Colts lose on the road at Woodbridge in EC Cup Semi-Final
Woodbridge 53 – 12 Shelford
This was knockout rugby for the colts, win and a final awaited, lose and the season was over. After the high of the tour de Lille, this turned out to be the low to follow. Shelford were out played in almost every aspect of the match, whilst they competed at various stages, individual errors, or poor decision making gifted the ball back to Woodbridge and enabled them to win comfortably.
From the start Shelford didn’t look in the match, Woodbridge kicked off and several Shelford players watched the ball bounce before deciding to catch it, then some ponderous play in their 22 allowed Woodbridge to drive them off their own ruck ball. Quick hands and a try in the right corner, 5 – 0 after 90 seconds. After that it didn’t get any better. Woodbridge kept the score board moving at a little over a point a minute with another 4 first half tries, 31 – 0 after 27 minutes, but at least that was it for the first half. Shelford often the architects of their own downfall, missing tackles, not looking after the ball and making far too many mistakes, and Woodbridge clearly the better team.
Shelford needed to put those things right if they were to compete in the second half, let alone try and overturn the deficit, but they started the second half much they was they played the first, more missed tackles, not competing for the aerial ball, and too few players getting into defence. Only 6 minutes gone and another 2 tries and 43 points down and really no way back. With only pride to play for Shelford at last found a spark of life and held on to the ball long enough to score, Olly Cooper, getting the try. Woodbridge of course hit back, poor Shelford defence off the scrum, then Woodbridge pressure at a lineout and over they went again, 48 – 5. Shelford at last found some precision, the ball moved quickly into the centre, where Josh Parkhouse hit a great line to beat the advancing midfield, then a step to beat the full back, and enough pace to get to the line, converted by James Gould, 48 – 12. Woodbridge hit back almost immediately, a simple chip over the top, commitment to reclaim the ball, and the final score of the match, 53 – 12. A painful defeat for Shelford, and not the way they wanted to the end the season. Overall we won more than we lost, but the loses came at some critical times in the big matches. But playing as a predominantly U17 side in competition with predominantly U18 teams the boys did really well and the experience will be of huge benefit next year.
Shelford squad: 1. Nick Budenberg, 2. Oliver Emsley, 3. Toby Carmichael, 4. Finn Priddle, 5. Zain Tariq, 6. Zeb Rayner, 7. James Groser, 8. Rory Webster (captain), 9. Robert Armer, 10. Jack Biard, 11. Oliver Jury, 12. Angus Thomson, 13. Josh Parkhouse (1 try), 14. Ed Hughes, 15. Oliver Cooper (1 try), 16. Kai Land, 17. Harry Quantrill, 18. Pim Remijn, 19. Nathan Oram, 20. James Gould (1 conversion), 21. Jordan Barnes, 22. Kallum Mulhall