16/17 Wanderers. Novos II 28 - 35 Wanderers.

Novos II 28 – Wanderers 35. Match report by Huw Reynolds.

Some great novels apparently start with the ending, so with this literary genre in mind ………

….. The brave call was to the end of the lineout, Moore’s throw was pin-point accurate, Haley soared, caught and off-loaded in one seamless movement, Waugh bulleted the backs into motion, Hood stampeded, forwards sniped, and sniped again, red ball called, backs in motion, another ruck, more quick ball and ……. (**)

Costa Del Four Lane Ends hosted this rearranged fixture, where shorts, bikinis and moulded flip-flops were the preferred attire. Northern warmed up poorly, but some stern words before the kick-off provided the metaphorical kick up the backside that resulted in a dominant first 15 minutes, with the forwards, bolstered by debutant and all-round big lad Michael Henderson, and back for mum’s cooking and washing weekenders Kieran Laws and Nick White, dominating proceedings. Ryan Moore, excellent throughout, delivered accurate throwing, from which the pack mauled its way forwards. Clearly with the upper hand, the pack drove through a number of rucked phases, before White stretched over from three and three-quarter inches, on 2 minutes. 4 minutes later, Moore scored from a similar pattern of events but from half an inch further out. There was a clear lapse of concentration at this juncture, with minds wandering to wine, women and sangria, and Novos took advantage with gusto and scored 2 excellent converted tries to level the score. With a minute remaining on the clock, Wanderers regained the lead after some excellent work by backs and forwards alike, resulting in a try for Robbie Micheson out wide. Now was the time to secure the re-start and boot it well into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. We did the first bit (regained possession) but some inexperience saw us kick in-field from which their talented and very jinky winger counter-attacked and after a couple of rucks Novos went over under the posts. 21 – 21 at HT.

Now, one for the statistician. In a quirk of local tradition, no conversions are allowed on Novos pitch 2 (far end) due to the escalating cost of replacing expensive rugby balls that end up in the job seeker allowance queue at the Ministry. All tries are deemed to have been converted. So, is Moore (our designated kicker for the day) accredited with 3 conversions or does A N Other benefit?

The second half started like the first, when on 43 minutes, James Bullman arced his way through the defence to score. Moore was given the novel opportunity to convert on this occasion and he duly obliged. This was now turning into a full-on, ding-dong battle, and back came Novos to score another converted try on 51 minutes. They were now in the ascendancy and a harsh yellow for Kieran Laws meant that in was all hands to the defensive pump. Fortunately, given the heat and the fast pace, Northern had plenty of subs, and the defence remained stout. Novos came close on several occasions but were repelled time and time again. If it had remained at 28 – 28, it would have been a fair result, but how often is sport fair, and in stoppage time, …..

(**) ……there was Bullman, pumped full of age-defying serum, ghosting Barry John like, untouched by human hand, to score in the corner on the 80th minute. Moore, adrenalin fuelled, nailed the conversion from the touchline.

Tries:                 White, Moore, Micheson, Bullman (2)

Conversions:     Ryan Moore (2 or 5 – take your pick)

Penalties:           None


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