Bonus Point win Kicks off Season
“A hugely positive performance against a dogged St Josephs team” commented director of rugby Martyn Fowler “This is a very young side with bags of potential and if we can make small strides forward each week we will be a side to be reckoned with”
“We were clinical in attack for most of the game taking the chances on offer. Our young centres once again played like vets both in attack and defence” added coach Dan Fish.
On a warm but grey afternoon the Wanderers, resplendent in their new kit, were straight out of the blocks. From a visitor’s clearance kick in-field the home side countered. Josh Male made the first of many telling breaks in the game and he fed Phil Pariyo who took off where he finished off last season running in for his first try of the season. Luke Fish converted 7-0. The “Joes” hit back and settled into their game. Finding the Wanderers midfield defence impossible to penetrate they took to some close quarter driving and when the home side were penalised at a ruck they reduced the arrears with a penalty 7-3. The Wanderers with Male and Cameron Gibbon prominent were a constant threat and once again clinical finishing added a try. A Male break followed by a good carry by Rob Lewis set up field position and as the defence looked to defend out wide scrum half Ross Pritchard darted through the ruck-side defence and stretch out to cross beside the posts. Fish converted 14-3. Despite the deficit the visitors stuck to their guns and when awarded a penalty they elected for a kick to the corner. As the home side defended the driving lineout the Joes moved the ball into midfield and with a series of drives they eventually found a weakness and Luke Egan charged over for a try. Jacob Chilcott converted 14-10. The game ebbed and flowed and when Fish was robbed of possession on halfway the visitors looked to counter. Unfortunately, Josh Sheehan, who had a superb afternoon stealing opposition lineout, intercepted a pass and set off downfield. He was supported by Gibbon and he put Pariyo in under the posts for the third try. Fish converted 21-10. With the game and weather heating up the Wanderers secured their first bonus point of the season before half time. Sheehan stole another lineout and after the forwards drove with the ball the home side were awarded a penalty. People looked to Fish for a kick to the corner but Pritchard had other ideas. Catching the defence napping he raced away and Gibbon was in support to run in the try. Fish converted and the sides went into the break at 28-10.
The visitors began the second half brightly and the Wanderers were forced into a period of defence. Once again the home side tacklers were solid and turnover ball gave them another opportunity. It was Male again who made the break and as he was caught in the opposition 22 he slipped the ball inside. Unfortunately for the defence a defender knocked the ball back over the try line and Gibbon was quickest to the ball and he grabbed the fifth try of the afternoon. Fish hit the post with the touchline conversion to make it 33-10. The home side went close again when a kick chase by Aaron Fowler and Dan Apsee was foiled just short the Joes defence was stretched to the limit. Despite that they showed great qualities of resilience and there followed a period of dominance from the visitors. A series of penalties gave them momentum and as the Wanderers fell foul of the referees whistle the game became very ragged. The Joes pounded at the Wanderers line and as more and more penalties were awarded cards were inevitable first Aaron Fowler saw yellow and when the defence was finally cracked to allow the visitors second try Joe Russell received a yellow for arguing, to leave the Wanderers with 13 and the score at 33-17. The result was not in doubt and with 13 men the attacking options were limited. 2 kick chases were foiled in goal by good cover defence but Fish did add a penalty when the opposition were caught offside in their 22 to make it 36-17. The home side eventually restored their full quota but no further scores were possible and everyone (except St Joes) retired to the bar satisfied with an opening bonus point win. Final Score 36-17
Tries: Phil Pariyo (2), Cameron Gibbon (2), Ross Pritchard
Cons: Luke Fish (4)
Pens: Luke Fish
Massiv man of the match: Josh Male