In a match played this past weekend [Jan 30], Teachers were the first to threaten as, after a couple of penalties, they worked the ball in the Police 22, however the Police defense managed to turn the ball over and some ill discipline from Teachers gave Police 3 successive penalties and the opportunity to work the ball deep into Teachers territory.
Initially Teachers defense held firm however Police were awarded the chance to open the scoring with a penalty almost in front of the posts, however the kick struck the upright earning Teachers what would turn out to be a brief reprieve.
Teachers failed to heed the warning and were ultimately punished as Police managed to steal the ball back from a scrum and a strong run from Darren Richardson saw them score the first points of the game, the conversion was missed but Police took the lead 5-0.
The intensity didn’t let up though as Teachers again benefitted from Police infringements to push the boys in blue deep into their own territory, this time they made no mistake with a catch and drive from a line out taking them to the brink of the Police line and some quick work from scrum half Ian Morrison saw him dot the ball down to level the scores, however the opportunity to take the lead was passed-up as the conversion was missed, this would be the last score of the half as the sides turned around at 5-5.
The pattern of play continued in the second half as both sides continued to struggle to break down opposition defenses, Police did make some half breaks but either the final pass didn’t go to hand or some good cover defense meant Police weren’t able to reach the try-line. In the end they did make the break through with a healthy slice of good fortune, with Teachers receiving an advantage following a Police knock-on, they attempted to chip the ball behind the Police defense, however the chip was charged down and Police broke quickly to firstly kick the ball through and then managed to get the ball wide to winger Neville Zuill who scored in the corner. Again the conversion was missed but the try would prove pivotal as they retook the lead, 10-5.
Teachers began pressing as they attempted to reduce their deficit however doing so led to mistakes and it was Police who scored next with a penalty putting them up 13-5, Teachers though would not surrender and managed to move back onto the offensive and were rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts which they duly dispatched to bring them back within 5 points. However in this nip and tuck game, with the Teachers defense perhaps starting to tire, it was Police who retook the initiative as they again moved into Teachers territory and after a Teachers infringement, managed to again extend their lead back to 8 points with a long range penalty by David Pringle.
With time running out Police adopted more of a defensive position and Teachers were able to regain the momentum and after being awarded a penalty some quick work by Dave Porter and Teachers were able to duly convert the penalty for what would be the final score of the game as Police held on for an important victory, winning 16-11.
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