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All Whites - Match centre

All Whites
High Wycombe
Sat 24 Apr 15:00 - Friendly Full time

All Whites v High Wycombe

Report by Russ Baker Photos by Peter Miles

Epic Win Sees All Whites Make History!

The All Whites realised their ambitions in fine style at Rackerhayes on Saturday. High Wycombe boasting a monster pack and a 50-Cap Tongan International to boot, the home side had to use all their guile to outthink and subsequently outplay the leviathans from Buckinghamshire. The All Whites came out of the traps from the start moving the big forwards from High Wycombe around all over the park, before long they were winning the scraps on the floor forcing the visitors to concede ground, pressure told when Nic Holt took a pass back from Nigel Cane and slotted a drop goal on 12 minutes to make the score 3 – 0. A kickable penalty on 17 minutes gave Mike Saxton the chance to continue his phenomenal scoring rate – he took it to put Newton 6 – 0 up. The All Whites played all the rugby in the first 30 minutes literally pinning High Wycombe back in their own 22. Only desperate tackling from the visitors prevented more tries. Soon after winger Thor Normann fielded a loose kick and carved open the High Wycombe defence, he was dragged down 10 metres out, from the ensuing ruck Cane gave quick ball to Birkett who shimmied and put Nic Holt in to score under the posts Saxton converted to take the score to 13 – nil. From the restart the All Whites back row made ground and quick ball saw Birkett send it wide to Saxton then Alex Jeffery, Jeffery kicked on and almost won the chase to the line but Wycombe full back Radford just got there and dotted down, Wycombe took the 22 drop out, Tripconey fielded it and made good ground before popping up to Keenan who running at pace flattened Tongan international Fe’ao Vunipola, he was out cold for several minutes eventually leaving the field replaced by Anton Silvey, Wycombe craftily got away with the injury as a blood replacement and subsequently brought Mr Vunipola back on 10 minutes later, this had an instant effect on the Scrummage which was to be fair devastatingly effect against the much lighter Newton side. The All Whites however made the most of their dominance in open play and Lineout, soon they had worked their way up into enemy territory again and a dart by Mabin saw him hauled down 10 metres short, Cane again moved it quickly, Birkett fed on to Saxton who had looped round, he dummied his defender and split the defence for a super try. Saxton converted to make the score 20 – nil, the visitors now gasping in astonishment, the sheer pace of the game clearly having an effect on their larger forwards. Again from a restart another infringement on the floor saw Saxton get the chance to slot another penalty from 40 yards – on a day when he could do no wrong he duly obliged to make the score 23 – nil with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. Suddenly however High Wycombe woke up, they began to use the ball intelligently and kicking for territory they managed to work their way into the Newton half. From a line-out they caught and drove, stopped just dead, awarded the scrum they started to shunt the Newton pack around, Lord only knows how the home side kept them out, players put their bodies on the line time and time again and somehow managed to keep the visitors at bay for a full 5 minutes. Mercifully the referee blew for half time with the All Whites having managed to keep the visitors out. The second half began with High Wycombe in the ascendancy they were much more proactive, keeping the ball tight and it began to pay dividends. They punished Newton at each scrummage set piece (albeit when Nick Hammond was in the sin bin for 10 minutes) and finally got their big runners moving. The All Whites tackled their hearts out, but after 20 minutes were inexplicably penalised at a scrum and Referee Healy awarded a penalty try, on balance it was probably due, Radford converted and all of a sudden the game took on a slightly different slant, Wycombe were now dominant certainly in the middle of the park, with the home side seemingly living off scraps. The All Whites did break out and a certain try seemed on the cards only for the referee to adjudge a forward pass. Wycombe were scenting they could possibly nick the game, fly half Mann who had endured a dreadful first half was a different player in the second half and proved this when he weaved his way through the tired Newton defence (without Alex Moore who also spent 10 minutes in the bin!) with 32 minutes played he dived over and full back Toby Radford set up a grand stand finish with the conversion – 23 – 14 with 7 minutes to play, with the game seemingly in the balance the All Whites however did not panic, they utilised the pick and drive to devastating effect, starving the visitors of any ball running down the clock. With the crowd now crowing for the referee to blow up for time one last flourish from the visitors saw their attack fizzle out when winger O’Haire kicked out on the full. The whistle went, Rackerhayes went berserk and history was made! Coach Burford had failed to make it back in time to see the fruits of his hard work, but in spirit he was there. The All Whites now march on to next season, recruitment is inevitable and the dream goes on!


All Whites

Richard Beere, Simon Mabin (Captain), Nick Hammond, Matt Templeman, James Head, Jason Keenan, Jamie Tripconey, Brett Stroud, Nigel Cane, Andy Birkett, Thor Normann, Alex Moore, Nic Holt, Alex Jeffery, Mike Saxton – Replacements: Paul Creek, Ian Milton, George Mills, Neil Johns


Tries – Nic Holt, Mike Saxton

Drop Goal – Nic Holt

Pens – Saxton 2

Convs – Saxton 2

High Wycombe

James Mawby, Fe’ao Vunipola, Pete Partis, Gerarde Potts, Gavin Bunker, Gilbert Chinjekure, Llewellyn Williams, Craig Murray (Captain), Mark Childerhouse, Kieran Mann, Akinikiji Akinwale, Craig Webb, Jared Thompson, Mark O’Haire, Toby Radford


Tries – Pen Try, Kieran Mann

Convs – Toby Radford 2

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