Andy Brown, director of rugby, Crewe & Nantwich RUFC, Vase semi-final

Crewe & Nantwich RUFC director of rugby Andy Brown labelled his 1st team’s performance “poor” as they crashed to a 20-13 defeat at Earlsdon.

Brown (pictured) said the Vagrants side, who had started well in Midlands 1 West, were guilty of giving away possession and making too many errors.

“We were coughing up possession on numerous occasions with many individual errors from players particularly when forcing offloads in contact,” he said.

“Scrummaging improved throughout the match but the line-out flattered to deceive and did not provide the quality of ball required to play at this level.”

Crewe started well with an early drive by Kirk Robinson which resulted in a run down the left wing by Tim Cowap who fed prop forward, Ian Merrill who drove into the Earlsdon 22.

Earlsdon were offside and fly-half Scott Cann converted the penalty.

The hosts replied with a penalty of their own before a big hit by Ollie Buckley allowed Josh Collins to break into the opposition 22.

Quick hands down the backs saw Robinson offload to Joe Gammage who drew his man for winger, Andre Zwijnen to score in the right hand corner. Centre Tom Maguire kicked a fine conversion through the uprights.

Earlsdon quickly replied with a good converted try by their outside centre.

Crewe were then reduced to 14 men and allowed another try by Earlsdon after a scrum in the Crewe 22 resulted in a driving maul over the line in the right hand corner.

In the 38th minute, Earlson’s fly-half converted a neat drop goal to make it 20-13 at the break. And there were no points were scored in the second half.

Brown added: “We were in their half for much of the second period and squandered possession with forwards taking the ball on rather than using the back line and ultimately being turned over or a scrum being given to the opposition for not getting the ball to ground early enough.

“This was a poor performance and a lost opportunity against a good side but not an unbeatable side.

“We have a style and game plan for each game and when individuals do not embrace this structure, it effects every aspect of the game.

“The simplicity of rugby is part of its beauty and attraction but over complicating matters and not looking after the ball are cardinal sins. A lesson cruelly learnt and hopefully will reflect in our future performances.”

Crewe & Nantwich face a tough challenge to get back on track when they welcome unbeaten Hereford on Saturday (October 18).

Crewe are fifth in the table after six games.

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