Newcomers mauled by Catz

first_imgAFTER their defeat of traditional heavyweights St. Peter’s last week, Magdalen were reminded of how difficult achieving Division One survival will be for them by a Catz side who ran in four tries despite conditions that didn’t allow for much running rugby. Thanks to the previous week’s heavy rain this was the visitors’ first game of the season, and it was debutant Matt Perrins who stole the show, grounding two scores and putting in an impressive performance on the right wing.The result could have been much closer but for the boot of Magdalen outside-half Andy Barnes, who missed four penalty efforts at goal and over-shot the dead-ball line with kicks from hand on a number of occasions. The Catz back three were also, for the most part, able to deal with the huge up-and-unders that Barnes continued to launch into their half.With rain pouring down throughout it was bound to be a forward’s game, and it was St. Catherine’s who were able to dominate the early exchanges, driving back the home side’s scrum and forcing error after error. Catz weren’t able to turn territory into tries, however, and a panicky first fifteen minutes saw them commit as many mistakes as Magdalen.The deadlock was broken on twenty minutes, however, as Catz captain Sam Donaldson’s kick over the top was not dealt with, and the ball was shipped wide to Perrins who touched down under pressure in the corner. Despite the score going unconverted, Catz were now full of confidence, and it wasn’t long before their lead was extended. A five metre lineout was well claimed, and the visiting pack drove over for prop Nick Hargrave to claim his first try for the college. Another conversion miss followed, and the first period petered out with both sides unable to make anything happen in the midfield. Magdalen, with the slope behind them, began the second half the brighter, with their scrum seemingly invigorated by substitutions. The Catz defence held firm, however, with forwards and backs alike putting in brave hits. Barnes had chances to close the gap with his boot, but penalty after penalty sailed wide of the posts. The Manor Road outfit were rewarded for their defence as Magdalen tired, Donaldson taking advantage of a Peter Jones charge down to score under the posts before Perrins capped off a lovely move to finish with aplomb in the corner, sealing a well-earned win.last_img read more