Firsts Well Beaten By In Form Windsor
A poor opening quarter effectively killed the game off as Wallingford were well beaten by an impressive Windsor side.
On what must have been the warmest day of 2018 to date (a balmy 15 degrees!), Wallingford welcomed third placed Windsor to the Hithercroft.
In selection, Wallingford were without Carl Tappin (stag do), John Hayden (injury) and Nathan Chapman (the theatre. darling), but welcomed back Max Suttner
in the backs.
In a somewhat bizarre start, Windsor were down to 14 men after less than 10 seconds, when they cynically knocked on after Wallingford seized on a fumbled kick off. With a Dawes conversion, Wallingford took a very early lead.
But in an opening ten minutes where Wallingford saw very little ball, Windsor hit straight back after some sloppy tackling in midfield, for a converted score. But again from kick off, Windsor quickly gave away another penalty at the breakdown, and Phil Dawes
reduced arrears with another penalty.
With Wallingford not fully at the races, with maybe a gap week causing some rustiness, and maybe the birthday curry the night before weighing a few of the players down, and Windsor took full advantage. With plenty of pace in the backs and back row, they off-loaded well in the tackle to score a quickfire three tries, interspersed with another Dawes penalty, as Windsor secured the bonus point within 25 minutes.
The final 15 of the half saw the hosts get back into the game, with the scrum appearing to be their most potent threat, but despite plenty of possession in the Windsor half, errant handling or poor decision making, along with excellent Windsor defence, prevented Wallingford from crossing the whitewash.
The second half was a much tighter affair, as both sides cancelled each out to some extent. Wallingford kicked another penalty and scored their first try, following some excellent hands and a fine offload from Sam Botting
for Ian Jeffreys
to score, but Windsor always posed a threat. and when Wallingford switched off in defence, the visitors were ruthless, scoring a further three tries.
The game ended 43-17 to Windsor, probably a fair reflection of the game. Windsor, although not the biggest side, were a young outfit with plenty of pace, and had a clear game plan that they stuck to. Wallingford will be disappointed with their performance, especially in defence, which has been their forte this season. Poor tackle technique and line speed in the opening half let them down ultimately, and after that they were always chasing the game.
There were some strong performances still, with Dave Baxter excellent under the high ball, Max Suttner
looked dangerous when given some space, and Ian Jeffreys
, although tackled well by Windsor, was still the driving force in the forwards.
Next week is Abbey away, lets get back to winning ways.