Late missed conversion costs Pulborough on ‘frustrating’ day at Vigo

Frazer Oliphant-Hope converts. Pulborough v Heathfield and Waldron. Picture by SUS-180314-160539001
Frazer Oliphant-Hope converts. Pulborough v Heathfield and Waldron. Picture by SUS-180314-160539001

Pulborough head coach Clayton Saunders lamanted a frustrating afternoon as they suffered a narrow 20-19 defeat away to Vigo in London 3 South East.

Captain Frazer Oliphant-Hope missed a match-winning conversion attempt with just three minutes to play for what would have handed Borough their fourth league win from five matches.

Instead they suffered their second loss of the campaign to the Gravesend-based club and were left to ponder what could have been.

Saunders felt they should have opted to take earlier penalty opportunities at goal in the second half and was left questioning the decision-making of his side.

He said: “It was clearly a very frustrating day.

“It was frustrating from a coaching point of view, simply because we had spent all week working on our structure.

“Which was perfect for all of ten minutes. But as soon as Vigo got the lead, it disappeared.

“Everyone was trying to win the game on their own. And then when three points were on offer, no one had the maturity to take them.

“Had we of taken the three points, the conversion would not have been necessary, and the score would have read 20-22 to Pulborough.”

Pulborough took the lead in the contest through a lovely line by Brad Game after good work by scrum-half Ciaran Keating, which Oliphant-Hope converted for a 7-0 lead.

Vigo then hit back to score a converted try and a penalty for a 10-7 half-time lead.

Another penalty saw the host extened their lead to 13-7 after the restart, before a Harry Short try again converted Oliphant-Hope put Pulborough back into a narrow 14-13 lead.

But a defensive lapse saw Vigo put down another soft try and take a 20-14 advantage.

Pulborough then had a couple of penalty opportunities for three points, which they opted not to take, instead looking for the match-winning try.

They did touch in the 77th minute through Luke Kilford, who scored in the wide right corner, but the conversion attempt sailed wide.

Saunders added: “No game this weekend, so we’ll go back to basics, and prepare for the next run, which is three games. Two of which are away.”

Pulbororugh: Falk, Gue, Dick, Williams, Baldwin, Goring, Serna, Short, Keating, Oliphant-Hope, Ryan, Game, Callaway, Beesley, Kilford, Baxter, Lee, Miller.