Match Report - Surrey 1 - Vandals v Law Society
By Stuart Howkins
Vandals return to league action with an emphatic win over Law Society. Currently in fourth place and one point off a play off spot
WEYBRIDGE VANDALS 44 LAW SOCIETY 27
Having been well beaten by Laws Society earlier in the season Vandals exacted empathic revenge in this return league fixture with this comprehensive victory, which followed on from their resounding cup win the previous week. They will be critical of losing their focus in the last quarter allowing their opponents to score three tries, but they were never in danger of being overhauled once they had overcome an early ascendancy from the lawyers.
It took a penalty and a well worked try from the opposition to spark Vandals into life, but their response was positive and purposeful, and once they had touched down for their opening try, they grew in confidence and attacking intent, taking their enemy by storm. Centre Dan Wellden carved his way over for the first score after a counter attack from a turnover, with Brother James Wellden converting and the fly half soon had Vandals on level terms when he converted a penalty, following a Law Society infringement. A second turnover for Vandals then saw them take the lead, after some fine linking between forwards and backs, with Winger Ollie Day adding the finishing touches. James Wellden was unable to add the extras from wide out, but he converted a penalty shortly afterwards to extend Vandals lead to 18 pts to 10. Law Society threatened to reduce the deficit with some phase play, but Vandals defence was solid and sound, and the lawyers were further frustrated when they missed a very kickable penalty. They then lost control of scrum ball, and were penalised allowing Vandals to move into their opposition’s 22. Under further pressure Law Society infringed again and lost a player to the sin bin. This was must before the half time break and Vandals took full advantage. A touch line kick from James Wellden set up an attacking line out, and the forwards exercised the perfect driving maul with hooker Lewis Razey prominent throughout, touching down for the try to give Vandals a fifteen point lead following Wellden’s conversion.
Law Society began the second half in determined fashion, knowing that one try would see them back in the game, but a knock on in a good position gave possession to Vandals . They initially squandered a chance after being penalised at the line out, but reacted with a superb counter attack with No 8 Josh Carter, part of a highly influential back row, powering over for the try, which once again James Wellden converted. At 32-10 Vandals were well in control, and substitute Luke Dones then stepped up to reinforce this superiority. Flanker James Gulliver was the instigator of Vandals next try, a powerful and penetrating run paving the way for Josh Carter to record a double. Coming on late in proceedings, Carl Hoade soon got into the action with a great run, resulting in a penalty for his side, and then full back George Bolster burst up the wing, supported by James Gulliver, and on hand was Luke Dones, have a purple patch since coming on, to drive over to complete Vandals total. With time still available, they perhaps should have hit the half century mark so much were they in control, but, having got the win and the bonus point, they relaxed their grip on the game, and their opponents fought back with three tries and a bonus point of their own.
It has been a successful start to the new year for Vandals, and with several more home league games to come, they can look forward to the rest of the season with a certain amount of confidence and optimism. Captain Adam Bullett and coaches Merlin O’Donnell and David Hoade will be striving hard to achieve promotion to London SW3 which is well within the team’s grasp.