Friendly: Birmingham & Solihull Bees 27 Nuneaton 12
James Aston bagged a hat-trick of tries as the Bees made it back-to-back victories in their pre-season campaign.
The Sharman’s Cross side swept past Welsh Premiership side Bridgend with ease seven days previously but Nuneaton put up more of a fight against a Birmingham side without a number of key players.
“We left out some of our senior and injured guys so it was a chance to see some of our younger players display their leadership qualities,” coach Russell Earnshaw explained.
But the biggest boost of all was the appearance of former Bees skipper Ed Orgee in the starting line-up.
Orgee suffered a number of knee injuries while playing in France and his days in the back row had looked numbered. But after 18 months out of the game, Earnshaw was delighted to unveil his secret weapon as the Bees coach continues to work towards the new season.
“We had a couple of back row injuries so it was great that Ed could come and help us,” Earnshaw added. “He is a good guy and it is great to have another leader on the field. He played for the first 60 minutes and looked pretty competitive in that time.”
Nuneaton started strongly but failed to find a way through the Bees defence, paying the price when home centre Simon Hunt charged through to set up skipper Rob Connolly for the game’s opening score.
Aston then bagged the first two of his treble with scrum-half Rod Petty handing his side a 22-0 lead after he converted his own score.
The Bees rounded off their scoring when Aston bagged another long-distance try only for the Nuns to grab two scores late on through wing Ben Gilbert and lock Dan Hurst, one of them converted.
Earnshaw added: “I’m disappointed we conceded two tries, but there were notable performances from James Aston, Tom Collett and hooker Ben Phillips who was playing in the back row.”
The Bees complete their pre-season on Saturday with a trip to another Welsh Premiership side, Bedwas.