on the blindside to outpace the defence and score out wide. King was having a very good day with the boot and landed the conversion to the delight of the Spring Lane faithful.

Malvern forwards were enjoying this contest it was only a matter of time before more scores followed. And so it proved as Jones went over before Southall completed his hat-trick.

Droitwich scored a late consolation try, but this failed to take the gloss off a polished performance from Malvern.

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