Leaders Tows thrash Grove to set up crunch clash

Liam Wilkinson
Liam Wilkinson

League leaders Towcestrians face a crunch top-of-the-table and potential title-deciding clash at home to second-placed Salisbury this weekend after they made the perfect start to 2016 when running in 53 points without reply against Grove on Saturday.

Towcestrians director of rugby, Robbie George, had nothing but praise for his side’s application and commitment after calling them in for a gruelling New Year’s Day Training session in preparation for this league game away at Grove, who have always proved a tough test for the Tows

The tactics paid dividends as Tows proved way too much in conditions that can at best be described as dismal as they put the hosts under immediate pressure and following an infringement and penalty line-out, flanker Liam Wilkinson drove over for the first try.

Tows added a quick second when swift hands released Matt Yuill for a try converted by James Falvey before a mistake from Grove allowed Craig Holton to gather and run in a third to put Tows 19-0 ahead.

Tows were relentless and a second line-out drive from Wilkinson gave Tows the bonus-point with not even 30 minutes played, and the visitors weren’t done there as there was still time left for Scott Browne and Pepe Nanci to cross the whitewash before half-time for a 36-0 lead.

The second half was a little less one-sided and saw Grove show some spirit as they enjoyed their best spell of the game, pinning Tows back inside their own 22, but they weren’t able to take advantage.

With the game won, substitutions and positional changes disrupted Tows’ momentum, but with the backs always looking capable of scoring, good hands saw Yuill in for his second try and Falvey, who by now had moved to scrum half, convert a try of his own.

Sam Neale completed the scoring after popping over in the corner to round off an excellent performance and win.

All attention now turns to this Saturday’s crunch top-of-the-table clash as Salisbury visit Greens Norton Road. Tows sit three points clear of their Wiltshire rivals and know a win would give them breathing space at the top.

Elsewhere, Tows IIs beat Banbury IIs 58-0 while the Colts lost 28-13 at Bedford.