Super 14 for Belsize Park as leaders raid Bank of England
18:48 24 February 2014
The Belsize juggernaut kept on rolling towards promotion at the weekend as the league leaders triumphed 44-12 away at Bank of England to record their 14th victory in a row in Herts/Middlesex Division One.
Richard Wilson was one of seven different scorers for BP - and he also kicked three conversions and a penalty to notch 14 of the visitors’ 44 points.
The dry weather and wide pitch allowed Belsize to vary their game nicely, mixing powerful forward drives with some slick backs moves from the start.
The lack of wind meant there were plenty of line-out options, and Zach Webb found the excellent Sam Bennett with ease at the tail.
The Bank line-out didn’t function well but their spirited defence, combined with some ill-discipline from Belsize, meant the away team only scored two tries in the first half. A catch and drive put Sam Bennett over and Wilson carved through a wrong-footed back line to score under the posts.
The hosts then scored a try of their own, breaching the usually impregnable Belsize rearguard as an unfortunate slip allowed a winger to run in from the halfway line – but Wilson added a penalty with the last play of the first half to give Belsize a 15-7 lead at the interval.
Belsize had not turned their pressure into points, and they sought to change that in the second period.
Former skipper James Berry came off the bench and was excellent at tighthead - his first scrum saw the visitors crush their hosts and win a penalty.
The back line were finally getting the ball they had been desperate for in the previous games, and they showed their razor-sharp precision time and again to forge a healthy lead.
Centres Nick Lewis and Charlie Oakes, who combine guile and brute force, both touched down – and so did the rapid, elusive wingers Mark Liebling and Corey Nash.
The try of the day came from Seb Dunnett, who seemed to be inspired by his Scottish kinsmen’s heroics in Rome.
Belsize won a penalty 20 yards out and skipper Tom House instructed scrum-half Ben Parker to take a tap and feed the big, marauding pack of forwards who were ready to rumble forward like Sherman tanks.
Yet blindside Dunnett took a wider angle, unseen by the tired defence - and he was at full tilt when Parker turned the opposite way to feed the Scot, who ran straight through to score next to the posts.
No8 Freddie House said afterwards: “It’s a great pleasure playing with Seb, we all learn a lot from him - that was one hell of a try.”
Captain Tom House reflected: “I’m delighted with how the lads played. Not everything went our way initially, but we were pretty good at keeping calm, collected and patient.
“It was excellent to see the back three playing out of their skins, but they are like sunflowers really and are a sorry looking bunch unless the sun is shining.
“There are elements that we must work on this week but I know that the lads are desperate to get out there against Verulamians next Saturday and make it 15 wins in a row.”
Jonny Jones, who skippered the side before being injured earlier in the campaign, enjoyed the display on the touch-line and commented: “It was great to see the team cashing in against Bank of England!”