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11

MAY

What Rugby Is All About - Daventry enjoy Italian fixture in the sun
Daventry 31 - Borgo Poncarale 17.
This was always going to be a memorable occasion given the long history between the two friendly clubs. Ex Daventry fly half, Giovanni Barboglio has acted as a catalyst forging a strong relationship between the All Blacks and his former club, Rugby Borgo Poncorale.
It was in 1996 that Borgo Poncarale 1st XV last made the trip to Daventry, and with the Italian club playing host to a number of Daventry players over the years, it was an occasion which has been long awaited.
On a yearly basis since Barboglio has returned to Italy, Borgo Poncarale have invited a number of Daventry players to compete in a testimonial match in his honour. Saturday was Daventry’s opportunity to repay the Italian hospitality.

Despite the soaring temperatures,plenty of intensity was on show and the Blacks produced some of their best rugby of the season. While the Italians were typically strong upfront especially in the lineout and the driving mauls.
Young second row Mark Hyde grabbed the first try of the game following some sustained pressure in the Italian twenty two, following some strong inroads into the Italian defence by Jason Cooper and centre Ricky Haynes .
A speculative kick from scrum half Gareth Dudgeon created another score for the Blacks soon after, with seemingly nothing on Dudgeon hung up a box kick which was allowed to bounce allowing winger Lee Collett to coast between the uprights. Bonjo Porcarale refused to lie down and the big hits continued to fly in. They were rewarded for their endeavour with a try in the corner.
Daventry failed to nail down their grip on the game at the start of the second half, allowing the Italians to build some fluency into their game. Despite plenty of substitutions being made the game kept its high tempo suiting the likes of Luke Jones whose strong running and ferocious defence lead to him being later announced Daventry's man of the match.
After a well taken score between the posts the Italians began to show what they were all about, after a lovely backs move from the base of a scrum the Italians stormed up the left flank and some delightful offloading and awareness of space nearly led to a try for the diminutive scrum half who was manfully hauled down by Luke Jones just a few yards short of the line.
It was then the turn of the Daventry substitutions to steel the show. Chris Mansell grabbed his first try after Luke Jones popped up a neat offload this was sandwiched by a well constructed rolling maul try from the Italians. Before Mansell combined with Dave Brown and Tony Goosen and crashed his way through a couple of tackles to complete the scoring.

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