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In bitter conditions a Woking 2s side travelled to Merton to reclaim some pride following the heavy defeat the 1st team suffered at the hands of the hosts two weeks prior.
Woking started strongly kicking to the hosts and immediately putting pressure on Merton, notably though the pack. Such was the pressure applied that Merton were forced to kick away good possession. Woking returned the kicks with interest as fullback Andy Hussy and the wingers ran the ball back hard sending a clear message to the home side of Woking’s intent. This early pressure finally paid off as Dan Edwards ran in unopposed under the posts following some good set piece and forward phase play.
Merton were frustrated and showed this when no.8 started a punch up with Woking’s diminutive prop Alistair Hamilton-Wilkes. The ref showed a yellow to the Merton back row forward installing his grip on the game. Much to Woking’s delight the scrum and phase play was to cause further disruption to the Merton pack even though they were bigger, heavier and stronger, the technique from Woking was spot on. The first half ended with Woking running in a further three tries through the backs as they were able to convert the good Woking possession into points, though there was some sloppiness creeping in to Woking’s game that Jason Williams the Captain sought to address at the half time break.
The second half commenced and the Woking pack started strongly with good link-up play and offloading in the tackle area with Big Adam Hammond making an impact only to be dragged down just shy of the line. Merton struggled to clear their lines and Woking were to score more points this time through the forwards with a running maul which was executed by Hamilton Wilkes , not known to ever be up with play at the time of a try.
Merton struck back with a try of their own when Woking gave away a penalty deep in their own 22 for not releasing by the tackler. The giant Merton inside centre stormed over using his 20 stone frame and the try was converted by the outside half.
Woking dominated the rest of the game and scored tries through forwards and backs alike. Possession from another good line out off the top on the hosts 22m was converted into points with slick execution through the backs. A series of Woking scrums deep in the 22 resulted in No8 (Phil Robertson) breaking from the back with sub Mark Grady latching on with the drive both powering over the line for the touch down, a try that was converted by Dan Edwards.
The try of the game followed with Woking winning a Merton line-out, Ben Jones returning from injury, claimed the ball and danced around and through a number of tackles with a glorious pass to Evan Marchant to finish the move, another 2 points were added by Dan Edwards.
Notes: Some key performances from the front row Pearce, AHW, Ben Jones, strength from 2nd rows J. Williams, M. Childs and T. Bennett. Good running from wingers J. Marsden and Carl Francis (made decent tackle in our 22 to save try) Dan Edwards and Matt Edwards very strong. Forwards had good structure, strong in rucks very well in the offload, backs were consistent apart from the number of dodgy passes from Elliott Hood or offloads that went to pot...