A STRONG south westerly combined with heavy rain made playing conditions extremely challenging at Launceston, the home of the Cornish All Blacks.

Both sides showed some good skills in the conditions and provided a very entertaining game with the young Lydney side managing the conditions much the better to run out deserved winners, writes Roger Pike.

The Severnsiders – still with numerous injury issues – saw them bring in a new signing from Gloucester Rugby with Tom Riman starting at centre.

In the pack, centre Joe McClean started at six to form a very mobile back row with Liam Downer and Luke Hudson.

On the bench were prop James Baylis, Olle Locke and Sam Arnott having to step in with Jordan Fowke withdrawing due to injury.

The game proved a tight affair, but the Severnsiders were always in control after taking their chances early on.

Despite a comeback from the hosts in the second half the visitors managed the game well and a further score saw them secure a good away victory.

The opening encounters remained even with both sides adjusting to the conditions, but the Severnsiders soon started to create some good field position.

With 10 minutes gone, a super run from the elusive Sami Hamid saw him tackled just inside the 22m area.

From the recycled ball, outside-half Brad Barnes cut through the defence to touch down under the posts, converting his own try for 0-7.

The Severnsiders continued to press with the forwards having the upper hand in the set pieces,

Jake Bonser was winning good lineout ball and they were solid in the scrum.

A good series of forward drives from Spencer and Downer saw Costner Lane cross only for the official to give a held-up decision.

Lydney were soon pressing again, a super break from Barnes offloads to Righton to cut through the defence, tackled short sees the forwards recycle and scrum half Tom Brody score.

Barnes had no issue with the conversion and the Severnsiders were 0-14 after 20 minutes.

The hosts, as expected, responded with a good period of possession and Ryan Westren crossed for their first score, Dan Pearce added the conversion, and they were back in the game at 7 – 14.

However, that was as good as it got for the home side as the Severnsiders continued to dominate.

On half-time a move saw numerous forward drives from the impressive Spencer, Walter and Hudson finally saw Rob White pick up and drive straight through the breakdown to score,

Barnes again added the extras to end the half 7 -21.

The hosts were out of the blocks at the restart with Lydney still looking like they were in the changing rooms as the All Blacks scored two quick tries through Brandon Rowley and Tom Sandercock which got them right back in the game at 19-21 with just 50 minutes gone.

With an injury to Broady, Sam Arnott came on as replacement and with his vast experience soon started to manage good field position for the Severnsiders keeping the hosts back in their own half.

The forwards were still winning good line-out ball and a good steal by Bonser saw the forwards once again drive deep into the 22m area.

With the visitors battering away, Arnott saw a gap and went clean trough to score,

Barnes kept his 100 per cent record with the extras and the Severnsiders were two scores clear at 19-28.

With 15 minutes left it was just a case of managing out the game –  however following good pressure from the hosts a solid Lydney defence unfortunately saw McClean yellow carded for a high tackle.

However, even with 14 the Severnsiders put in a super defensive shift for the remaining minutes with Downer, Walter and Hudson putting in some good hits forcing the hosts to resort to a penalty kick from Pearce to get them a losing point as the game ended 22 – 28.

Director of Rugby Sam Arnott said: “A super performance given the conditions.

“It’s never easy to come to Cornwall and get anything.

“Really pleased with the players’ efforts today, we managed the game well given the atrocious conditions.

“Every week we have to make changes with our huge injury list, but the incoming players are really stepping up.

“We looked dangerous on numerous occasions and could easily have scored more tries so overall very satisfied.

“We have a huge local derby next week against Drybrook at Regentsholme having beaten them away earlier in the season, so will now be challenging the team to go unbeaten in the three games we have before Christmas.

Lydney – Costner Lane, Rob White, Jack Spencer (c), Jake Bonser, James Walter, Joe McClean, Luke Hudson, Liam Downer, Tom Broady, Brad Barnes, Brad Dunn, Tom Riman, Jake Hanley, Sami Hamid, Alex Nelmes. Replacements: James Baylis, Olle Locke, Sam Arnott.