Report by Rob Kershaw / Photography by David Cunningham
A resurgent Plymouth Albion thrashed Hull 45-5 at Brickfields to claim their fourth win of the season, and their third on the bounce.
With the threatened bad weather not making its scheduled appearance, the stage was set for the Ocean Citys finest to rain on the parade of their visitors from the Northeast. Albion came out of the blocks quickly, earning a scrum and a penalty in quick succession deep in the visitors territory.
From the latter, Jack Oulton tapped and went, playing an audacious kick across for the pocket battleship Kyle Speare, who was wiped out spectacularly in the air for a penalty try, and the opening score of the game.
The man from Bude added another shortly after, this time in a less extravagant manner, as he finished off a well worked overlap. The right-hand corner was proving popular for Damian Welch’s men, as Oulton was next in on the action driving over to make it 19-0 with less than 20 minutes on the clock.
Stunned by the strong start from their hosts, Hull started to get a toehold in the game and, after some dogged efforts in the Albion 22, pulled one back through Iosefo Turaga. The response didn’t last long as the Albion eight drove Jamie Salter over at the other end, with Tom Putt converting the extras. With the bonus point in the bag, Albion saw out the half very much in the ascendancy.
Half time Albion 26 – Hull 5
The second period got off to a stunning start when Salter muscled his way over for a second time, and Brickfields buzzed as the Ocean City side began to run rampant. Prior to the game, a lot of chat had been about the vaunted Hull forwards, but they were proving no match for the powerful Albion eight.
More dominant Albion possession and a sin bin for Hull’s Cam Curry followed before captain fantastic Herbie Stupple bulldozed over the last man and beat the covering defence to add another try to a terrific afternoon from the boys in white.
The returning Davy McGregor, back from his travels with the Classic Lions, almost finished off a very clever front of the lineout peel from 30 metres out just seconds after coming on but was denied by a fine tackle. Oulton completed the rout when he sprinted clear with minutes to spare, sealing a dominant performance for Albion and Jolly Jacks ‘Man of the Match’.
A sin bin for Frankie Nowell was a minor blemish on a wonderful day at the office.
Head Coach Damian Welsh added ‘It’s really pleasing to have 15 points in 3 games and it’s testament to the hard work of the boys that that’s the position we find ourselves in. The development of what is pretty much the same squad as we had last season has been great and I’m really proud of the group to be in the conversation around the top 6.
I’m in a really fortunate position as a coach where we have scored 45 points and I still feel we had several gears left to go through. The next stage in our development is getting comfortable with being favourites on some weeks which can be much harder to deal with than being underdogs, but the boys can be really proud of everything they have produced so far, it’s very promising’
The win keeps Albion sixth in National League One ahead of what is not a crucial visit to seventh placed Bishop’s Stortford next weekend. A win will split the league and allow Albion a real shot at the top 4 spots.
Ramaz Rukhadze, Jamie Salter, Dan Pullinger, Shek Sheriff, Jake Clemson, Angus Hodges, George Mills, Herbie Stupple, Jack Oulton, Tom Putt, Frankie Nowell, Jeremy To’a, Isaak Welch, Kyle Speare, Phil Jones
Davy McGregor, Harry Wilkinson, Dan Collier, Torin Clarke, Tom Davies
Loma Kivalu, Josh Hanlon, Ben Boothman, Cam Curry, Liam Regardsoe, Alex Todd, Will Hall, Duell Trueman, Iosefo Turaga, Ale Heard, Tomasi Tanumi, Jack Edwards, Reece Dean, Rob Watts
Mike Jobling, Sam Robson, Stephen Johnson, Joe Carlisle, Charles Rawlins