Depleted Swindon grind out win

This Is Wiltshire: Adam Westall in possession for Swindon Adam Westall in possession for Swindon

SWINDON held firm to earn a 35-31 away win at Cheltenham despite going into the contest missing their entire first-choice back row.

Charlie Hulbert scored two while Dave Cox and Steve Price added tries in addition to 15 points from Adam Westall, but despite Swindon twice holding 10-point leads the home side bit back on a number of occasions.

Leading try scorer Tom Mannion was missing for Swindon, as were flankers Dan McCarthy and Paul Daniels, and captain Westall was impressed with the way the likes of Anthony Weston were able to make up for their absence.

“It wasn’t too bad, and they weren’t as bad as their league position suggests, but we started quite slowly and went behind quite early on,” he said.

“We went in at half-time 10 points up and took our foot off the gas slightly and they went a point ahead, but we were 10 points up with just a few minutes to go and they scored off what was pretty much the last play.

“We were down to 14 men at that time and were limping around the pitch a little bit by that point with a few injuries, so it was good to be able to hold on.

“We were missing our whole back row for the game and it was good we were able to show the strength in depth to cope without them.

“Anthony Weston, or ‘Tiny’ as we call him, had a terrific game at number eight and played a really important part in us getting the win.

“He’s been doing really well in the seconds and has made the step up and had a great game.”

In recent seasons Swindon have started the campaign at lightning speed before fading after the Christmas period, and while Westall is keen to put that right this year, he is also aware his side need to pick up big points in their two remaining games this year.

“Historically we have always been pretty poor after Christmas and we are just trying to put that right now,” he said.

“We have a couple of big games left before Christmas so we need to get some points back now.”

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