Rosslyn Park 27 Esher 10
Richard Boyle’s try put the gloss on a commanding performance from Rosslyn Park’s forwards as they recorded a seventh straight win with victory over Esher.
— HiJackRugby (@HiJackRugby) November 15, 2014
A quiet first half at The Rock saw debutant Louis Grimoldby kick high-flying Rosslyn Park into a four point lead at the break despite Esher’s Cameron Gentle scoring the only try of the half.
After the break, Esher went temporarily down to 14 men and the away side fought admirably to score again, Ollie Richards with their second try of the game, which forced Park to up the tempo for the remainder of the match.
In response, tries from Boyle and Nev Edwards added to Grimoldby’s assured kicking giving the score line its commanding look and sending Rosslyn Park above Ealing in the National League 1 until the Trailfinders’ Saturday fixture.
The early exchanges between the two sides were broken down consistently by a combination of solid defensive work and a lack of backline creativity as attack after attack on either side resulted in penalties for the defending side.
It was not until the 16th minute that on-loan Quins fly-half Grimoldby opened the scoring with a straightforward penalty. The Park forwards began to rise to the challenge and showed their superiority dominating scrums, rucks and mauls.
Despite Park’s awakening, Esher were first to get over the line, flanker Gentles collecting a bouncing ball in his stride to break through the home defence and put his side 3-5 up as Ali Chisholm failed to convert the resulting kick.
Although the rugby was far from free-flowing at this point, Park stepped up their attacking game – the home side largely relying on their forward’s power to tire out the Esher defence through multiple phased attacks which resulted in a succession of penalties being awarded by referee Veryan Boscawen.
Having failed to capitalise on the pressure, Rosslyn Park took the decision to secure points in the form of penalty kicks and Grimoldby duly stepped up to give the home side a 9-5 half-time lead.
As a result of Park’s forwards continuing to dominate at the breakdown, the backline began to find space to attack and Grimoldby continued to kick accurately, putting his side 12-5 up.
Just four minutes after the restart Esher winger Andy Wright was left exposed and was shown a yellow card for tackling air-born full-back Edwards. Esher reacted best to going down to 14 men and centre Richards found a gap with a cute angled run to score an impressive try. Chisholm failed to convert again leaving the score 12-10.
Another penalty saw Park go 15-10 up before their pack got their just reward for their show of forward strength as Boyle piled over a number of bodies to score in the 66th minute, Grimoldby adding the points to extend the lead to 22-10.
The try gave the home side confidence and it took just a minute for Nev Edwards to run over again, showing his brilliant pace to leave the Esher defence in his wake and ensure a comfortable 27-10 victory with just over ten minutes to play.