By Ian Dipple The Birmingham Post
February 26 2007
National One: Pertemps Bees 43 Waterloo 21 Head coach Steve Williams watched his Pertemps Bees side demolish relegation-threatened Waterloo and then revealed they had been struggling to train.
Heavy snow and torrential rain over recent weeks means the Bees have managed only one full session. But it did not show as they ran in six tries and picked up five points, a perfect springboard for next week's National Trophy quarter-final clash at Newbury.
Returning Fijian flanker Akapusi Qera made a huge impact as he grabbed two tries and was at the centre of most things the Bees did. But Williams refused to single out any individuals for praise.
"They had a huge pack of forwards which was always going to be difficult," he said. "But we stood up to it very well.
"It wasn't a day when any one individual stood out, we had some good carries from people like Akapusi, but that's his job. Defensively we were very strong. They hammered our line for long periods but we responded with points of our own."
Anyone who witnessed this display will wonder what the Bees are capable of when they can put some serious hours in on the training field.
Jon Higgins gave them the early initiative when he slotted a penalty over from in front of the posts on eight minutes.
Qera extended their advantage midway through the half, dancing inside two tackles to cross, Higgins adding the conversion.
For the next ten minutes Bees were camped inside their own 22-metre line as Waterloo tried to use their forwards to muscle their way over. However, basic errors at crucial moments meant the visitors were never able to capitalise on their territorial advantage.
Bees made the Merseysiders pay for being so wasteful seconds before half time when Brodie Henderson ran in under the posts for a converted try after good work by Matthew Nutthall and Rod Petty.
A further try by Petty a minute after the restart put Bees firmly in command and at 24-0 down Waterloo could have been forgiven for crumbling. But they took advantage of Will Matthews' sin-binning to score through Chris Plantchant, Alex Davies slotting home the conversion.
Bees upped a gear, though, with two tries in three minutes as Matt Miles stormed through a non-existent defence and then Nutthall was handed a simple finish after another bullocking run by Qera.
Waterloo substitute Peter Ince crashed over for a converted try but with five minutes remaining Qera bashed past a tired defence to score out wide.
Waterloo's Davies converted his own try on 78 minutes but there was no doubting who had been the better side.
BEES: Nutthall; Billig, Davies, Martin, Henderson; Higgins, Petty; Long, Miles, Lewis, Gaby, Davidson, Matthews, Qera, Halavatau. Reps: Miller, Lynch, Larson, Elloway, Davies, Spee, Palm.