Gazettes maul US Navy 42-28

PHUKET TOWN: The Phuket Gazettes rugby team once more overwhelmed the team from the American flotilla led by the USS Blue Ridge yesterday, at Surakhul Stadium, finishing with a scoreline of 42-28. They could not claim all the glory, however; a shortage of players meant the Gazettes had to borrow several men from the other side to make up their team. And the win was nowhere near as easy as the final score might indicate. The Gazettes had problems nailing Blue Ridge’s “bullet”, Chris Osborn, who was trouble from the start. He scored all of the visitors’ four tries by outrunning all 15 Gazettes whenever he laid his hands on the ball. Osborn’s first goal came in the third minute when he shook off the unwary defense to get a free run to the try line. His goal was countered by one in the eighth minute, when Jason DeCourcey made a similar run from mid-field for the Gazettes. Osborn made another touchdown in the fourth minute of the second quarter. Again, the Gazettes countered, this time through Lee Cockram, whose fitness proved a great asset to the team. The seemingly unstoppable Osborn put the sailors ahead again with yet another try five minutes before half-time. Better defending in the second half saw the Gazettes occupying the Blue Ridge’s end of the field most of the time, and Charlie Northfield took advantage of a scrum near the Blue Ridge’s goal line, in the fifth minute of the second half, to crash over the line and even the score again. Steve Wainwright, inspired by this effort, tried to take the Gazettes into the lead, but was stopped a meter from the line. But Arthur Gutierrez sneaked between the defense to put the Gazettes ahead. In the last quarter, Northfield, taking advantage of another lapse in the Blue Ridge defense, scored the fifth touchdown for the Gazettes. Refusing to give up, Osborn came back for Blue Ridge with his fourth try in the sixth minute of the last quarter. But that was as far as Blue Ridge could go. Gazettes veteran Steve Hatchett sealed the match result with a sixth and final try. Gazettes captain Patrick Cotter was delighted with the outcome: “What more can I say?” he asked. Man-of-the-match Osborn could only gasp that he was tired.

Phuket News

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