Butleigh rugby players impressed by Portland Prison opponents
Portland Prison Phoenix 12, Butleigh 24
Butleigh faced a long trip to take on a Portland Prison side but the journey was worth it, in terms of the benefit for the home players as well as the victory.
Director of Portland Prison rugby Martin Peel and his coaching staff are doing an impressive job under unusual and difficult circumstances.
In order to cement a place in the prison squad, the young offenders must demonstrate that they are trying to embrace all aspects of the rugby union code, which includes behaving accordingly off the pitch.
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Those who keep their discipline form part of a large squad that train four times a week, along with fitness and gym sessions.
It is a privilege for the players but the longer term benefits are also proving to be remarkable – the rate of reoffending among those who have joined rugby clubs upon release from Portland is nil.
A Butleigh spokesperson said: “Surely we can put this down to the ethos of the game along with the community spirit that rugby clubs produce.
“With this in mind and mixing with the opposition after the game, it is clear that this fixture is much more that just a rugby match.
“Unfortunately the prison get only a few fixtures a year and are desperate for more. Maybe this is why a Butleigh team containing eight vets managed to beat this young team – experience comes with playing and Butleigh’s superior rugby nous was the decider.”
Visiting flanker Chester Buckle swept up any loose ball, while captain and number eight Mike Snowdon was exceptional. His surging drives set up play to allow half-back Matt Coley to exert plenty of influence on the game, releasing centres Nick Guy and Jordan Hunt to run havoc.
Butleigh’s next fixture is at home to North Dorset on Sunday, November 17, at Kingweston Park.