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1st XV - Match centre

St. Francis
St. Jacques Vikings
Unknown
Tries
D Bellingham (2), M Smith, B Paul, A Myers, T Creed, T Ritchie-Bandy
Conversions
L Collenette (3)
Sat 2 Mar 15:00 - Sussex RFU Senior Leagues - SUSSEX DIVISION TWO - 'ARMADA ALE' Full time

Vikings beat St Francis to set up league decider this weekend

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St Jacques Vikings secured a good 5-41 away victory over St Francis on Saturday ahead of their critical final league match of the season this Saturday against Barns Green.

It was a very physical and lively affair with the hosts seemingly particularly up for the match from the very first whistle. At times tempers boiled over and by the final whistle the referee had handed out in total two yellow cards and then a red card against Vikings Tom Creed.

Ray Smart was short of backs for the match with injuries and unavailability mounting up, however the situation was worsened when centre Connor Sullivan was forced to pull out of the fixture through injury before the plane had even departed Guernsey. With no backs substitutes available prop Nico Ashplant who had played at centre in his youth days stepped up and did tremendously well with all things considered.

The Vikings were dominant in the early stages and scored three quick tries. They have recently acquired the services of several former Raiders in Dave Harvey, Darrin Bellingham and Dave McGall who have brought vital experience to what is otherwise a fairly young side.

One of these new additions Darrin Bellingham scored the first try from a driving lineout that started 10 metres out, the back-row collected the ball at the back of the maul and remained strong until the Vikings were over the line. Mitch Smith then got in on the act with his own try from close range before Bellingham scored his second try of the match. The Vikings now had a 17-point lead and were in total control and looked likely to pull away even further.

The visitors were finding themselves defending for long periods and when the hosts had the ball they looked dangerous in spells, particularly when their big inside-centre had the ball in his hands. St Francis did struggle to utilise this pressure to good effect though and although the Vikings were a little passive with their line-speed they defended generally very well.

St Francis did eventually score their only points of the game with a well taken try by their right winger. He collected the ball just inside the 22 and ran a good line to evade the Vikings defence to score an unconverted try.

Vikings Tor Ritchie-Bandy who had just come on to the wing from the bench quickly found himself on the wrong side of the referee, after he failed to roll away inside his 22. The referee adjudged his actions impeded a potential try scoring opportunity for St Francis and he was yellow carded. From the resulting penalty St Francis opted to kick at goal but their effort struck the upright post and the Vikings kicked clear.

With Matt Lomas currently playing for Raiders young Leon Collenette has been deputising excellently, and he produce a very assured performance on Saturday. He martialled his forwards well around the pitch and distributed the ball superbly, whilst also utilising his kicking options to keep the pressure on St Francis all game. Tom Veillard who is currently based in the UK whilst at university partnered Collenette at half-back, and he also played exceptionally well giving consistent fast ball to his colleague at first receiver which helped ignite the Vikings attack.

Barney Paul scored next for the Vikings to extend the lead before his fellow front-row colleague Alan Myers also scored to take the game well outside St Francis reach. The hosts then had their own player sent to the sin bin after their scrum-half became visibly aggressive towards James Mroch off the ball, the Vikings player did not react and the referee blew for a penalty and issued the yellow card.

The game began to open up in the second half as both teams tired, and the Vikings utilised this to great effect. Fullback Joe Le Roux and his two fellow wingers James Strang and Cameron Le Prevost were now getting the ball in their hands with plenty of space to run at. All three of them performed tremendously well although they did not themselves get on the scoresheet, with Le Roux picking up the man-of-the-match award at fulltime. For Strang it was his first competitive game having got back into playing rugby after a break since his youth years through the early stages of the Rabeys 10's competition, and pleasingly for the on-watching Ray Smart and Matt Chammings he showed the huge potential.

Tom Creed and Tor Ritchie-Bandy scored the final two tries for the Vikings before Creed was involved in an accidental tip tackle which resulted in a St Francis player falling head first onto the ground. The referee who had a very good game had no other option then to red card the second-row, but was quick to point out to both teams the offence was accidental. The St Francis player had to be helped from the field before the game finished off with several sustained St Francis attacks before the Vikings eventually turned the ball over and kicked the ball into touch to bring an end to the game.

