Sep 18, 2016
Report: Storm back to winning ways in bonus point win
Saracens Storm recorded a bonus-point win over the Exeter Braves in a four-try 27-17 win at Allianz Park on Sunday afternoon.
Tries from Tom Whiteley, Rotimi Segun, Henry Taylor and Neil De Kock was enough to see off a strong Exeter Braves side in an entertaining afternoon of Aviva A League rugby in north London.
Outside half Tom Whiteley was influential throughout a breathless contest, with the Saracens Academy playmaker running in an intercept try and providing an excellent assist for wing Rotimi Segun’s 31st minute effort in the first half, and making a series of committed defensive interventions in the closing stages.
Usually an out-and-out scrumhalf, Whiteley has impressed in the Storm jersey with Academy fly-half Max Malins ruled out of action after picking up a shoulder injury in preseason.
The former Millfield student looked dangerous with ball in hand and combining with scrumhalf Henry Taylor, produced a series of clever kicks that looked to peg back the Braves.
Whiteley opened the scoring with third minute penalty after the Braves were penalised at the breakdown. From a central position the Storm No10 sent over the kick with ease.
The Braves enjoyed a strong opening to half despite falling behind, and really should have been in from after centre Tom Hendrickson broke but a poor pass didn’t find Max Bodilly in acres of space.
The visitors were beginning to find their rhythm only to fall behind to some cheeky opportunism from the influential Whiteley when he ran in from 40 metres to score an intercept try.
The Storm’s next score was from wing Rotimi Segun. The former Northampton Saints academy flyer ran onto a perfectly weighted Whiteley cross-field kick to dot the ball down.
The Braves responded with a try through skipper Jack Maunder as the side’s headed into the changing room with the hosts leading 13-10.
Henry Taylor provided his side with the perfect start to the second half, when he showed burning pace and intelligent support play to score just four minutes after the break. The try though was made by centre Tom Griffiths, who was impressive throughout the contest. The young centre showed real strength and determination to burst through the Braves midfield and was on hand to draw the covering defenders to feed the supporting Taylor who finished well. Whiteley added the extras.
Evergreen halfback Neil De Kock was introduced from the Storm bench to provide some nous and experience amongst the frenetic pace of the game, and he would be the next scorer. After chasing down Braves fly-half Will Hooley he charged his kick down, regathered and grounded the ball. Committed stuff from the veteran halfback.
The Braves crossed for try late on when replacement hooker Shaun Malton scored on the back of string driving maul, but the Storm hung on to record their first win of the 2016/17 season.
Full-Time Score: Saracens Storm 27 Exeter Chiefs 17
Saracens Storm: 15 Matt Gallagher; 14 George Perkins, 13 Tim Streather (c) (Alex Gliksten 25 min subbed: Neil De Kock 51 min), 12 Tom Griffiths, 11 Rotimi Segun; 10 Tom Whiteley, 9 Henry Taylor; 1 Richard Barrington (Ralph Adams-Hale 41 min subbed: Billy Walker 61 min), 2 Scott Spurling (Jared Saunders 54 min), 3 Titi Lamositele; 4 Mark Flanagan, 5 Nick Isiekwe; 6 Kelly Brown (Byron Hodge 51 min), 7 Ben Earl, 8 Samu Vunisa (Anthony Maka 25 min).
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Ralph Adams-Hale, 18 Billy Walker, 19 Byron Hodge, 20 Anthony Maka, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Adam Fielder, 23 Alex Gliksten.
Tries: Tom Whiteley (21’), Rotimi Segun (31’), Henry Taylor (44’), Neil De Kock (53’)
Penalties: Whiteley 1/2
Exeter Braves: 15 Ted Landry; 14 Matt Jess, 13 Pete Laverick, 12 Tom Hendrickson, 11 Max Bodilly; 10 Will Hooley
9 Jack Maunder (c); 1 Carl Rimmer, 2 Elvis Taione, 3 Moray Low; 4 Sean Lonsdale, 5 Sam Skinner, 6 Tom Johnson, 7 Ben White, 8 Kai Horstmann.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Marcus Street, 18 Elliott Roofe, 19 Dan Swain, 20 Tom Lawday
21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Richard Bright, 23 Mike Hains.