Rye hit back for long-overdue win

John Smith scored Rye's final try and was their man of the match against Crowborough II.
John Smith scored Rye's final try and was their man of the match against Crowborough II.

Rye Rugby Club savoured the sweet taste of victory for only the third time in a contested game this season last weekend.

The New Roaders overturned a 7-5 half time deficit to win 19-7 at home to Crowborough II in Sussex Division Two, scoring three tries in total.

Gregg Phillips went over for Rye's second try in last weekend's 19-7 victory at New Road.

Gregg Phillips went over for Rye's second try in last weekend's 19-7 victory at New Road.

Rye began the match pretty well. A period of control and dominance led to several promising attacks which came to nothing, but eventually the pressure told with a try after half-an-hour.

After some good passing and offloading, Liam Booth cut a fantastic reverse line and hit a hole that had opened up in the Crowborough defence before scoring wide on the left.

Rye then went off the boil, though, and Crowborough started to get control of the ball. Just before the break Crowborough pulled Rye’s defence out of shape and scored a converted try under the posts to lead 7-5 at half time.

Rye remained positive, however, knowing they just needed to be more accurate with their finishing during the second period.

Although Crowborough fought valiantly throughout, Rye controlled the ball for much of the second half and scored two converted tries to secure victory.

The first of them was not dissimilar to the one Booth scored earlier on. After a couple of good line breaks and with the ball being recycled quickly, Gregg Phillips exploded through the midfield and scored under the posts.

Rye lost a bit of focus at times, but always managed to recover. Although they looked in command, you felt they needed another try to put the result beyond doubt.

It duly came through the arch poacher John Smith. Despite some good Crowborough defence, Smith collected the ball around the breakdown and touched it down against the base of the post.

Smith, in fact, was man of the match, although scrum-half Alex Turner also had an outstanding game. Honorable mentions are also due for senior figures Dave Smith and Andy Brown, who both put in a solid shift.

Rye coach Jeremy Nobbs said: “The front row all fought really hard and the whole pack played very well. If we can get the backs crisper and back to their old form, with the type of ball the forwards are producing, we will score tries.”

Rye are without a fixture this weekend and will resume their league campaign with a trip to leaders East Grinstead next Saturday (January 28).

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