Bees backs break Tigers wide open

Sedgley Park 17 (1)
Birmingham and Solihull Bees 22 (4)

The Bees backs created wonderful tries which was a stunning achievement as their pack were unable to compete in the scrum.

The weather did not play the part that was expected by the forecasters on BBC TV. Conditions were a little sticky underfoot but overall a good set of playing conditions.

As @sedgetiger reports: "The game began on script as Tigers won the toss, played up hill and the Sedges pack camped in the Bees 22. It was all Sedgley Park with only one down side as centre Richard Wainwright went off after 6 minutes with serious shoulder ligament injury."

Earlier in the season, when we visited Harrogate, we commented on a trend that is creeping into National 2 rugby; that is taking the lifter out at the lineout. It is dangerous and cynical. Some would argue it is similar to the tip tackle. It was the Bees loose head prop forward Peter Koziot who was yellow carded for foul play taking the jumper out at the line out.

The Sedgley website commented that "the following penalty saw the Tigers pack dominate the Bees under powered scrum, for Matt Lamprey to go unopposed for Tigers first try on 12 minutes."

The first 25 minutes belonged to the Tigers but despite quality possession, the Tigers were unable to translate the pressure into points. Bees fly half Adam Canning stamped his class on the game from that stage of the game until the final whistle and with it a Man of the Match performance.

The loss of Wainwright in the centre was expertly exploited by Adam Canning, who picked a  brilliant reverse cross field kick against the direction of play to find the waiting winger Aquile Smith to catch and dot down in the corner for Bees first try of the game on 28 minutes.

The Bees grew in confidence from that point and used their line out effectively. The Bees halfbacks had identified another poor defensive Tigers back line and unleashed the Bees back line who completely outnumbered the Tigers. @sedgetiger analysed it as follows: "Tigers defence who were caught with a 5 on 4 attack, drifted to the wide man but a great inside line from Bees fullback Ian Briggs who ghosted through the defence and under the posts for Bees second try on 36 minutes."

Adam Canning kicked the conversion


Sedgley Park 8
Birmingham and Solihull Bees 12

The Tigers scrum was causing the Bees problems and it was Canning who was expected to deal with retreating possession and he did so with great skill. On 43 minutes it was his boot that kept the scoreboard ticking over with a sublime drop goal.

The Tigers scrum was not for turning and from the restart there were a succession of scrums that the Bees had no answer to and the Bees backs gave away clumsy penalties that Steve Collins kicked, on 50 and 52 minutes to close the game to one point.

A brief hail storm slowed the pace of the game but slowly but surely the Bees made their way forward, heading to Sedge's 22.

There was strong build up play from the Bees pack who trundled up on a mission into the Tigers 22. @sedgetiger reported, "A few pick and goes on the inside fringes had Tigers defence working round but once again clever ball against the direction of play saw Aquile Smith in at the narrow left hand corner for his second try and Bees third. An exceptional conversion by Adam Canning looked to have made this game safe."

Tigers were not giving up and were throwing their bodies over the gain line at every opportunity. The Bees were using the choke tackle very effectively to slow and thwart Tigers attacks.

Tigers did conclude the point scoring when Steve Collins kicked a penalty.

A well deserved victory for the Bees, their backs spotting misaligned Tigers defence and their half backs exploiting space. The Tigers never gave up and their scrum was immense. How the scrum penalty count was one a piece is a mystery!

Final score

Sedgley Park 17 (1)
Birmingham and Solihull Bees 22 (4)

Man of the Match: Adam Canning (fly half ) Birmingham and Solihull Bees
Match Official: Andrew Rawson
Attendance: 217

National League Rugby