Argaum Lay Platform For Success
By Richard Belli
A disciplined performance from the Wanderers at Sandy Park to bring back a well-deserved victory.
This fixture was arranged at relatively short notice and both sides were depleted as a result of availability and calls to respective 1st XV fixtures in the Cornwall & Devon League. However that was where the similarities ended, at least in the way that the two sides approached the game. By the time all of the home side's players had arrived and wandered on to the pitch, the visitors (albeit a bare 15) had already run through a full set of warm-up drills and looked like a team with a purpose. Paul Brown's men had set the tone for the afternoon.
The match took place on the main pitch in front of the clubhouse, possibly the first time an Argaum side has played on it; it had been out of bounds for a number of years due to drainage issues. From the outset Tavistock showed they had some decent attacking players in their ranks but the Wanderer's defence was resolute from the off and good work at the breakdown resulted in turnover ball which quickly brought Argaum into the game. Dan Bolt guested for Tavistock for the first 5 mins (remarkably not injuring any Argaum players in that period) until the last of the Tavvy players arrived and both teams were at full complement.
The Wanderer's pack, with a very solid front five, established early control at the scrummage which was to lay a great platform for half-backs Ben Glanfield and Dan Sargent to run the game. It wasn't long before that control resulted in a chance for Callum Mills to run in for the opening score which Sargent converted. Soon after the restart the visitors were back down in the red zone and after further pressure Dan Sargent's inside pass wrong-footed the home defence to put Jamie Venner in under the posts. The elements intervened for what should have been a straight forward conversion when the wind blew the ball off Sargent's tee as he started his run up.
A storming run from Jamie Venner caused more headaches for the Moorlanders defence who eventually conceded a penalty, but Sargent's 30m effort drifted wide. Argaum were soon on the offensive again with a creative backline move but the final pass was spilled. However the resulting scrum was won against the head and Ben Glanfield was able to put Sargent over for a try out wide. Tavvy came back into the game and looked quite dangerous at times but an almost certain try was prevented by a fine Matt B tackle in the corner to leave the score 17-nil at the interval.
Spurred on by a decent home support it was perhaps inevitable that Tavistock would come back into the game in the second period. Enjoying some more possession they came close but the left winger was bundled into touch once again, this time only a metre short. Eventually their reward came when a good counter attack resulted in the left winger finally crossing the whitewash after spinning out of the last tackle. What was notable about Argaum during this period was that they didn't panic; they kept their shape and discipline and a steady flow of positive communication.
This brought it's rewards as the game became more fractured and space started to open up for both sides. Once again it was a solid scrum which provided the basis for the back row to make inroads and the backs to finish off the move with centre Ben Venner running in for his first try for the club. Sargent converted the try and then shortly afterwards had a penalty attempt from the tee. His chipped effort held up in the wind short of the posts and remarkably he was able to gather the ball to set up another attack. Eventually the ball was spread wide to the right and Callum Mills crossed for his second try of the afternoon. This was the end of the scoring with the referee blowing for time shortly; the game being reduced to 30 mins each way to accommodate the viewing of the Rugby World Cup Semi Final.
All in all Argaum can be very pleased with their afternoon's work, although the platform has undoubtedly been laid on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The quality and consistency of the training through the club is showing not only in the way the basic skills are being executed but a common understanding of the game plan. It was noted after the game that a few seasons back the Argaum Chiefs had shipped 70 odd points to Tavvy seconds so this afternoon was another illustration of how far the club has progressed since that time.