Upminster RFC VS Bromley RFC

Upminster RFC VS Bromley RFC



Upminster RFC7Loss
Bromley RFC76Win
Read about the game

Upminster RFC VS Bromley RFC


Bromley travelled to Upminster for their first match in this year’s Papa John Cup. They did not know much about their opposition but Bromley have been in pretty decent form in recent months and although missing a number of regulars they turned up with a strong squad. It was an opportunity to give a number of the young and highly successful second team some first team game time such as Milne, Croft and Rushton plus others. Rowley would also have played but apparently picked up an injury during the week. Bromley had to play up the slope and into a biting cold wind blowing down the pitch in the first half.

From the kick off Bromley were straight at it and before yours truly had time to sharpen his pencil Rushton was in for an unconverted try in the right hand corner after two minutes. On six minutes Bromley turned over the ball and Rice was off and running. The ball was quickly recycled at the next breakdown and Croft charged over for another unconverted try. The next few minutes were a bit helter skelter with both sides struggling to get their passing game going and Bromley discovering that there was not much point in attempting tactical kicking as the ever increasing wind played all sorts of tricks with the ball. On thirteen minutes Upminster had control of the ball midfield and were looking threatening until Merchandani darted off his wing to intercept and he sped off under the posts and Griffiths added the extras. 17-0 to Bromley. This stirred the home side into action and they began to exert some pressure and after a few rumbles and charges, they forced their way over the line for a converted try. If they thought they were back in it they were in for a shock.

Although Bromley had scored three tries their rugby had not exactly been flowing and there had been lots of stoppages due to the ball being dropped or penalties conceded by both sides. In the twenty minutes before halftime Bromley began to play an exciting brand of fifteen man rugby with some lovely passages of play which the home side found very difficult to live with. On twenty minutes the forwards drove remorselessly upfield to set up a prime attacking position which Powell J and Hawkins exploited to free up the space for Rushton to express himself and score his second try. On twenty five minutes the away side were deep in their twenty two when they won the ball. Kick to touch-no- the same duo of Powell and Hawkins orchestrated a break out and when this broke down Powell T quickly released Merchandani who sped away. He was tackled short of the line but the blue scrum cap of Ansell appeared and tidied things up with another try which was converted.

Five minutes later Bromley constructed another fine move to release Merchandani in space. He drew the cover and released Griffiths who motored over the line and converted his own try. Three minutes later Hawkins made a strong break from full back to release Rice who was caught just short of the line but ace poacher James Powell was on hand to scoop up the loose ball and score and with the conversion Bromley were out of sight at 48-7. With the game effectively over Bromley emptied their bench to make sure that everybody got a significant amount of game time.

Whether this disrupted Bromley or Upminster increased their efforts was hard to determine as Bromley now had the wind and the slope in their favour but struggled to find any rhythm in the third quarter of the game and the home side had the better of the exchanges. They threatened to score on a number of occasions but Bromley’s defence was sharp and effective and they kept their line intact. Bromley’s new combinations began to settle and in the final twenty minutes, they ran riot. It all kicked off in the sixtieth minute when a clever lineout move produced quick ball which was whizzed along the backline to Hawkins who cut back inside at an alarming pace against any number of startled defenders to score under the posts converted by Milne. Fifteen minutes later Bromley again struck from deep with various players taking the ball on and with good handling Brown was on the receiving end of the final pass and surged over the line and again Milne converted.

Three minutes later Hawkins made another break and invited Merchandani to deliver the parcel over the line and Milne duly added the extras. On seventy eight minutes the backs produced a mesmerising passage of play with the ball moved quickly and defenders being bypassed at will. Griffiths scores plus conversion. In the last play, Ansell charged forward and delivered the scoring pass to someone – not sure who – as my pen and brain could not quite keep up which such a salvo of tries in a short space of time. So a final score of 76-7 to Bromley. Upminster never gave up and fought to the end but were simply outplayed and outgunned on the day. Bromley’s performance was not perfect but when they were in full flow they were a sight to behold. The senior players orchestrated proceedings and the young players were quick, fit and lacked nothing in physicality and skill.  Also congratulations to the fine referee from New Zealand who let the game flow and was empathetic to both sides. In the next round, Bromley are at home to East Grinstead on Saturday 27th April. Not sure of kick off time but this is a quarter final tie. The following day the second team will take on Dover Seconds in the final of the Kent Shield at Canterbury Rugby Club with a 3.30pm kick off. Massive weekend for both teams and the club. We wish all the players and their coaches the very best of luck in their respective cup competitions. Obviously support for the boys on both days would be highly appreciated as these are going to be two tough games.