RUGBY: Devizes 17 Newbury Blues 11

3:00pm Tuesday 4th March 2014

DEVIZES bounced back from the previous week’s home defeat by Maidenhead to maintain their bid for a superb fourth-placed finish in their debut South West One East season.

The home side started well, dominating the scrum and Rory Brown kicked the second of two penalty attempts to give his side the lead skipper Tom Collins dummied his way over for his ninth try of the season and Brown landed the conversion.

Newbury fought back and got on the board when fly-half Richard West landed a penalty from 40 metres.

Brown had been receiving close attention from the visitors’ back row but, on the stroke of half time, a tackle by number eight Matt Maher was adjudged high and late and he was red-carded.

However, that merely buoyed the away side as Devizes struggled in the second period.

The injured Brown was forced off, Luke Rapson moving to fly-half and forcing a backline reshuffle Devizes dominated but were unable to capitalise and paid the price when West pounced on a loose pass and raced away, setting up the position from which Tom Martin ploughed over after intense pressure.

In the final quarter, Devizes thought they had scored through number eight Moses Navunisaravi and Chris Barter, but both were held up.

The visitors then grabbed the lead as Devizes offended and Jack Muggridge kicked them into a one-point lead with the penalty.

With five minutes to go, Devizes drove forward through the pack and prop Chris Lewis bundled his way over, Collins kicking the conversion.

But they were still left hanging on near the end as Newbury battered away.

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