Thamesians rolled into what could only be described as a nuclear testing facility with rugby pitches, otherwise known as Whiteley Village, home of Worth Old Boys and a community of geriatrics. Temperatures rising, low pressure, long thick grass on a hard hillside pitch; the pre-season cobwebs still looked to be lingering, but the sweat from the Ts’ brows said they were ready.
WOBs kick-off didn’t have the legs, allowing our forwards to impose their dominance straight from the get go. Ts tried to make use of the slope by giving the kick chase but WOBs held strong in their defence with knowledge of their home ground. This didn’t deter our pack that went on to win numerous scrums against the head, and Slash, who continuously left their poor scrummy with nothing in his hands!
Twenty minutes in; a turnover for WOBs left an overlap and they broke down the right wing, leaving Callum to make a quick cross pitch tackle of a potential try scoring opportunity. A penalty under the posts a few phases later and WOBs went up 3-0, however Ts maintained their attacking stance. The game was still anyone’s. Dan Jones and Richard ‘Bruce’ Banner continued to hack away at our opponents. Making ground suddenly, an interception from WOBs left Ts on the back foot again as a try saving tackle was made on the 5-metre line by handsome winger Benedict Southerst. Open play continued till the halftime whistle was blown with both teams in need of some serious hydration.
The second half started with Ts against the slope. Hoping to continue the dominance shown in the first half with line outs functioning particularly well, Kevin and C-Mike formed a potent partnership. WOBs use of the downward slope also highlighted Arlind’s impressive ability to get around the pitch and keep solid cover at fullback. Scrums continued to be attritional and eventually WOBs found momentum, with one of their pesky forwards wriggling through, leaving the score 10-0 after the conversion.
Our heads did not go down. Lynchys and Tramps notoriously superb carrying skills made sure WOBs knew they were in a fight. Finally all that summer fitness paid off and once again thanks to the line out T’s drove WOBs up the hill, helped by Soups keeping the ball alive, which Captain Dan Jones touched down for a try. A plum kick from the sideline by Jonno and Ts were only 3 points away, but unfortunately time ran short.
But hey, at least we can focus on the league now right?!
1. Cookie, 2. Mike Jury, 3. Christian Martinez, 4.Soups, 5.Kevin Newe, 6.Richard Banner, 7.Dan Jones (C), 8.Marc Lynch, 9.Slash, 10.Dave Botha, 11. Johnno Chandler, 12. Callum Godden,13.Tramp,14.Ben Southerst,15.Arlind Cela,16.Kourosh, 17.Gav Lock,18. John Beveridge,19. Dave Jackson, 20.Bart Redmond
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