Casuals 55 Belper 3
By Lech Kluk
Casuals steam roller Belper despite early resistance
Belper might have come hoping for a slightly easier encounter than the last game, but with hat tricks for Maisonnet & Higgins, and 1 try apiece for Montarnal, O’Kane and Howatson, Casuals showed them a clean pair of heels.
With the bonus point in the bag before 1/2 time, Casuals played some champagne rugby in the 2nd half to leave Belper well behind, and possibly denting Belper’s promotion hopes. After being in contention with Ashfield in second spot, they have now fallen behind after this result.
Casuals can play out the league programme, with the title well and truly in the bag.
But they are not celebrating yet, work still to be done.
Still 4 games to go. Buxton next week, Mansfield, 13th April and Bakewell on the 27th April all away, with only Kesteven at home on the 6th of April, the last home game of the season.
Then 2 finals to contend with
With the memory still in their minds of the awful showing at Belper, Casuals were determined not to get caught napping again.
On a lovely day for rugby, and with an excellent surface, Casuals showed their true form, and why they have made such a success of the season.
Despite a number of changes, Casuals strength in depth came good.
HOME TEAM: Nottingham Casuals PTS 55 V AWAY TEAM: Belper PTS 3
TRIES SCORED: 9 to nil scored by Belper
4 minutes Kieran Maisonnet bursts through, dragging Belper players with him as he opens the scoring.
6 minutes Belper stage a mini comeback, kicking a penalty 5- 3
Belper playing well at this stage, and making Casuals work hard in defence.
20 minutes Higgins cuts through the middle to cross for the second try, which he converts 12 – 3
27 minutes Casuals were camped on Belper’s line, but poor handling gives Belper some relief
29 minutes, can’t hold out forever. Casuals penalty, followed by driven maul from lineout, and Amaury Montarnal emerges clutching the ball, after touchdown 31 minutes. Higgins converts 19-3
Debut 1st team try for Amaury, well done.
Casuals now taking control, and play mainly in Belper’s ½ .
Sustained period of open play, with Casuals showing their handling skills, some great backing up, until eventually Higgins takes a pass for a simple run, try and conversion 26 – 3 and the bonus point.
10 minutes in, and nobody can stop Maisonnet as he hurtles through, Clement Chardin providing the all important pass from a pick up, Higgins converts again 33- 3
11 minutes O’ Kane put away on the right wing, no-one can catch him, as he sears over the line. 38 - 3
24 minutes Maisonnet on the charge again from a lovely short pass and from even further out , (hat trick try) Belper give up on the chase, cos he is not going to be caught. 41 -3
30 minutes Yann Moysey intercepts a Belper pass, his break giving space for Higgins to run through for a converted try. 48 -3
And at the last, or at last!!!, Brodie Howatson given space to show his speed, racing through a massive gap to touch down for the 9th try, converted by Higgins, 55 -3.
Attack is the best form of defence, but Casuals showed that their defence has been a strength this season, wearing opponents down.
A great platform to work from, and when it's on song, this is the outcome.
That’s got the monkey off their backs.
The players a lot happier this time, and so they should be.
Hugely appreciative crowd.
Hat trick of wins for the club, 3 sides at home all winning.
Next week, Buxton away. It's not at Buxton Rugby club, but at Buxton F.C.'s 4G pitch in Buxton centre.
15 Daniel O'Connor #
14 NIALL O’KANE
13 Brodie Howatson
12 James Wood # now back from injury
11 Kristianas Jakuba
10 Yann Moysey
9 Mark Higgins
1 Amaury Montarnal #
2 Peter Underwood
3 Stephen Baraniak
4 Kieran Maisonnet
5 STUART WILLIAMS (Capt)
6 Graeme Roberts
7 CLEMENT CHARDIN #
8 CHRISTOPHER BROWNLIE #
# Did not play at Belper
16 alex hawkins - just back from injury
18 ANDREW CRIMMINS
Also n/a for this game
Matt Fox - injured since Tupton game
Henry Franklin n/a for this game, recovering from injury
Alex Brownlie n/a for this game
Manny Cammarata n/a for this game, recovering from surgery
Subs for the game at Belper
16. Mina Abdalla 17. Joe Barton 18. Callum Barry (not picked)
Quote from Belper website as advised by Casuals' players.
"Their match report would have you believe they were disappointed with their sub par performance, but that’s a load of bollocks".
Yup That's the truth
Disappointed. Relieved, even more so. Belper took the game to Casuals, but lost in the final minutes.
Comment: Casuals players even more determined after reading that, I was told.
Also, the revolving door of availability turns equally for most clubs, so Casuals results have been achieved despite injuries and sketchy player availability, due to holidays, shopping trips, golf & stag weekends, Internationals, cup finals etc, etc. Familiar??