Plymouth Too Strong For Travelling Park
A strong Plymouth side come out on top after tough contest at Brickfields.
DMPRFC did all they could to persevere down at Plymouth Albion RFC's Brickfields HQ, but the loss of scrum half Matt Dudman with illness on game day didn't help the cause.
The sin-binning of flanker Dave Fisher just prior to oranges and a proliferation of penalties against the visitors added to their woes and on a day when everything needed to go right in order to prevail, matters conspired against a high-flying DMPRFC squad, who couldn't overhaul the odds.
Having said those things, Plymouth Albion RFC certainly deserved their win to maintain their unbeaten record at home, which now stretches beyond this season.
Scoring 5 tries on the day, to DMPRFC's 3 tries in response demonstrated the home side's dominance of proceedings and dented the visitors hopes of hanging on to Coventry RFC's shirt-tails until the latter stages of the season.
A midfield error by the home side led to a kick ahead and a try after 12 minutes by DMPRFC prop Adam Brocklebank which put the visitors on the scoreboard and with fly half Warren Seals converting, perhaps DMPRFC were lucky to take the lead against the run of play. (0 - 7)
DMPRFC sought to underline their lead with a couple of searing breaks, only to be thwarted by some good defensive tackling from the home side.
Plymouth took some time to respond, partly due to some dogged 5-yard defence from a well drilled DMPRFC outfit, that were eventually breached just prior to oranges, when home winger Matt Croscombe's touched down, converted by fly half Skinner to level the scores. (7 - 7)
This score proved to be massively influential on the outcome of the game, as it galvanised the home side into pushing on in the second 40 minutes, but had a negative effect on a DMPRFC who had fought hard to keep them out.
Then came the FISHER sin-binning, just prior to the interval, which detrimentally added to DMPRFC's woes as he had done as much as most in defence to keep out his former team-mates.
Plymouth pressed the numerical advantage immediately and score within 3 minutes of the re-start, when centre Seta Raumakita crossed for an unconverted try. (12 - 7)
DMPRFC regained the lead with an individual try by centre Garry Law (12 - 12), converted by SEALS (12 - 14), but it seemed inevitable that this was a temporary situation.
Plymouth started their journey to victory with a catch and drive effort, finished off by lock Ed holmes, retaining possession and forced over by the pack. (17 - 12) and the conversion from Skinner (19 - 12), was added to 5 minutes later with an unconverted try by prop Jack Owett. (24 - 12)
Lock Holmes added his second as the game entered the last 5 minutes (29 - 12) and with the Skinner conversion (31 - 12), Plymouth looked home and dry. A Skinner penalty rubbed salt into the visitors wounds (34 - 12), before a late converted, consolation try for DMPRFC centre Ben Frankland (31 - 19), added some form of respectability.
It doesn't get any easier for DMPRFC, with the visit of league leaders Coventry RFC to the Northern Echo Arena, in the first meeting of the top two this season.
Photo Credit - Darren Hands