WATH 34 pts vs OLD OTLIENSIANS 10 pts
With their 1st XV squad
decimated by injuries, ‘Ensians took only seven regular first-teamers on
their trip to Wath. With a greasy surface, Wath attacked strongly from the
off through their powerful pack and on 5 minutes, good inter-passing by
the hosts produced a gap for their centre to go over near the posts for a
The visitors began to settle and half backs Sam Clewes and John Ratahi
tried to get their backs moving up the slope. New centre Rob Lochrie
showed he had the skills to break the line and he and fellow centre Lee
O’Donnell made some progress against a tight defence. Problems arose when
the ball was spilled and a strong rolling maul from the home pack took
play back into ‘Ensians 22 where a well-worked move on 12 minutes produced
a try half way out. Despite the efforts of the visiting back row of
Michael Philpott, Rob Grey and Matt Taylor, the lively home backs
continued to threaten and a further try wide out lifted the score to 17 –
0 in Wath’s favour on 19 minutes.
From the re-start, Wath again took advantage of some indifferent tackling
to mount further attacks which resulted in another unconverted try in the
corner to take the score to 24 – 0 after 23 minutes. After some
encouraging words from coach Hugh Gumbs, ‘Ensians at last began to settle
and make progress through strong runs from locks Alan Harker and Sam Gray.
Whilst the visiting scrum was never too comfortable against heavier
opposition, decent ball was produced by the front row of Ben Newall, Ross
Myers and Tom Twist. From one such situation, centre Lochrie beat his man
and set off at pace up the field, a timely offload to O’Donnell saw the
ball moved wide to winger Andy Hayward who went over half-way out for a
well-engineered try. Although the conversion failed, the visitors were now
gaining in confidence with the score at 24 – 5 on 37 minutes.
Unfortunately, a turnover allowed Wath to gain possession and their strong
rolling maul took play in the ‘Ensians 22. From a series of drives, the
defence suddenly parted and allowed the hefty home prop to gallop ten
years to the line to make the score 29 – 5 to the hosts at the break. To
make matters worse, centre Lochrie pulled a hamstring as the whistle went
and had to leave the field.
For the second period, Richard Goakes came on the wing and experienced
flanker Brett Tenniswood came on to allow Philpott to cover the centre
berth. With the slope in their favour, ‘Ensians mounted some telling
attacks and when Goakes was brought down by a high tackle, he managed to
slip the ball to Philpott who looked to be in with a scoring chance.
Inexplicably, the referee blew up for the illegal tackle instead of
allowing the advantage and the opportunity was lost.
For the next ten minutes, the visitors camped on the Wath line and came
very close through drives from Harker, Grey and Twist. The referee
penalised the hosts for four sometimes quite dangerous infringements, but
felt a talking-to was more appropriate than a card. Eventually, slick
passing by Clewes, Ratahi and Taylor put Goakes over for a try in the
corner. With no conversion, the score was a more respectable 29 – 10 to
the home side on 50 minutes.
Still feeling they were in with a chance of victory, the visitors ran the
ball at every opportunity rather than resorting to the boot and O’Donnell,
Philpott and full back Kristian Keinhorst tested the home defence with
strong runs. However, any spilled ball was taken advantage of by the
heavier home pack which resorted to driving mauls to make progress up the
slope. In their own 22, ‘Ensians suffered another injury blow when prop
Tom Twist damaged his knee ligaments and Rob Grey replaced him in the
front row with Peter Tempest coming on to cover at flanker.
Before the visitors could settle, Wath produced a series of drives to put
their winger over in the corner to move the score to 34 – 10 in their
favour on 63 minutes. For the remainder of the half, ‘Ensians moved the
ball at every opportunity, but over-eagerness and in-your-face defence
meant that scoring chances were few. Good spirited tackling snuffed out
any Wath attacks to leave the final score at 34 – 10 to the hosts.
With so many changes and two further injuries during the game, ‘Ensians
were always up against it facing a Wath side who are always difficult to
beat at home. To their credit, when they settled down, ‘Ensians produced
some good phases of play and, despite the score line, they battled away
valiantly to the end.
OORUFC 2ndXV vs Wath
Andy Bower breaks through to score under the posts.
Click the picture for more photos.
The 2nd fifteen came out
on top in an entertaining fixture at home.