Hartpury College RFC begin pre-season with stylish win

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The hosts dominated the early stages and opened the scoring on six minutes when lock Rob Fuller glided through a gap five metres out (pictured). Gareth Thompson added the extras.

Four minutes later, Thompson converted Tom Ailes’ try – which openside Mike Luxton created with a brilliant weaving run – to double Hartpury’s lead.

Will Tanner then barreled over from close-range for the Gloucestershire side’s third try as the College looked set to run riot, with Thompson’s conversion taking them past the 20-point mark after only 18 minutes.

Clifton gradually grew into the game and enjoyed some decent possession, but the Bristolians struggled to create scoring chances and Hartpury kept them at bay.

The home side extended their advantage less than three minutes into the second half as Steve Leonard stormed over against his former club, who seemed in trouble once again.

The match became gradually more disjointed as both teams rang the changes, although Clifton’s offloading game began to take shape and they offered a significant threat at times.

The National Two South outfit wasted their opportunities, however, and Alex O’Meara finished off a blistering move from a midfield scrum to record another Hartpury try.

Clifton finally got on the scoresheet on 73 minutes as Mike Cross finished a flowing counter-attack, only for O’Meara to bag his second from the kickoff.

But the visitors laughed last when hooker James Stephenson crossed following another swift counter.

Hartpury would like to thank Clifton for an excellent match and wish them well for the season.

Hartpury’s next pre-season friendly is away at Greene King IPA Championship side Plymouth Albion on Saturday 23rd August.

Hartpury scorers
Tries: O’Meara (2), Fuller, Ailes, Tanner, Leonard
Conversions: Thompson (3)

Hartpury squad
James Oakley; Alex O’Meara, Steve Leonard, Craig Jackson, Alex Brown; Gareth Thompson, Ben Ellis; Des Merrey, Will Tanner, Tim Brockett; Rory Bartle, Rob Fuller; Tom Ailes, Mike Luxton, Will Safe. Reps: Chris Fortey, Callum O’Connell, Mark Irish, Mike Flook, Wayne Thompson, Henry Harper, Kyle Frowen, Joe Dancer, Jonas Mikalcius, Harry Cochrane, Charlie Pask, Ruaridh McConnochie

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