Rugby Union Jolly good show has Nuns on run

Coventry Telegraph - - RUGBY UNION - By JA­COB LEEKS Jack Jolly

NUNEATON fell to a third con­sec­u­tive loss with a heavy 11-56 de­feat to ri­vals Birm­ing­ham and Soli­hull Bees at Lib­erty Way.

For­mer Nuns’ scrum-half Jack Jolly was the main thorn in his old club’s side, cap­ping a man-of-the­match per­for­mance with a try and 21 points from the tee.

The hosts did hit back through Ar­ron Turner’s late try but they were made to pay for a first-half per­for­mance which de­liv­ered just two penal­ties, and a mis­fir­ing li­ne­out which saw them lose half of their own throw-ins.

But Nuneaton head coach Huw Thomas was quick to praise the league lead­ers for their per­for­mance.

“You look at the league ta­ble, and the fact they’ve won all nine games with seven bonus-points, so we were ex­pect­ing a good all-round per­for­mance from them, which they de­liv­ered,” he said.

“We didn’t per­form as well as we could do but full credit to Birm­ing­ham, they were a good side and they pun­ished us for it.”

Bees grabbed their first try within three min­utes when Jolly picked the ball from the base of a ruck to go over from close range, for a score which he also con­verted.

Jolly added the ex­tras again when an­other for­mer Nuneaton man, No.8 Um­raan Jad­wat, got on the back of a strong driv­ing li­ne­out to touch down.

The Bees cap­tain was kick­ing well and his two penal­ties ei­ther side of a Tyler Price ef­fort ex­tended the vis­i­tors’ lead.

Both sides then went down to 14 men when tem­pers flared into a scuf­fle, with Turner and Michael Stephens sin-binned by ref­eree Ben Mac­Na­mara.

Price dou­bled the hosts’ score with the sub­se­quent penalty.

But Nathan Til­s­ley scored Bees’ third try soon af­ter when he found a gap fol­low­ing a break from Jimmy Oliver and Jolly again up­graded. Max Rod­man then capped the vis­i­tors’ dom­i­nant first-half dis­play with the try bonus-point when he raced away to the left corner, and Jolly con­verted his fourth of the af­ter­noon.

Bees were con­tro­ver­sially de­nied two quick sec­ond-half scores when first JT Na­betelevu was judged to have gone into touch, and then Rod­man was found to have knocked the ball on.

But Jolly did ex­tend the away side’s lead when he kicked a sim­ple penalty on 53 min­utes af­ter Nuns were pe­nalised at their own scrum.

And they claimed their fifth try at the end of the third quar­ter when Na­betelevu fin­ished off some neat han­dling, with Jolly adding the ex­tras, be­fore Tawanda Chipadza went over in the corner for Bees’ sixth.

Turner claimed some pride back for Nuns when he rode two tack­les to score but it was too lit­tle too late as Kur­tis Payne scored from a driv­ing maul, and Jolly con­verted to put gloss on the score-line.

De­spite the heavy de­feat, Thomas did see some pos­i­tives for his side.

“It was frus­trat­ing so the boys are a bit down in there,” he said.

“But there were some pos­i­tives, al­beit nowhere near enough for what we’d have liked to have done.”

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