Wheats 72 Redditch 23
By Gareth Windsor
Wheats go 7 from 7 in league
After last weeks cup game the Wheats returned to league action against Redditch at the Stade. After last weeks last minute heartbreak the boys were eager to get back on the pitch and forget the Tenbury game.
Before kick off the Wheats faced an injury nightmare with Captain Fantastic Liam McCrea struggling with neck spasms ruling himself out of the tie. Richard Saunders came in to replace the injured captain.
This season Wheats have started games with real intent and have nearly always scored in the opening minutes. Through silly mistakes and Redditch’s game plan the first 10 or so minutes were the worst of the season for the Wheats. Redditch’s game plan early on was quite clearly to try push Wheats back and gain territory which they did with good effect through the boot of their fly half and fullback. Wheats struggled to hit their line outs and Redditch managed to score in the corner.
Wheats struggled to get into the game and get a rhythm going in the first 10. Wheats managed to force Redditch into a knock on after some great defence from flanker Ryan McSorley. From the resulting scrum, about 15 metres out, fly half Gareth Windsor found himself a hole in the Redditch’s backline but unfortunately as he stretched for the line the ball went forward. Wheats managed to regain possession of the ball and some good strong carries from the forwards put them 5 metres out. A penalty was awarded to the home side and quick thinking from Scrum half Sam Eaton allowed him to quick tap and go over the line untouched. That’s the scrum half’s 2nd try in as many matches. Gareth Windsor added the 2.
Redditch responded a couple of minutes later with kicking a penalty to put them back in front. Wheats started to have more possession and put some phases together after the penalty. Some great pressure in D again from flanker Ryan McSorley on Redditch’s try line resulted in a charge down by James Fisher and the second rower dived on the ball for his first try of the season! Windsor added the extras.
Redditch replied with a try of their own minutes later to the frustration of the Wheats. As Wheats regrouped behind the posts and restarted the game Redditch fumbled the kick off. The ball was collected from a Wheats player and James Hancox managed to offload the ball to James Fisher. A classic Fishy show and go allowed him to crash over in the corner for his 2nd of the game.
Wheats started to dominate the ball and put their phases together. Some hard running and superb hands allowed Wheats to cross over for the bonus point try! James Hancox finished off a great try after a great offload from Guy Maycock. Windsor slotted the conversion.
More pressure straight from the restart from the strong looking Wheats. Redditch missed a kick to touch which found its way into winger Lewis Faulkner's hands. The teenager side stepped his way past a few players and made some great yards. Quick ball from the ruck allowed Gareth Windsor to offload to Ben Craig who finished off the move from about 30 metres out for his first of the afternoon.
Ben Craig's try pulled Wheats clear from Redditch but the away side didn't give up and scored once again in the corner. The scoring wasn't over in a hectic first half. Ben Craig managed to beat multiple players to cross over the whitewash yet again and put Wheats further ahead.
It just goes to show how high the boys standards are this season that they seemed a little disappointed at the interval. Even with a lead off 18 at half time they were disappointed in their defensive performance and allowing Redditch a sniff of a chance.
The boys started the second half much better than the first. Dominating the ball and possession. Redditch had a clearance kick charged down and it fell to winger Lewis Faulkner who put a few defenders on their backsides and snaked his way through! A great covering tackle from a Redditch player finally stopped him in his tracks. Unfortunately for Redditch they couldn't get set quickly enough and Ben Craig completed a fine hattrick in the corner.
After a great performance last week and an even better one on Saturday afternoon, Lewis Faulkner scored a well deserved try. Redditch yet again had to clear their lines from deep in their 22. The kick bounced awkwardly for covering prop Ben Craig and the ball slipped through the big mans legs. Faulkner was able to gather the ball and saunter in for a great try in the corner from just inside the Redditch half.
Wheats seemed in the mood for more and thats what they delivered. Some more excellent play from the backs James Hancox and Tom Brown set up space for Ben Hands 10 metres out. There was no stopping the big man as he crashed over, to bring up the half century for Wheats. Windsor added the 2.
Redditch hadn't given up hope of a bonus point try but some great defence from the likes of Guy Maycock, Dean Beauchamp and co kept them at bay. Rob Clarke came on for his first appearance for the Wheats 1st XV and helped create a hattrick try for James Fisher. Fishy celebrated with the "Fishy splash" under the sticks to the delight of his team mates. Windsor added the easy 2 points.
A slight lapse in concentration from the Wheats allowed Redditch to score a bonus point try straight from the restart. This didn't stop the Wheats try scoring rampage. For the first time in a Wheats shirt Richard Saunders dotted down! Some great play from replacements Rob Clarke and Steve Pahal allowed Saunders to stroll over the line with a huge grin on his face!
With full time looming Ben Hands scored his 2nd and Wheats 12th try of the day. The Wheats 8 picked and went off the base of the scrum and steamed away down the line and round under the posts to cap off a great day for the mighty Wheats. Windsor added the easy conversion.
A great attacking performance from the boys as they go 7 from 7 in league. Some stand out performers all over the pitch including the hattrick heroes Ben Craig and James Fisher. Credit must go to Redditch who scored some great tries and leave with a try bonus point.
Errors in all areas of our game in the first 25 minutes gave Redditch a sniff of a result. Once we cut out the silly mistakes and we started to get into our stride and put the phases together, which dragged Redditch all over the pitch. This opened up gaps for us to exploit and score some great tries.
This was a good run out for the boys today with some stand out performances from James Fisher, Ben Craigy, Ben Hands and Lewis Faulkner all creating and scoring multiple tries.
Matthew 'Cheeks' Cappell
No game this weekend for the boys but with a BIG December ahead the boys will need the rest!
UP THE WHEATS!!!