The bus rolls on as Tadley take it to ‘Gosford All Blacks’ and win in style.
Who needs a coach when you can take the bus? :)
Tadley started the game playing into the wind in the first half with Gosford looking to take full advantage. Their opening spell of pressure paid off with an easy kickable penalty after 6 minutes of play. But then it was Tadley who were straight on the front foot, gaining possession from their restart that had Gosford scrambling in defence with No8 Dan Fowler making some excellent yards. But unfortunately, he then had to leave the field due to injury that meant his game was over. After further good work by the forwards, fly-half Scott Raymond spotted an opportunity and delivered a cross field kick that sat up perfectly for the effervescent Warwick Brown to run onto and score to the right of the posts. 9 minutes played, the conversion made by full-back Chris Dennison.
From the restart, it was Tadley again infringing in front of the posts to give Gosford their second successful penalty after 11 minutes. The game now settled with both teams having good possession of the ball, but a strong line break by the Gosford 12 after 24 minutes saw him run in under the posts and with the kick gave the home team the lead 13 – 7.
With Gosford now seemingly about to make the most of the wind at their backs, it was in fact Tadley who showed their mettle, with the forwards making hard yards that led to firstly, Stu Hutchinson crashing over in the corner on 26 minutes. And then shortly afterwards it was Nick Packham with his first league try for the club. In converting this one, Dennison made the score at half time 13 – 19.
At the start of the second half, it was clear Gosford were determined to take the game by the horns, and unfortunately for Tadley, Charlie James saw yellow after 2 minutes with the resulting tap penalty seeing Gosford cross the line to score a converted try which then gave them a one point lead. Tadley weren’t going to lie down though and when awarded a penalty five yards into the Gosford half, Dennison called for calm and pointed at the posts. Despite not making the best of contacts, the Tadley supporters were happy to see the ball clear the bar for Tadley to regain the lead.
Now it was Tadley’s turn to take advantage of the wind, with some excellent kicking from both Raymond and Dennison continually turning the home defence around. And the pressure paid off with good work by the forwards at the breakdown again allowing Raymond to set his back line in motion. Strong running from Adam Stanley drew his man before off-loading to Johnny Till who finished the move by scoring in the left corner on 19 minutes to give a little breathing space on the score at 20 – 27.
With the game getting more heated as the home team tried to regain the upper hand, it was Gary Rumblow who after 25 minutes saw the yellow card from the referee for ‘repeated team offences’. Gosford saw this opportunity to get back into the game and eventually crossed the line on 30 minutes, but the missed conversion meant Tadley remained in the lead. As the tension and expectation of the home team rose, with play toing and froing between the 22’s, Tadley were awarded a penalty in the 39th minute. Up stepped Dennison again who asked the referee how much longer to play. ‘Less than a minute was the reply’. So, thinking the game would be over he duly lined up the kick, only to then be told by the referee as he was about to take it, that he should hurry as there was time for the restart. The penalty was scored, but now with a 5 point lead the home team still had a chance to win the game if they could regain the ball.
It was important to claim the restart, but this proved difficult to do with the rampant Gosford pack disrupting and claiming the ball, but their hard work was undone with a fumble which was gathered up by Saul Morgan in his own half, who then proceeded to charge through the Gosford defence towards their line and was 5 metres short when an excellent tackle brought him down, but as he went to ground, he looked up to see that Warwick Brown was charging up in support and deftly off-loaded the ball for Brown to gleefully score under the posts for his second of the game. The conversion by Dennison making the final score 25 – 37. A well-deserved win on the road that was celebrated in true fashion on the way home.