U15’s v Wanstead
By David Lawrence
For a game whose score line didn't reflect the team effort put in by the boys
This weekend the U15’s travelled to North London for a league fixture against Wanstead. It was going to be a hard game as Woodham had only 14 players, reduced to 13 after Dylan sustained an injury during training.
Wanstead played in the True spirit of the game and loaned Woodham 2 players and the match was set, with Woodham winning the toss and electing to receive. Wanstead had the first half, and home advantage, with the slop and wind against Woodham.
Wanstead were deep into the Woodham half from the off and with some big units were making inroads to Woodham’s defence. Woodham didn’t over commit at the rucks, allowing the home side to commit 3 players each time, but a strong ruck inside the Woodham 10 m line saw the hosts cross for the first try of the game inside 3 minutes, but the conversion was missed and the score 5 – 0.
Woodham pushed hard into the Wanstead half from a good kick at the restart. In their eagerness to chase down the ball, left a dog leg for the Wanstead attack to prob. Some great tackling for Rhino, Ox, Alex and Owen slowed the attack. But Wanstead recycled the ball out to the backs and breezed through several tackles to cross again on 4 minutes, and with the conversion the score was now 12 -0 to the hosts.
Woodham seemed to settle following this try and the scrum was working well, with quick ball out to the backs and some nice ball through hands Woodham pushed forward on the Wanstead defence. The ball won on a number of rucks Woodham were looking like they wanted the try. However, Wanstead were not resting on their laurels and pushed Woodham back into their own half. Play passed back and forth for 20 minutes with neither side reaching the try line.
Wanstead took advantage at the Ruck and progressed along the Woodham wing, crossing for their 3rd try of the game on 25 minutes. The conversion good Wanstead took the half time whistle 19 – 0.
Woodham came out all guns blazing in the second half. With the wind behind them and the slope advantage the boys looked strong on the attack. But a handling error let Wanstead back into the game and they scored through a well worked try 2 minutes into the second half. With the conversion they lead 26 -0.
But Woodham were not done, and unlike previous games, their heads did not drop. All the boys we replaying for each other and supporting the ball carrier well. Again 18 minutes more play, with Wanstead camped on the Woodham 10-meter line for at least 10 of those minutes, the Woodham defence was exceptional. Woodham won 4 rucks and several scrums but just couldn’t get out of their own danger zone. Wanstead crossed the line twice, but were held up by the Woodham defence. Finally, Wanstead proved too strong, and the hosts crossed again, this time successful. The conversion missed it was now 31 – 0.
Woodham pushed once more from the restart. Wanstead spurning the attacks with a good defence, the Woodham pack chipped away slowly pushing the hosts back. Then through a great backs move Owen offloaded from the tackle to Rhino. Rhino tackled off loaded to Ox and down the line for Owen to pick up and cross in the corner for a well worked try. The conversion missed the score now 31 – 5. Woodham continued to push but there were to be no more points to either side come the final whistle.
Man of the match this week for playing out of position, hitting the tackles, good work under the high ball and pushing forwards, Jim. Next week the boys are away at Bancroft, so another trip to North London, with high hopes following today’s team effort.