Ipswich break the law
RUGBY UNION: Met Police 5 Ipswich 10. IPSWICH won another important league victory away from home on Saturday to ease the pressure and move into the second-half of the season sitting comfortably in mid table, However, the manor of their victory was disappointing.
Met Police 5 Ipswich 10
IPSWICH won another important league victory away from home on Saturday to ease the pressure and move into the second-half of the season sitting comfortably in mid table, However, the manor of their victory was disappointing.
Both sides played some good rugby in patches, and Met Police looked a far better side than the one beaten easily at Humber Doucy Lane earlier in the season. But it was an error-strewn match with little continuity to keep the crowd entertained on a bitterly cold afternoon.
Perhaps the conditions could account for some of the many dropped passes during the afternoon, but skill levels were poor, and neither side could maintain the ball long enough to threaten the defence.
Ipswich once again started brightly, and stretched the Met Police line with some excellent running in the threequarters, but overlaps were squandered, and Met Police managed to hold out with some desperate defence.
Ipswich did win penalties, and Hinds managed one of his two efforts to give Ipswich an early lead. This was by far the best period of the game, as the pack worked hard to clear rucks, and drive mauls.
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Met Police had hardly any ball during this period, but eventually they broke free of the Ipswich strangle hold, worked, their way into good position, and slipped the ball blind where they had the numbers to work the ball over the Ipswich line.
Perhaps this typified Ipswich's season. Too often they have dominated for long periods, but have failed to capitalise, then they have conceded soft tries, and have put themselves under pressure through unforced errors, of which there were many on Saturday.
Ipswich had the ability to get through the first line of defence, but they must learn to keep possession on these occasions, not throw loose passes which often found the thankful arms of the Met Police defenders, who were able to clear the danger.
Ipswich's cause was not helped by the early departure of scrum half Johnson, with a twisted ankle, which may keep him sidelined for a few weeks. Caley moved to scrum half, and played well, but the disruption did not help.
It was 20 minutes into the second-half before Ipswich finally took the lead. A penalty 40 metres out, saw Price take a quick tap, and he ran at the defence. Met Police killed the ball, conceding a penalty directly in front of the posts, but before captain Searle could get his hands on the ball, Rush took another quick tap, and drove over the line, much to the relief of his team mates.
John Searle put in a big tackle on his opposite number late in the match, and this probably saved a certain try.
It was nerve-racking stuff thereafter, as Ipswich once again made hard work for themselves, giving the ball away at crucial times, allowing the home side to keep them penned in their own half.
Nevertheless they will be delighted with this win, and will travel to Norwich next Saturday knowing that they have improvements to make if they are to record another away victory.