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WOKING GROW TO RUE MISSED CHANCES
On a cold, wet and blustery Saturday afternoon, Woking RFC travelled the short distance down the A3 to struggling bottom of the table Wandsworthians, looking to bounce back from a heavy league defeat 2 weeks prior.
From the start Woking took control of the game and with the set piece beginning to click it was only going to be a matter of time before Woking would put themselves on the score sheet.
On 4 minutes it was indeed Woking that would strike first, from some solid work by the forwards, flanker Hills using his explosive turn of pace, out sprinted the opposition winger to score in the corner, conversion missed. Wandsworthians 0 - 5 Woking.
From the re-start Woking were beginning to feel the heat in the scrum and were in new territory of struggling to recycle their own ball. This allowed Wandsworthians some clean ball at the set piece and put Woking on the back foot.
With Woking now fighting hard to regain the upper hand it was left up to Captain Mike Van Der Aitchison to push the team forward and nearly add to his try tally for the season, only for the referee to judge he was held up over the line. With the Wandsworthians beast now beginning to tire in the front row, Riddell was beginning to get some success in the tight which gave new scrum half for the day Phillips an opportunity to snipe around the fringes and score again the corner. Try converted by Dougherty. Wandsworthians 0 - Woking 12.
With the conditions and ground underfoot worsening by the minute it was proving difficult for either team to set a platform for running rugby and when Raife had to leave the field with a head injury it was proof that it was going to be a long afternoon for the already hard working Woking 15.
Half Time Wandsworthians 0 - 12 Woking
From the re-start it was clear that Wandsworthians had been given a grilling at half time and they started the second half at the speed of a thousand gazelles, the sleepy Woking unit struggled with the intensity and the opposition were rewarded with a try under the posts. Try converted. Wandsworthians 7 - 12 Woking.
With Wandsworthians now in the ascendancy it was in fact Woking who were on the back foot trying to slow the game down but this was to no avail as Wandsworthians would score again quickly in the corner. Try missed. Wandsworthians 12 - 12 Woking.
This shocked Woking and they began to play the game that had seen them so successful so far this season. With Edwards, Phillips, Robertson and Brennan all working tirelessly in the loose, trying to create the platform that would put Woking again in front. With the pitch now the biggest obstacle to free flowing rugby the last quarter was played out to a dull draw. With which only one team was celebrating like they had won the cup, and it was not Woking.
Coach Liam Burnell said after the game 'this was always going to be a banana skin for us.
The opposition were at their best today and we are extremely disappointed with our performance so it speaks volumes that we have drawn away from home. We will bounce back next week'
Team: Marc Riddell, Matt Edwards, Ben Bremner, Shaun Gilbert, Jon Hursthouse, Matt Brennan, Dan Hills, Phil Robertson, Gareth Phillips, Justin Dougherty, Gareth Nearn, Mike Aitchison, Callum Wogan, Matt Armstrong, Gary Raife, Andy Hussey, Liam Burnell