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Westcliff Rugby Club rocked by defeat and Smith injury
WESTCLIFF'S first team manager Rick Compton was left frustrated following his side’s 19-14 defeat to CS Rugby 1983.
Compton felt Westcliff deserved to take something from the game.
And his mood was also worsened by a serious cruciate ligament injury suffered by influential centre Rob Smith.
“Rob seems likely to be out for a sustained period and it’s a real blow because he hadn’t long been back from a two-year lay off,” said Compton.
“He’s suffered an AC joint injury which put paid to his contribution and it was a hugely frustrating day all round because we failed to secure the win we desperately wanted and that our efforts merited.”
Westcliff went in front inside the opening two minutes with a try from Seb Reynolds and Ben McKeith soon added a penalty to make it 8-0.
However, the visitors responded by putting together attacks of their own that were swift and incisive and put the home defence under immense pressure which eventually allowed them to score two well-worked tries.
One was touched down by winger James Houston and the other by their hooker Gino Corradio, who took a clever offload on the line from the Service runner who had been able to exploit the gap in the home defence left by the injured Smith, who was lying on the ground receiving treatment.
Nick Bard was called on to replace Smith and was very soon in the thick of the action, as he was to be for the rest of the afternoon.
As Westcliff attempted to reassert themselves and get back on the scoreboard they were frustrated when an attack broke down and CS attacked from deep, allowing winger Houston to cross for another score which gave the visitors a healthy 19-8 lead at half time.
At the start of the second half, Westcliff cut that advantage to 19-14 with two penalties from McKeith.
They continued to push forward in search of a win and twice came within inches of scoring a try which would have secured a hard-fought win.
Westcliff will now be looking to bounce back when they make their first ever visit to Guernsey this weekend.
Westcliff: Roberts, Redding, Binneman, Edwards, Barnett, Smith Jim, Dartnell, Cosgrove, Parmenter, Harvey, Dudman, R Smith, McKeith, Reynolds, Bannister.
Replacements: J Smith, Bard & Marsh.