Newbury Blues 13 Royal Wootton Bassett 14
BLUES’ long unbeaten league record - and even longer run of home successes - was wrecked as league newcomers Bassett score a deserved in over a decidedly lacklustre home side at Monks Lane.
A poor first half performance was punished by the organised and more disciplined visitors, who led 11-3 at the break with an early try from Tim Gallimore and two penalties from David Hogg with Blues’ early reply coming from skipper Dan Thorne’s kick in a half fraught with home errors.
Blues fared better after the interval, but posed few threats, although Thorne missed two kickable penalties before Jon Clark was set up for a simple drop goal that gave Bassett an ultimately unassailable lead.
Blues finally put together a decisive phase that saw Jamie Futcher break through to score, but Thorne’s converison - his most difficult kick of the day - was the last of the game and served only to give Blues a losing bonus point on an afternoon when they deserved no more.
“We had an open and honest chat amongst ourselves,” said head coach Lee Goodall afterwards, “We were tactically outplayed and the first half was very, very poor.”