This match went the way of the form book, with third placed Rosslyn Park overcoming a spirited performance from third from bottom Cinderford, to gain a bonus point victory at a chilly Roehampton.
The visitors, were led out by No8 George Evans who was making his 200th 1st team appearance, made a strong start putting their opponents scrummage under pressure in the early stages, but they were unable to take advantage on the scoreboard. Park eventually settled into their stride and opened their account after 15 minutes of play when the ball was quickly recycled, allowing winger Dave Vincent to cross for an unconverted try in the corner.
That lead was increased when a penalty was kicked into touch to set up an attacking lineout and No8 Hugo Ellis completed a catch and drive over the line to score a try which Steve Sneddon converted. It was 19-0 to Park after 28 minutes when the referee was quick to award them a penalty try as pressure was exerted on a 5m scrummage, with Sneddon again adding the conversion. As half-time approached the visitors threatened to score, but a knock-on and then a poor throw at an attacking lineout denied them the opportunity.
Play swung from end to end in the early stages of the second-half before Park flanker Mike McFarlane appeared fortunate to receive only a yellow card following an off the ball challenge on Cinderford winger Alex Frame. The visitors quickly made their numerical advantage count when scrum-half Clive Stuart-Smith darted over after his forwards took the ball up to their opponents try line, with James Moffat converting. Frame had by now recovered, but as if to insult to injury he was denied a try soon afterwards when the officials called play back for a knock-on despite the ball appearing to go forward off a Park player in the build-up.
There was further frustration for Cinderford when another clear scoring opportunity was again called back, for an alleged forward pass. Park recovered their composure in the final quarter, and a lengthy spell of pressure eventually led to former Cinderford scrum-half Luke Carter being awarded a try which secured his side’s bonus point and completed the scoring.
Cinderford team: Mike Wilcox (capt), Alex Frame, Sam Hanks, Leo Fielding, Stefan Hawley, James Moffat, Clive Stuart-Smith, Jack Cosgrove, Sam Wilkes, Chris Bundy, Ed King, Shay Kerry, George Mills, Sam Underhill, George Evans.
Replacements: Joe Smart, Jack Adams, Marcus Brown, Elliot Booley, Roger Birkin.