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Surrey League Division 4
Woking RFC v Wandsworthians RFC
18 October 2014
Wandworthians won the toss, opted to kick off and immediately put the home team under pressure. The Woking defence conceded an early line out followed by a scrum and the visitors progressed to deep into the Woking 22 with a ruck ball in front of the posts. Despite frantic cries to drift left from the supporters on the touchline, the Woking defence remained bunched beneath the uprights, seemingly oblivious to the obvious overlap. The Wandsworthians scrumhalf however, was not so blinkered and spun the ball out wide to his backs who were left with the relatively easy task of walking over the touchline uncontested for an early opening score 0-7.
Woking responded from the restart with number 8 Adam Smith collecting and crashing up the blind side and the forwards worked through the phases. Once the Wandsworthians defence had been drawn in, play shifted to the backs and scrum half James Bannister put Captain Mike Aitchison into space and a chance of levelling the scores under the posts which he took, 7-7. Sustained Woking pressure from the restart saw Aitchison linking with flanker Steve Rhodes who crashed through the visitors tackles like a tank up the centre of the pitch to their 22. Turnover ball gave the Wandsworthians number 10 a chance of putting in a clearance kick to the half way line but they were penalised for an infringement in the tackle area and Andy Hussey converted the pressure to points making the score 10-7.
Woking break from the restart with Dan Edwards and Chris Wallis combining well down the left wing. A cheeky little over the head pass kept the ball alive and put the home side into space with Edwards sprinting through the gap to score 17-7.
Having spent the last few weeks shunting the scrummage machine around the park at training, the Woking pack were keen to demonstrate their finely honed skills in a real live scenario. This they executed to great effect, dominating the scrums and causing the Wandsworthians pack all kinds of issues. With some novice scrummaging by one of the Wandsworthains props the ref threatened to go to uncontested scrums, but with a reshuffle of their pack this was avoided although did bring bizarre complaints of the Woking pack scrummaging too low. Off the back of one such scrum, taken for a penalty the Woking backs again found space and Aitchison skipped through to score 24-7. A further try brought a hat trick for Aitchison and came from the back of a ruck as he noted he was marked by a Wandsworthian prop and burnt him on the outside with ease 31-7.
Full credit to Wansworthians they didn't give up and fought back almost immediately with a score amidst sloppy tacking from Woking, 31-12. Further pressure applied by their number 10 who put in a fair few little chip kicks over the defensive line and forced Woking back deep into their own half time and time again. On one such occasion they are rewarded as their winger ran back a Woking clearance kick and skipped past several poor tackles to score 31-17.
But their revival is relatively short lived as further tries for Woking come from Andy Hussey after a Woking penalty taken quickly, Tommy Roberts with end to end action and from a neatly taken lineout ball, Rhodes again crashed through the defence and offloaded to Matt Childs to score and end the game 48-17.
Captain Aitchison commented after the game "A scrappy performance today, credit to Wandsworthians who really fought hard all game. The fact that we are disappointed with a 48-17 bonus point win really shows where we are at mentally at the moment. It's great to set standards high and put things right at training, but today was another big positive step in the right direction and I'm very pleased with the final result."
Ridell, Blundell, Bremner, Hursthouse, Bennett, Robertson, Rhodes, Smith, Bannister, Aitchison©, Wallis, Dougherty, Edwards, Roberts, Hussey. Subs Childs, Nearn.