Tribute Gloucester Premier

Ross-on-Wye RFC 17 Cheltenham Saracens 26

A FATHER and son turned out for their rugby team as they played their first game of the new year, reports IAN PHILLIPS.

Ross RFC played their first game since before Christmas, with Covid playing a part in postponements within the rugby in general, with teams having options to postpone if they so wished.

And pushing together in the pack were debutant 18-year-old Ethan Rees on the flank and his dad Ali in the second row.

Ross started brightly, but Saracens started to take control of the game mid-way through the first half, using the space out wide to score thanks to their winger who had some sort of gas.

Captain Chris Price got Ross on the score sheet, forcing his way over and Thai Hayward’s attempt at a conversion was narrowly wide as the hosts trailed 26-5 at the break.

The hosts’ heads could have dropped, but to their credit, they never gave up and found themselves well on top in the second half and looking to grab themselves some bonus points.

Decisions were starting to go their way and Cheltenham started to panic.

Price scored again out wide and Hayward’s kick was perfect to make it 26-12.

Then came a score from flanker Gavin Oates who was a thorn in Cheltenham’s side all match to cut the deficit to nine points.

And in the dying seconds Ross had a choice to kick to the corner and look to go over the line to give them a bonus point for four tries plus a point for being within seven points of a losing score.

But they went for a penalty conversion to give them at least one point, and from near the halfway line, Hayward’s kick skimmed the upright and just missed.

It was a spirited performance from Ross with noted performances from veteran Gavin Oates and young 18-year-old full-back Ben Hayes.

In fact, Ben was one of three 18-year-olds in action, including prop Alfie Griffiths as well as Ethan.

This Saturday afternoon (January 29), Ross RFC host Clifton 2nds.