Wanderers won 33 – 15 at home to DMP 3rds in the Candy Cup semi-final. Match report by Huw Reynolds:
Firstly, a big thank you to all those players who took part last Saturday, some at very short notice. Due to numerous late cry-offs, a predominantly forward orientated squad amassed at Northern HQ. We ended up with forwards in the backs, forwards kicking goals, as well as more predictably, forwards in the forwards. It would have been no surprise if we’d seen Duncan Arnold or Laurie Troke serving sausages after the match.
With Ben Waugh stepping into scrum-half (and having an excellent match), Alex Turnbull walking straight off the car park into outside half, Phil Kay (flanker) and James Allison (hooker) in the centres, the game plan was a predicable one i.e. keep it tight. In fairness, with Josh Vince-Irwin at full back, Chris Malley on one wing and debutant flyer Louis Tang on the other wing, we had some serious gas out wide, so it was a case of picking the right opportunities. They were a big side and we knew they would tire which proved to be the case with Northern running in late tries through some expansive rugby.
The match started with a bang. One minute in Alex Turnbull, who was nursing a nasty recurring injury (St Patrick’s Day hangover), picked a great line from a popped pass and ran 50 metres to score in the corner. Sick bags were administered but thankfully not required. DMP responded well and after sustained pressure, scored an equalising try on 8 minutes. Jonny Eames stormed through after numerous surges from the forwards to jink his way over on 17 minutes, converted by Jordan Brown, who also added a penalty on 28 minutes. Unfortunately, a late backlash from DMP resulted in another unconverted try just before half time. 15-10 to the Wanderers at the break.
The second half started similarly to the first. Northern regained possession from the re-start and the forwards rolled forward committing defenders. When the gaps appeared, the ball was shifted wide to flying wing Chris Malley who easily ran round his opposite number to score in the corner. On 55 minutes Jordan Brown slotted a nice penalty to extend the gap. DMP responded again with a try of their own on 47 minutes.
Thereafter and as anticipated, DMP tired, having been dragged around the pitch. The gaps appeared towards the end and Alex Hale, our resident flanker come winger, scorched over in the corner on 77 minutes, followed by Cameron Horrocks in more leisurely fashion on 79 minutes. Final score 33-15 Wanderers.
Mention and thanks must go especially to Louis Tang, Louis Frear, James Allison and Ben Waugh, who all stepped in at short notice and who all played extremely well.
Following an up and down season, we can now look forward to two cup finals to close off the season, as well as potentially some more hangovers.
Tries: Alex Turnbull, Jonny Eames, Chris Malley, Alex Hales, Cameron Horrocks
Conversions: Jordan Brown (1)
Penalties: Jordan Brown (2)
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