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Woking 5 - 51 Haileyburians
On a glorious day for playing rugby, sun beating down, the air crisp and the grass soft underfoot, Woking were feeling confident about their 3rd place playoff match against Old Haileyburians. Woking won away earlier in the season, but it was very clear as Haileyburians pulled up and departed from a coach that it was an entirely different squad that came to play this Saturday's fixture.
Skipper Aitchison started the game with a beautifully hanging kick that gave Dan Hills enough time to get underneath it and steal from the Haileyburians outstretched arms. With a pirouette that a top flight dancer would be proud of Hills planted a foot and spun into the absolute onslaught of Haileyburians forwards. Stripped of the ball Woking immediately found themselves under seige, their highlight of the first 30 minutes being the kick off. Despite the best efforts of Woking's defence the Haileyburians backs tore holes left, right and centre to take the game to 44-0 in 30 minutes!
Coach Pete D'Cruz made some prompt changes to the already beaten side, bringing on Adam Smith and Andy Hussey to sure up the defensive line. A couple of last ditch tackles from Hussey and Dan Edwards briefly lifted Woking spirits and the Woking pack caught and drove from a line out to take 5 points courtesy of Steve Rhodes before he departed the field with a reoccurring leg injury.
Stern words at half time meant that Woking took to the field with heads held high ready to take the game to Haileyburians. The ferocity with which Woking died was unquestionably a testament to Woking heart, but alas despite a few scraps resulting in a yellow, then a red card for Haileyburians pivotal no. 9, Woking lost the 2nd half 7-0 and the game 51-5.
Pete D'Cruz held on to positives at the end of the match, saying, "The Haileyburians team that turned up today are by far the best opposition we have faced in the last four years, they would turn over any team up to Surrey 1 with relative ease and I fully expect them to go on and gain promotion if they can field the same players for the rest of the season. I'm proud that we took the game to them in the second half and clearly rattled them, but it was far too little too late. A lot to work on at training, but I am not, and the squad should not be disheartened by todays result!"