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Woking RFC v Bognor RFC
2nd Round Junior Vase
Saturday 04th October
After the driest September since records began almost 100 years ago, Saturday morning dawned with the forecast rain and hopes of a softer playing field for Woking RFC. However Woking were under no illusions that the 2nd round Junior Vase draw against Bognor RFC would be soft in any way, shape or form.
Bognor kicked off with the expected aggressive dominancy, hitting the rucks hard and soon had Woking on the back foot. The physicality of the Bognor pack combined seamlessly with the speed of their backs kept Woking pinned deep inside their own half for the first 30 minutes of play and it was only the sheer dogged determination of their defence, mustering all the skills developed over the summer break that kept them in the match and the Bognor tally to a mere 14 points.
From the restarts Woking fought back winning some good ball. However Bognor were quick at the rucks and easily turned the ball over as Woking were slow to clear out, albeit not always legally costing them 6 points at the boot of Hussey who was on man of the match kicking form. As the half ended Woking's burly number 8 John Stedman took a crash ball but came up just short of the whitewash but the ball was quickly spun wide into the hands of Dougherty who went over for Woking's first try making the half time score 13 – 26.
After a rousing half time talk and with the change in weather, Woking turned the game around. Working through the phase play they trundled up the pitch keeping the ball in the pack. Bognor struggled to defend this play and it was only a catalogue of errors which stopped Woking capitalising. A speculative chip kick over the defensive line by captain Aitch almost paid dividends as the ball landed neatly in his hands leaving him with a clear view of the try line yet he followed it up with a wild over the head pass into the surprised hands of the opposition.
As the game entered the final stages Woking were awarded a lineout deep inside the opposition 22. Taking a quick ball into the hands of Childs at the front of the line, they set up a rolling maul which the Bognor pack were unable to defend against and went over for a try claimed by Jim McGiven. Bognor immediately hit back and with some sloppy Woking defending they claimed the last score of the game, 18 – 38.
Commenting afterwards Captain Aitch said 'An improved performance against a strong side from higher up the leagues. An unfortunate amount of silly errors let us down but that gives us plenty to work on in training ahead of the run of league matches over the coming weeks.'
Childs, Blundell, Riddell, Gilbert, Hursthouse, McGiven, Rhodes, Stedman, Callum, Aitch ©, Gregory, Dougherty, Edwards, Hussey, Bannister. Subs Bremner, Bennett, Raife, Pullen, Buckley