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Woking took on Overton from Hampshire 2, in the RFU Junior Vase. With a number of notable absentees, including last year's skipper Michael Aitchison, out with a broken leg, Woking started their season by testing the squad depth for the upcoming season. Debutants Jordan Mayes and Lee Abi-Haydar, added to the bulky pack in expectation of a strong Overton scrum, made powerful starts. Woking opening the scoring through new no.8 power house Matt Edwards, off some excellent phase play from scrum half Janes Bannister.
Steve Rhodes, looking extremely Chinese, crossed shortly after, after chop sticking his way through a gap suitable for his size to make the scores 14-0. Mark Rose converting both.
A period of scrappy play leading up to the close of the half saw Woking under the cloche, holding off Overton advances until a last minute maul from their bulky pack crossed over to close the half at 14-7.
Overton scored quickly to take the score to a nerve-racking 14-14, but Woking Fitness prevailed in the second half. As Jim McGiven and Steve Rhodes were sent from the field with yellow cards, Woking upped their 13 man game and took Overton by surprise, with new Captain Rory Blundell scoring a try against the odds in the corner. 19-14.
On came the replacements for the final 20 of the game, man of the match Ben Bremner replaced with crab-like David Garvey, who quickly found himself on the score sheet to settle Woking nerves, 24-14. Then finally, after an awe-inspiring tackle and turnover in the mid-field from Ross Cahalane, Steve Rhodes spotted an opportunity to close out the game at 31-14.
An excellent start to the season. Woking coach Pete D'Cruz said, "We played with a lot of heart, and we put belief in our pre-season fitness and structure. Rory skippered very well on his first match, and the lads followed his example!"
Woking begin their league campaign with high expectation, on Sat 24th Sept, facing Wandsworthians at Byfleet Recreation Ground, 3pm.