Wold U21s unable to get the better of Woodbridge
A frustrating match for all concerned
In stark contrast to the Ipswich U21s match before Christmas, this was not a great spectacle or advert for rugby. With dozens of refs both on and off the pitch the atmosphere regrettably resembled a soccer game on occasions - in my view. That said, there was certainly no lack of passion or commitment from the players on both teams right from kick-off.
It took 18 minutes before Woodbridge managed to break our defence to cross the line. A minute later straight from the restart we retaliated, turning-over the ball for a grateful Ben Crick to run in. Josh successfully added the 2 points.
Callum Easton went off for an HIA and as we only had a back on the bench and no front row replacements we had to go uncontested. We had to wait until the last minute of the first half before more points were added - unfortunately by Woodbridge from a kick and chase, resulting in us going into half time 12 - 7 down.
Fortunately a willing front row replacement emerged from the sidelines for the second half so normal service in the scrum was able to resume.
The second half saw both teams battle hard to get a grip on the game but errors crept in and some great breaks were ultimately thwarted by spills. We were camped on their 5 meter line for quite a while with several line outs and several penalty scrums and resets but were still unable to get through. Eventually a yellow card was given to Woodbridge's hooker but despite the one man advantage we were still unable to cross their line. Actually that's not quite true, Cairns crossed from one of the forays but an honest little touch judge indicated to the unsighted ref that the ball was held up. All credit to Woodbridge for their stoic defence, particularly their 15, however going uncontested (seemingly unnecessarily on this occasion with several front rowers on their bench) and then not matching numbers in the scrum probably didn't help our quest.
Woodbridge managed to break out eventually and were awarded a penalty in our half which they sensibly chose to kick in order to put them 8 points clear. Wold were unable to dent this despite several scintillating runs out of our own half.
Our MoMs were Ben Crick at Flanker and Guy Blades on the Wing - who were both on fire.
Winning or losing these U21s Christmas matches is not the point - reuniting the ex-Colts for a game and beer or two is. So despite this less than perfect occasion - with around 4 players from each of the four age groups - job done. Well done lads let's hope we can get a fixture or festival at Easter.
Happy new year and "Arn the 'Wold"