Wandsworthians RFC 15 vs Woking RFC 52

Woking completed a league double over old rivals Wandsworthians RFC, despite being only able to name 15 players due to an extensive injury and illness list that ruled out 13 members of the squad.

Photo taken by Justin Cliffe
Photo taken by Justin Cliffe

With the Wandsworthians pitch also deemed as being too waterlogged to play it meant the fixture was switched back to Byfleet Rec. 

Woking got off to a slow start as an unfamiliar looking line up struggled with a combination of poor discipline and a motivated opposition saw Wandsworthians use their large pack to pressurise the Woking line. Some strong tackling from wing Charlie Goddard and flanker Josh Claydon helped keep the opposition at bay. However, Wandsworthians did take the lead when the Woking defence switched off and allowed their pack to crash over and make it 5-0. 

Player coach Mark Rose, leading the side in skipper Jacob Woods continued absence, urged better discipline and composure. Woking took heed, going deep into the Wandsworthians 22m and forcing a turnover.  Some slick play between forwards and backs saw blindside Pearse Johnson making his first league appearance in five years score in the corner to level things up. 

As Woking found their feet, they started to dominate possession and territory, yet were guilty of rushing plays which lead to losing possession at critical moments.  Their constant pressure eventually paid off with second row Spencer Hudson breaking away from the base of a scrum to dot down under the posts. 

A third try was added just before half time after strong running Josh Claydon and centre Finlay Rowe resulted in supporting scrum half Rhys Parker going over, Mark Rose added the extras.


Half time: Wandsworthians RFC 5 - 19 Woking RFC


Despite a strong and dominant first half, ill-discipline cost Woking at the start of the second half and it was Wandsworthians who again used their big forwards to smash over from close range for another five points. There was now a real risk that Woking’s inability to manage games effectively and allow their opponents back in when having been ahead would once again come into play.

This was not the case as Wandsworthians failed to deal with a tricky restart which led to Josh Claydon collecting and scoring under the posts.  Woking added another shortly after with prop Tom Capstick getting his first for the club.  Wandsworthians hit back shortly after with a break from the back of a scrum spread out to the wing taking their tally to 15 points. 

For the last 15 minutes it was then one way traffic as Wandsworthians legs tired.

Confidence was flowing through the Woking team with pressure coming from both back and forward play which resulted in Spencer Hudson completing a hat trick, Josh Claydon getting a second before veteran Matthew Brennan finished the scoring with the final play of the game.


Half time: Wandsworthians RFC 15 - 52 Woking RFC


Speaking after the game, first team captain Jacob Woods commented “What a day for the club.  After the struggles to raise a side as well as some uncertainty and confusion over the venue or whether the game would go ahead, I must pay tribute to the fifteen who stepped up today.  We’re getting into a habit of delivering when things are against us so I’m hopeful as to what we can do with a full-strength side in the coming weeks.”


 MotM – Josh Claydon