Match Report January 15th 2022
Poor start leaves Woking wondering what might have been
Woking RFC 22 vs Old Hamptonians RFC 38
Woking returned to action after an extended break due to Christmas and the impact of Covid when they hosted Old Hamptonians RFC at Byfleet Rec. When the sides met earlier in the season the visitors ran out 124-19 winners when Woking were only able to field 13 players against a very strong Old Hamptonians side. However, last Saturday’s encounter was to be a much different with Woking being able to field a strong starting 15 and bench.
Having kicked off Woking were immediately on the back foot as Old Hamptonians attacked with speed and width. Woking looked like a team that had not played for several weeks but somehow managed to keep the visitors at bay through a combination of scrambled defence and turning the opposition ball over.
A frantic first 10 minutes culminated in Old Hamptonians scoring the opening try as a poor clearance kick by the Woking fly half Parker was capitalised on by the opposition back line. Following the restart Woking were able to get on the front foot themselves only for a loose pass by Parker to be intercepted allowing the visitors to double their lead. Having weathered the early storm Woking found themselves 14-0 down with the possibility of history repeating itself no doubt in the minds of the home support.
To Woking's credit they responded and started to take control of the game as the forwards lead by Captain O'Shea and supported by Neil-Dickie as well as Nissan started punching holes in the opposition defence. Following a sniping run by scrum half Blundell supported by Parker the Woking forwards were able to recycle the ball quickly allowing Sines to power over from 10 meters.
In the ascendency Woking had visibly rattled their opponents who were now conceding penalties and uncharacteristically kicking the ball away. Woking were now playing their best rugby of the season and were rewarded with a second try not long before half time with a try from KJ Nissan.
Half time - Woking 10 Old Hamptonians 14
Following the break Old Hamptonians came out looking to reassert themselves. Once again strong defence from Woking kept them out for several minutes before the pressure finally told and they crossed the line following multiple phases of play.
Now trailing by 11 points Woking upped their levels and a passage of play where forwards and backs combined to take the hosts from their own half to within 10 meters of the Old Hamptonians try line. From the resulting line out Woking attacked again with powerful running from Armstrong and Sines resulting in Neil-Dickie scoring from short range.
Not long after, Old Hamptonians were reduced to 14 men when a member of their pack was yellow carded for a high tackle. Using their numerical advantage Woking worked their way up the pitch and Sines crossed for his second score of the afternoon. Parker converting.
With 10 minutes remaining and trailing by a point Woking were ahead for the first time and on the verge of a shock win. Back to full strength and following a series of penalties Woking were now defending their line desperate to hold on to their lead as Old Hamptonians attacked. Finally, the pressure told with the Old Hamptonians winger scoring a questionable try in the corner.
Woking's resistance had finally been broken to the relief of the travelling support. Old Hamptonians added a further try during the final play to give the score line a more flattering look, denying Woking a second losing bonus point.
Final score - Woking 22 Old Hamptonians 38
Mick O’Shea, Woking Captain
“By far our best performance of the season and probably the last few years. The boys gave everything again and just shows the quality we have when everyone is available. We now have a series of fixtures against opponents that if we can keep this squad together will give us an opportunity to get that first win and start heading up the table”.
Next Fixture - Haslemere (A) Sat 22nd January 2pm
Tickets are now available to PAID UP and PAYING members of Woking Rugby Club for this autumn's international fixtures. The date and time of fixtures are below, in the image and listed
It's almost here - the Richard Grady Memorial Game & awards night! Read on to find out how the day will unfold!