Rugby Union Jolly good show has Nuns on run
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.”