RUGBY UNION: A PERFORMANCE full of passion and commitment was not enough for Rugby Welsh as they started the new year with a 31-8 defeat at Birmingham Civil Service in the Midlands 5 West (South) division.
The visitors came up against a well drilled and powerful Civil Service side who proved too strong in the second half and maintained their promotion challenge.
Welsh began confidently and shocked the home side with a marvellous try within the first five minutes. From first phase possession fly half James Buckland made a lovely midfield break linking with Adam Bond who then gave the scoring pass to fellow centre Jack Taylor who scored an unconverted try in the corner. Civil Service responded quickly and levelled the scores with an unconverted try and the rest of the half was evenly matched as the hosts became frustrated by their inability to control the game, giving away penalties when in attacking positions.
Welsh defended well but also looked to use their backs to create attacking opportunities of their own.
They re-took the lead with a penalty from Angus Wilson although the scores were level at half time with Civil Service kicking a penalty with the last kick of the half.
The second half saw the home side have the benefit of the slope and their half backs began to dominate the game with some excellent tactical kicking which left Welsh defending in their own 22 for long periods.
Civil Service began to control the forward battle with their powerful runners meaning Welsh had to put in numerous tackles.
To the Welsh sides credit they defended manfully for long periods with Andy Higham and Adam Bond at the heart of the action. Civil Service scored three second half tries one of which was converted and two long range penalties secured their deserved bonus point victory.
Despite the defeat there were plenty of positives to take against a very useful Civil Service outfit. The signs for the rest of the season are encouraging as there have been good numbers at training and key players have now recovered from their injuries.