The Vikings now move onto a must win title decider this Saturday at Footes Lane against second placed Barns Green who have still only lost to the Vikings this season. Kick off is 4.00pm after the Raiders vs Old Redcliffians.

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – March: Minehead Barbarians RFC

Joe Le Roux

Player of the Match

Joe Le Roux

Key moments

3:00
Try Darrin Bellingham scores for St. Jacques Vikings
4:00
Conversion Leon Collenette kicks a conversion for St. Jacques Vikings
8:00
Try Mitchell Smith scores for St. Jacques Vikings
9:00
Conversion Leon Collenette kicks a conversion for St. Jacques Vikings
14:00
Try Darrin Bellingham scores for St. Jacques Vikings
15:00
Conversion Leon Collenette kicks a conversion for St. Jacques Vikings
25:00
Try Barney Paul scores for St. Jacques Vikings
30:00
Try Try for St. Francis
50:00
Try Alan Myers scores for St. Jacques Vikings
60:00
Try Tom Creed scores for St. Jacques Vikings
70:00
Try Tor Ritchie-Bandy scores for St. Jacques Vikings

Highlights

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80:00 Player of the Match
Joe Le Roux is awarded player of the match for St. Jacques Vikings
75:00 Red Card
Tom Creed is sent off for St. Jacques Vikings
70:00 Try 5 - 41
Tor Ritchie-Bandy scores for St. Jacques Vikings
60:00 Try 5 - 36
Tom Creed scores for St. Jacques Vikings
60:00 Yellow Card
Yellow card for St. Francis
50:00 Try 5 - 31
Alan Myers scores for St. Jacques Vikings
End of period 1
30:00 Try 5 - 26
Try for St. Francis
25:00 Try 0 - 26
Barney Paul scores for St. Jacques Vikings
22:00 Yellow Card
Tor Ritchie-Bandy is yellow carded for St. Jacques Vikings
15:00 Conversion 0 - 21
Leon Collenette kicks a conversion for St. Jacques Vikings
14:00 Try 0 - 19
Darrin Bellingham scores for St. Jacques Vikings
9:00 Conversion 0 - 14
Leon Collenette kicks a conversion for St. Jacques Vikings
8:00 Try 0 - 12
Mitchell Smith scores for St. Jacques Vikings
4:00 Conversion 0 - 7
Leon Collenette kicks a conversion for St. Jacques Vikings
3:00 Try 0 - 5
Darrin Bellingham scores for St. Jacques Vikings
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • St. Francis
  • St. Jacques Vikings
  • 0
  • Darrin Bellingham Try 3:00'
  • Leon Collenette Conversion 4:00'
  • Mitchell Smith Try 8:00'
  • Leon Collenette Conversion 9:00'
  • Darrin Bellingham Try 14:00'
  • Leon Collenette Conversion 15:00'
  • Tor Ritchie-Bandy Yellow Card 22:00'
  • Barney Paul Try 25:00'
  • Try 30:00'
  • Alan Myers Try 50:00'
  • Tom Creed Try 60:00'
  • Yellow Card 60:00'
  • Tor Ritchie-Bandy Try 70:00'
  • Tom Creed Red Card 75:00'

Team selection

Le Roux, Joe Le Roux, Joe
Le Prevost, Cam Le Prevost, Cam
Cahill, Cashel Cahill, Cashel
Ashplant, Nico Ashplant, Nico
Strang, James Strang, James
Collenette, Leon Collenette, Leon
Veillard, Tom Veillard, Tom
Smith, Jacob Smith, Jacob
Smith, Mitchell Smith, Mitchell
Bellingham, Darrin Bellingham, Darrin
Harvey, Dave Harvey, Dave
Creed, Tom Creed, Tom
Anderson, David Anderson, David
Mroch , James Mroch , James
Paul, Barney Paul, Barney

League round up

Other SUSSEX DIVISION TWO - 'ARMADA ALE' results

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. St. Jacques Vikings 18 77
2. Barns Green 18 69
3. St. Francis 17 44
4. Shoreham 16 42
5. Midhurst 19 41
6. Newick 15 24
7. Holbrook 14 23

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