Wanderers win on the road
Tata Steel 17
“Any bonus point win will be taken in this league” Commented manager Mark Gould “We certainly weren’t playing as we would like, probably guilty of trying to play too much rugby. We will need to be more pragmatic next season.”
Coach Andrew Roberts added “Yes, a scrappy game but and Tata put us under real pressure. Especially in the scrum second half but we toughed it out and probably left a few points out there”.
A shower of rain greeted the players to the field making handling a little more difficult. Early possession was with the home side but the Wanderers defence was up to the task. Tata went through the phases but lacked the penetration and patience to break the visitors down. It was 10 minutes before the Wanderers broke out of their half after a penalty allowed Tommy Taylor to kick to the home side 22. From decent lineout ball the visitors moved the ball wide. Tom Weekley pushed a grubber kick through which was gathered by Ioan Cooper. Tata defended well and scrambled back to regain possession. Unfortunately, as they attempted to clear the ball Steffan Davies charged the clearance down and the bobbling ball was pounced upon by Shaun O’Rourke (the Wanderers new try machine) who touched down for the opening try. Tommy Taylor converted 0-7. With the visitors dominating the lineout the home side found possession hard to come by and at times their defence was a little disjointed. Taking advantage, the Wanderers were soon further ahead. Moving the ball into midfield again Will Trethewey shrugged off would be tacklers and he cruised away to score the second try. Taylor converted again 0-14. The home side were cheered by a dominance in the scrum and that allowed them to start to apply some pressure. Fortunately, O’Rourke was dominating the lineout and the visitors were able recover possession when deep in their own 22. The game ebbed and flowed for a while with both sides guilty of handling errors in the damp conditions and there was little continuity on display. From a scrum the home side were awarded a penalty and they decided to take a shot at goal. The attempt struck the upright and the Wanderers were found to be fast asleep. Tata recovered the ball and they crashed over for their opening try 7-14. The home side tails were up for a while and the Wanderers were forced into a reshuffle with scrum half Davies going off injured. Debutant Ben Dwyer was forced into action onto the wing instead of his preferred back row. The Wanderers regrouped and finished the half strongly. Again, moving it wide right another Weekley grubber was gathered by Cooper. This time he forced his way through the defenders and crashed over to score the visitors third try. Taylor converted again to send the sides into the break at 7-21.
The Wanderers began the second half with plenty of possession but very little direction. Once again guilty of playing too much and in the wrong places they coughed up possession far too easily. As it was Tata could not take full advantage despite scrum dominance. They did narrow the margin with a penalty making it 10-21 but the visitors then gained the bonus point. Tata were on the attack but the ball was spilled. Countering Weekley sent a kick downfield. He chased up the kick and when in the wet conditions the ball was lost, he gathered it himself and raced clear to score the 4th try Taylor converted 7-28. The Wanderers called for a fresh front row but that failed to produce the desired stability up front. Luckily the visitor’s backs were showing glimpses of continuity. A move in the home side 22 saw Dwyer come off his wing to scythe through the defence and he raced clear to score the fifth try. Again, Taylor converted 10-35. Tata then had a real period of pressure with penalties coming at scrum time. They were probably guilty of not forcing penalties and possibly yellow cards as they tried to play rugby rather than allowing their forwards to dominate. When they moved the ball the wanderers defence was solid and they reclaimed possession. A relieving kick gave the visitors a 50-22 lineout and after a mover of several phases the Wanderers gained a penalty 5 metres out. Tommy Walsh elected to take a tap and go and he was escorted over the line for the 6th try. Taylor added the extras again 10-42. The game ended with a Tata revival. Smashing the Wanderers scrum it appeared to all that a penalty try was on the cards. As it was they moved the ball from a scrum and when Cooper deliberately knocked on the penalty try was awarded to end the game. Final score 17-42.
Tries: Shaun O’Rourke, Will Trethewey, Ioan Cooper, Tom Weekley, Ben Dwyer, Tommy Walsh
Cons: Tommy Taylor (6)
Management Man of the match: Will Trethewey
Massiv Man of the Match: Tommy Taylor