Match Report - Surrey 1 - Vandals v Law Society
Vandals Squad strength put to an early season test, as Vandals are forced to make changes with over 30 players unavailable for selection this week.
Law Society 36 - Weybridge Vandals 19
Forced to make several changed for this second league game Vandals were found wanting in several areas, and went down by six tries, three of which were converted, to three five pointers and two conversions. Adrift by 24 points to 12 they fought back with a hard earned try to give themselves an outside chance of victory, but very quickly the Law Society scuppered that chance with a third converted score, and, as much as Vandals stove hard to get a bonus penalty try, it was the home side who wrapped up the game with their sixth try. Taking the lead Vandals promised much, but their tactical kicking left a lot to be desired, and attempting to run the ball before tying in the defence played into Law Society’s hands. The latter were adept at the pick and go tactic, and then releasing their lively backline when on the front foot.
After an initial surge from the home side, Vandals demonstrated their attacking instinct with a fine break by full back Dan Wellden, and when the ball was moved swiftly from the breakdown, winger Luke Phair showed a clean pair of heels to go over in the corner. Vandals threatened again from a scrum, but Law Society’s defence held firm, and they struck back with two clean breaks. Kicking a penalty for an attacking line out they drove forward from the set piece before moving the ball wide for a try in the corner. Taking advantage of Vandals kicking directly into touch outside their twenty-two, the home side then broke from the resultant scrum and scored a second try. Maintaining the pressure the Law Society went close to scoring again, but some stout defence held them at bay, and encouraged by these efforts Vandals got back on terms with a superb try by youngster Ollie Day. He and fellow young recruits, flankers Luke Dones, who carried well, and Alastair Davidson were prominent in their team’s efforts. Fly half Tom Bolger, too, showed glimpses of what a shrewd player he can become with more games under his belt. Prop Jack Woodhouse and Ben Mullineux, when they came on, gained valuable experience and will surely feature again as the season progresses.
Centre James Wellden, partnering the resilient Cassian Bramham-Law in midfield, converted Ollie Day’s try to bring the scores level at 12 all, and the scoreboard remained the same until half time, despite both sides having opportunities to add to their total.
Law Society were first to strike in the second half, going over in the corner after good phase play, and upping the tempo and intensity, they scored again, following a tap penalty. The conversion took the score to 24 points to 12. And with Vandals losing prop wayne mason and Cian Walsh through injury, any supremacy up front they might have had was negated, with the set piece now having to go uncontested. Nevertheless, led by skipper Adam Bullett the pack powered forward in the loose with lock Andy Howe, back row players Darren Lockyer and Harrsion Edgson, who came on at half time, all making considerable ground. It was Edgson who raised Vandals hopes with their third try after a typical determined thrust for hooker Toby Rawding with Wellden’s conversion, Vandals were now only five points behind, and they piled on the pressure to get a winning try, but a crucial knock-on allowed Law Society to snap up the loose ball and race up field for a fine counter attacking try. They had shown great attacking flair throughout the game and this try epitomised this flair, and taking advantage of another Vandals error they sewed up the contest with their final try.