Christopher Wilson at Colchester Sports Park


The Bristol All Golds won the second period in a game of two halves, but the damage had been done as they trailed 32-0 at the break after a poor first half showing. Conceding six tries in the first 40 minutes, the All Golds were much improved after the break and unconverted tries from Ollie Winterbottom, Leon Atherton, and Dom Williams as well as a defensive effort that conceded just a single try allowed them to salvage something from a disappointing afternoon.


Bristol All Golds travelled to Colchester to face the Eastern Rhinos looking to put last weekend’s heavy defeat by Wests Warriors behind them. However, they were overrun in the first half as the Rhinos ran riot, crossing for six tries to lead 32-0 at the break.

Things improved after the change of ends and three good tries from the All Golds salvaged a little pride from the day, if not the win.

The game was well-refereed by Joe Foxon who manfully struggled through with an injured calf suffered when officiating in the curtain-raiser between the Rhinos’ A team and St Ives Roosters.

On a cold day with a strong wind blowing diagonally across the field, the All Golds started in a positive fashion as Ed Tait took the kick off and powered through the Rhinos’ defence on a 40-metre charge.

The Rhinos quickly regrouped and dominated the rest of the period as the All Golds were unable to build pressure thanks to a series of errors and penalties that earned the home side plenty of possession, mostly in good field position.

The Rhinos had powerful runners across the field and were well organised by their halfbacks and soon their dominance bore fruit.

They opened the scoring after three minutes. Seeing the All Golds’ defence missing on the short side on the last tackle, Dylan Burdoff went over for an easy try. Aidan Frensham was unable to master the wind and the score went unconverted. 

Seven minutes later, an error by the All Golds on the first tackle was punished by Tyler Bedford who went over in the corner for an unconverted score.

The All Golds spurned a couple of half chances before the Rhinos extended their lead. Repeat sets allowed them to build pressure and from an All Golds error, Robert Williams went over, close enough to the posts to allow Frensham an easy conversion, to make the score 14-0. 

The home side were now rampant and after having a try disallowed, Williams scored his second from the next set and immediately afterwards George Wood sped in down the touchline. With Frensham’s goals, the score was now 26-0 and the visitors were in danger of collapsing completely.

However, to their credit, they conceded just one more try in the final ten minutes of the half, Adam Cook putting Ethan Fowler over just before the break.

After a strongly-worded half-time talk, the All Golds emerged from the huddle for the second period with a renewed purpose.

That was immediately evident as Callum Merrett forced a goal-line dropout with the restart and Greg Hamilton crashed over out wide. However, he was ruled to have lost the ball while trying to ground it.

Five minutes later, Wood looked to have doused the fire as he muscled over for his second try to take the score to 36-0, but the All Golds had very much the better of the final quarter, scoring three well-taken tries.

With the game won, the Rhinos’ intensity dropped and they began to make errors, completing just one set in the last 20 minutes and giving the All Golds all five of the penalties they were awarded in the game.

With 18 minutes remaining, the All Golds finally earned a reward from some more purposeful and incisive play. A beautifully-worked scrum move put Ollie Winterbottom over out wide on the left for their first try of the day.

Five minutes later, a similar scrum move on the opposite flank saw Mike Holden produce a superb pass over the top to send Leon Atherton racing in from 30 metres out to cut the score to 36-8.

With the final play of the game, superb hands down the line gave Dom Williams just enough space to squeeze over in the corner. Fiach Millward was unable to improve any of the scores from difficult angles, but the All Golds had salvaged a bit of pride from the match. 

Despite the result, there are certainly positives around the All Golds at the moment. They will point to a matchday squad containing four teenagers, which bodes well for the future. The U14s and U16s programme is developing very quickly, with teams in action against Welsh opposition on a regular basis and the first team sit in fourth place in the table as we approach the halfway point of the campaign.

All Golds’ next game is in two weeks (15 June) at home to the side above them in the table, the London Chargers.




RHINOS: Daniel Harding; Harvey Clements, Tyler Bedford, George Wood, Dylan Burdorf; Aidan Frensham, Rory Butcher; Sam Bragoli Jones, Adam Cook, Max Edwards; Ethan Fowler, Robert Williams; Joseph Dakin. INTERCHANGE: George O’Connor, Yamikani Kamanga, Josh Borstel, Bayley Eden. 


Tries: Cook (3), Bedford (10), Williams (19, 29), Wood (32, 47) Fowler (37)

Goals: Frensham 4 from 7.

ALL GOLDS: Oliver Winterbottom; Leon Atherton, Sol Platt, Greg Hamilton, Dom Williams; Fiach Millward, Callum Merrett; Brandon Ball, Adam Turner, Ed Tait; Oghenetaga Rume-Tabiowo, Brandon Lamb (Capt.); Jack Uren; INTERCHANGE: Louis Birch, Harry Mills, Morgan Lewis, Mike Holden. (Travelling Reserve) Jack Bullen.


Tries: Winterbottom (62), Atherton (67), Williams (79)

Goals: Millward 0 from 3.

Scoring sequence: 4-0, 8-0, 14-0, 20-0, 26-0, 32-0, (HT), 36-0, 36-4, 36-8, 36-12, (FT)

Penalties: Rhinos 6-5 All Golds

Sin-Bin – none

Dismissal – Butcher (Rhinos) 79 min – Dissent

Referee: Joe Foxon (RFL)

All Golds Player of the Match: Ollie Winterbottom continued his improvement at full-back with some good carries, solid defence and a deserved try.