NAG 36 - GRFC 8
Gannets fail to impress
The day may have been lost before the first whistle had sounded, the extremely short gannets warmup consisted of only a couple of minutes of touch and 3 line outs.. this may have contributed to the following less than average performance.
The first 20 minutes were good, with solid forward play and good running in the backs. A penalty conceded by most of the NAG team being offside led to Dan Grant scoring the first 3 points of the day. This was almost immediately levelled by the opposition in a very similar manor with Gravesend giving an offside penalty away in front of the posts.
A good high restart was turned over in the NAG half, slippery conditions led to dropped balls from both sides, the GRFC scrum was as solid as ever, an unfortunate early injury to Bobjit had new guy Sean coming into the front row, there was also an early change in the back with Oliver coming on for Pete. A turnover in the scrum gave Gss a good opportunity to attack the line and with some good rucking and spreading the ball wide with Dan Grant crashing over to score, the windy conditions and lack of a kicking tee meant he didn't manage the conversion.
Here endeth the good bits... from this point in the match gravesend failed to retain the ball for any length of time and a missed tackle allowed NAG to get a score back levelling the match to 8-8. An unfortunate tackle off the ball (and what a tackle it was) by Martin Riley earned him 10 minutes on the sideline, with 14 players on the field NAG managed to find room around the outside to score in the last play of the first half.
Back to full numbers for the second half and bolstered by a good half time chat Gravesend had a good section of play for a couple of minutes, this turned out to be the only time they would spend on the NAG side of the pitch in the 2nd half. A questionable yellow card to Will Garland followed by an injury to the usually invincible Mayhem left Gss with only 13 players on the pitch this again gave NAG room to run and gave them more points.
A further head injury to John Sargent meant that uncontested scrums were required, which was Gravesends last solid attacking point against NAG, at some point (he doesn't remember when!!) Matt Abbot received a knock to the head, and worryingly was found wandering around the pitch asking questions about what happened after the game. Hopefully a speedy recovery will be had by all the injured parties so Gravesend can return to winning ways.
The final sore 36-8 is arguably the worst result from the league so far and the post match chat was not as buoyant as previous weeks. There will be a couple of players nursing sore heads this week, but an entire team nursing injured prides with Gravesends first genuine loss in the league, but don't worry they will be back!!