Rugby Union
Bees end Long wait for a victory

By Jamie Arrowsmith Wednesday 16 January 2013 Updated: 16/01 19:01

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Buy photos » Matt Long touches down for his second try of the season. Picture by Neil Tunney.

Birmingham and Solihull Bees 19 Sheffield Tigers 0

National Two North

BEES’ stalwart and Man of the Match Matt Long crashed over for the all important try during Saturday’s victory over Sheffield.

The first half was deciphered by the difference in discipline from the two sides. In previous weeks, Bees had been caught out at important stages of matches due to their lack of control and decision making. This week saw the complete opposite.

Bees had their backs against the wall in the early stages but after a couple of minutes of tremendous defence and discipline they won a penalty for the opposition joining a ruck off their feet. This showed a change from previous weeks and it looked like the home side were desperate to get a positive result to match their efforts.

Gradually Bees started to control possession and kicked well for territory when required to ensure they played most of the first 40 minutes in Tigers’ half.

With the help of a couple of handling errors from the visitors, Bees’ scrum started to dominate; in particular Matt Long, who was causing his opposite a torrid time. This increased the penalty count and the chance for Jack Jolly, to take the opportunity for three points.

Three out of three successful penalty kicks for the scrum half meant Bees led 9-0 at the break and they went further clear eight minutes after the restart as Jolly maintained his 100 per cent record.

The introduction of Henno Venter and Will Radburn helped manage the game throughout the remainder of the half, making sure discipline levels did not drop.

Bees were spending more and more time in Tigers’ half and whilst a home try was deserved, it was not obvious where it was going to come from.

When Tigers’ replacement prop Anthony Ross was sin-binned for killing the ball at the ruck on the five-metre line, Bees decided to take a scrum and good recycling allowed Long to throw himself over the whitewash to score his second try of the season. With Jolly receiving treatment, Chapman added the extra two points.

This was the Bees first win since November and should give them the confidence boost they need to kick on for the rest of the season. With Hull Ionians defeating Westoe 33-8, Bees moved eight points clear of the drop zone.

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