An arm-wrestle is the only way to describe a game that almost went the other way, but Bucks pulled out an enthralling last ten minutes of joué rugby to bring home the bacon and lock in their third win of the season.
A long sixty minutes could easily be summarised in a few words – a tussle up and down the pitch - but we will save the character count for the last twenty minutes, which provides for some entertaining watching for those lucky enough to get their mitts on a copy of the archived footage.
At 58 minutes Saints, hot on the attack and on the Bucks 22m line, opted for an extravagant cross field kick travelling 40m across and 3m backward. The Saints winger was as reluctant to catch the ball as an expatriate trying durian as the imposing James Nielsen was ready to demolish him as soon as he got a hand on the ball. That’s what he did. The ball spilling to the ground, Bucks quickly pounced and Will Home streaked down the field, distributing what may perhaps be the pass of the season out the back door to the young, Jasper Blundell. At this time, the cameo game caller for the day - Boyd Shields - called in early “Ah yeah, we’re on here!”
Ranging down field, Jasper was reeled in and Bucks made another few yards before the stalwart clubman – Miles Peckham-Cooper – was viciously assaulted, according to the Bucks Legal Counsel, without carrying the ball. Not seen immediately by the visually impaired match officials, Saints pounced on the loose ball and pushed forward with some charging runs of their own, dotting down to open the scoring – only to be called back by the touchy, miraculously regaining his vision, for the attempted GBH on MPC.
From then on, Bucks took ownership of the game and dominated possession and territory. With fifteen left to play Liam Clews, leading with his debut Captaincy cap, turned the tide with a turnover at the breakdown. A clever box kick over the defense from Lee Woollard saw the Singaporean U18’s representative, Luca Mignot stream down the field. A swinging arm around the head resulted in the tackler getting a ticket to the sideline. Recovering from the high tackle, Luca took the quick tap and slung a kick of his own across field where Alex Simpson was lurking, snaffling up a bouncing ball before crossing the chalk for the first five pointer of the day.
With the momentum behind them, Bucks found another gear. Straight from the kick off, Jonny Carswell plastered the ball 60m down the pitch, pinning Saints deep in their own territory. A wayward clearance from Saints was cleaned up by Will Home and yet another peach of pass set the Bucks across the field. A smashing Grant Bourdon found himself on the end of the move and plastered his way through the defense, storming home from 30m to seal the game.
Well done lads.
Report by Nathan Hughes