It was   with much  intrepidation  that  a  very  strong  Burnham  second  XV formed  up  at  the BASC playing  Fields on Saturday 08  Jan. Mother  nature had ensured by  some  erratic behaviour that rugby was  to  be  on hold  for  some considerable time, not  with standing a  very disappointing call  of  against  Minehead in December.

Skipper Matt Slater  had  every  right to  sound  off  in the  pre match briefing, we  also  were  able  to  welcome  on  board  our  new  Team  Manager Barry  Popham for  his  first  game  in  the  hot  seat. We wish  Barry  well and  hope  his  tenure is longer  than that of  the  recent  Liverpool FC manager.

Refreshed  by  the  team Talk the  squad  went  through  an intensive pre  game  session this  was  important, many  had  not  touched a rugby ball for  around 5  weeks,  add  to  that  the  festive  seasonal midrift  bulge it  was   appropriate  to focus on such a  work out.
The  impressive turnout made  team  selection a  challenge The  team  captain set  out  his  selection all  wanted  desperately  to  play  and  it  was  decided  to  exercise  the  entire  squad  throughout  the  game this  had  worked  before  and  it  was  felt this was  the  strategy  to  deploy against  an unsuspecting  Wellington  side who  were  by  now  warming up.
The  game  got  underway  Refereed  by  Mark  Watkins and  in  the  early  exchanges  it  was  apparent  that  this  Wellington side  were more  than up  to  the  mark they  exercised domination in  the  early  forward  play, and  were  very  well  drilled  in the  Lineout, this  with  a  couple  of  sharp  wingers and  a steady centre  made  this  side very  creditable  indeed.
It  was  clear  to  see  that  the  lay off had  not been kind  to  Burnham and  had  it  not  been  for  the  sharpness  of  the  home  side  backs  who  opened up  the  score line through Rob Lewis (1) Matt Love (2) Will Grant(2) Burnham  would not  have got  the  machinery  working  quite  so  well. Wellington in the  mean  time were  not  permitting  it  go  all  Burnhams  way, and  were mounting  attacks  in answer  to  Burnhams  scoring backs, simultaneously, this  coupled with  some  very  good  forward  play  was keeping  the  game  balanced.
It was  however  to  Burnham’s  advantage  as  the  team  begun  to  settle and  it was apparent  that  organisation, fitness and  supporting play  were beginning to  tell. A determined  run and  drive  by  Cain Harding  extended  the  score  line. Dave  Harris  was  as  ever  ready  with  the  boot  to  pile  the  points  pressure  on the  visitors Dave had  a  late  Xmas feast  himself  with  2  tries  and 4 conversions. With the  game  into  the  second  half  the  plan of sustaining the  impact by  substitutions   was  implemented  and  had  a  devastating effect  on the  visitors who  could  not  deal  with  the  raw  hunger  to  chase   and  play  brought on by  the  fresh  legs, further tries  were  scored  by  Henry  and  Matt Bonnel. This  brought  the  game  to  a  close  with  Burnham out right  winners 62 Points to 17.
Burnham  saw  some  new faces in the  form of Ben  and  Mike who  made  their  debut  in the  second  half, Dennis  Cogan’s  as every  stepped  into  the  front  row as a very  credible sub; a special  mention must  go  to  Dan Spellman who  is  currently  on leave  from OPTag training  prior  to  deployment  to  Afghanistan who  stepped in to  play  for  Wellington who  were  short  due  to  injury, it was  noticeable  the  impact  Dan had in the  back  row  once he taken  the  field. Dan  will  be  in  Burnham colours  next  week  for  sure.
Burnham  can  take  a lot  away  from  this  game, in certain stages  of  the  attack  they  were  very  good with  cohesion between forwards  and  backs working well, in other  areas  especially  in defence,  work  is  need  to  identify  positional  play and  awareness.
What is  very  positive and should  be  apparent  to  all, with  the  squad  that  turned  out  and  the  correct  attitude Somerset  3 is  no  place  for  this  Burnham  side.

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