Report by Chris Bentley / Photography by Nicholas James
The Plymouth Albion resurgence continued with a blowout 12-41 win against basement club Hull this weekend. Missing captain Herbie Stupple, facing one of the longest trips in domestic rugby and with patchy away form, this was very much a banana skin last season’s team would have slipped on, but the tide is turning for the Ocean City’s finest.
A four-try opening salvo in under twenty minutes dispelled any doubts and allowed coach Ryan Lamb to move his squad around as a further three tries secured the game. A bonus point win saw the team move back into fifth spot in the league and, with Rosslyn Park losing, started to make the top four a real prospect for the team.
Indeed, with 11 games to play and the teams placed above Albion in the league set to visit the Brickfields, the prospect of an impressive run is there for the squad which has already surpassed the points achieved in the league through the complete season.
After completing a two-stage 300+ mile journey to Hull it was a brace from Marine Setareki Raumakita in the first 5 minutes that got Albion going. Not to be outdone, the ‘Bude Spear’ Kyle Spear was quick to get another pair on the opposite wing. With a fair breeze and kicking from the corner, fly-half Phil Jones converted one, leaving Albion 0-22 up with 18 minutes played.
After such a strong start, the game lost a bit of shape and the hosts managed to score a breakaway try offering a feint glimmer of hope on the stroke of halftime.
Five minutes into the second half and a bulldozing run from Harry Wilkinson extinguished that and took the score to 7-29. The Wilkinson score was impressive but even more so was the work he and his front-row colleagues got through in the tight. The one shining beacon in Hulls season has been their powerful front row but Ramaz Rukhadze, Wilkinson and Redruth loanee Jess Tompsett had it all their own way.
With Dan Pullinger soon to return from injury Tompsett has proven to be a great addition to the squad and was rightly awarded man of the match. The Albion faithful in attendance would certainly be keen to see more of the granite tough prop next term! Equally impressive was the returning Jon Dawe who was industrious throughout and certainly brought an abrasive edge.
A sublime break from Jones led to the sixth try as he released Angus Hodges to sprint in unopposed and the game was capped with a try by captain for the day, Jack Oulton. Having battled manfully all afternoon, the final score belonged to Hull but the game by then was far gone as Albion took their third successive win and fifth in their last seven games.
Speaking after the match Head Coach, Ryan Lamb said “The boys did really well today. We got off to a great start but fair play to Hull, they kept fighting and put us under some pressure. The lads stuck to task really well and got a well-deserved victory to keep the momentum going ready for a big week against Bishops”
With Bishops Stortford three points behind Albion, the Brickfields game has a lot on the line. A win allows Albion to push for fourth and keeps the winning run going as the business end of the season approaches. A loss would open the door for the north London-based outfit.
2 GAMES 1 WEEK!
- Plymouth Albion XV v Royal Navy Rugby Union – Wednesday 22nd Feb, 7:30 PM K/O
- Plymouth Albion v Bishops Stortford – Saturday 25th Feb, 3 PM K/O