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Raynes Park 6 – 31 Woking
On a cold, and somewhat windy Januarys day, the brave souls of Woking RFC made the trip up to Raynes Park for somewhat of a grudge match. The traffic was unusually light for a Saturday afternoon.
The Woking players were stunned before the kick off, when a man bearing a striking resemblance to our charismatic captain, Rory Blundell, joined them for the pre-match talk. Fortunately, he was wearing a bright, green shirt, which aided with the differentiation, as he was in fact the referee.
From the first kick off it was clear that it would be a scrappy game. Indiscipline from both sides in the opening exchanges left Woking trailing by three, after a new kicker emerged for Raynes Park, who sort of looked like ‘Deke’ from ‘Evolution’, and slotted an early penalty.
From the proceeding restart, Woking put pressure on Raynes Park, which led to a couple of penalties, with Justin Dougherty finding touch in the corner to give Woking a line out five meters from the try line, and Raynes Park losing a player to the bin after a cynical foul. A smooth line out set up the maul, from which David Garvey crashed over. Dough Boy adding the extras.
Then not a lot really happened. Small errors prevented either team from really building any momentum, with the forwards working tirelessly in defence for Woking. The backs did a bit too though, in between discussions about their hair and who had managed to stay the least muddy, and who had the shortest shorts.
Deke added another penalty for Raynes Park before the break. I’m not sure if Woking’s next try was before or after half time, but foreign exchange student Steve Rhodes crashed over for another try. Think Doughy missed that conversion. Woking had mega-giant Phil Schulze sent to the bin for playing the ball on the floor. Then Raynes Park had another player binned for a similar offence.
Half time saw the arrival of Callum Wogan for Woking, who promptly slotted in at stand off to reshape the back line…
Woking came back out with a win on their minds, and shortly after the interlude Lee Abi Hula-Hula picked up another try for Woking, Doughy adding the extras. A deserved try for man of the match Hula-Hula, who worked hard in defence and show great ball carrying prowess.
After that, a sustained and intense period of not really a lot ensued. Raynes Park trying to be creative in attack, but any attempt was quickly snuffed out by Woking. Winger Chris Wallis then being withdrawn, as he had the sniffles and got a bit muddy, so the coach, Pete D’Cruz, wanted to protect him from any further nastiness.
Shortly afterwards an attack down the left wing nearly led to Adam Hawkins scoring in the corner, but Raynes Park managed a great scramble defence. Woking set up another maul over the other side of the pitch, and Steve Rhodes crashed over from short range, Doughy missing the extras. Steve Rhodes was then withdrawn, as he too needed protection, and Woking’s Calum Wogan crashed over from a short distance. Think Doughy got those extras.
Oh, there was also a bit of a ruckus, in which Raynes Park had a player red carded for striking. Looked like a whole load of handbags, but I’m sure that people really needed to express their opinions.
A good Woking win with a bonus point that keeps them on track for a shot at promotion. Unfortunately, Rory Blundell was too inebriated to make a comment by the time that I had remembered to ask him.