Less is more for Swindon skipper Westall
ADAM Westall might start seeing a lot less of the ball as the weather begins to deteriorate, but with his forward unit in such fine form the Swindon captain isn’t too bothered.
Half-back Westall has for several years been part of a Swindon side renowned across the region for its free-flowing, running rugby, a style within which he is the linchpin.
But this season the Greenbridge Road outfit possess a tight five which has been almost unstoppable in South West 1 East, supported by a number eight in Tom Mannion who simply can’t stop scoring.
Saturday’s 48-24 victory over Salisbury proved once again that Swindon have as much grit and power in their forward division as they have pace and guile in their three-quarter line, and Westall is delighted he can turn to his pack when wet conditions make passing rugby a bit too slippery.
“The front five were massive again on Saturday, in fact the pack has been great all season,” he told the Advertiser. “It’s not been the case before where when it’s not quite working for us playing with width we can go to a tight game, but we can do that now.
“It’s very successful for us and we’ve got another serious string to our bow in that respect. They really lay the foundations.
“A lot of people know Swindon as a free-flowing, attacking rugby side and they expect us to chuck it around and run it everywhere. It sounds a little outlandish but weather permitting we’re not going to have the chance to do that all the time.
“We can now go back to a forward-orientated game. Guys like Steve Price and Ben Saville control it very well, get us some good yards and then we reset.
“Coming into the wet it’s going to be a big asset.”
Swindon ran in eight tries to see off Salisbury and remain within touching distance of Oxford Harlequins at the top of the South West 1 East table.
Winger Mark Chatwin scored a brace and there were touchdowns for Mannion, Liam Popowicz, Lloyd Thomas, Price, Ollie Newton and player-coach Sean Lynn.
“We went down to Salisbury. It’s a local derby and all that comes with it,” said Westall, who added four conversions. “I think they were missing a few players through injury but it didn’t change much, they still came out firing and it was a pretty decent crowd down there “We played probably 40 minutes of good rugby and leaked out tries in the last 10 or 15 minutes. We’d made a few changes, some positional, to give the boys a bit of a run in different positions but there’s no real excuse.
“We’re just trying to finish off those games. When we play the better sides we’re not going to come away so lucky, so we’re back to the drawing board and try to tighten it up a little bit.”
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