Match Report: Wheats 50 Bromyard 5
By Gareth Windsor
Wheats back to winning ways
After last weeks bitterly disappointing result and performance the boys were eager to put a few wrongs right! The visit of Bromyard was the second game of three massive fixtures in December. Bromyard had only lost once all season and that was to league leaders Burbage. Last season both Bromyard and Wheats struggled and were relegated together from Midlands 3.
Wheats warmed up well and looked ready for the clash. A small down pour made the pitch a little more soggy for kick off. Wheats came out of the blocks quickly and were immediately on the front foot. They looked dangerous every time they carried the ball. Hard running from the forwards made some serious metres into Bromyard's 22 and the back row of James Przybek, Ben Hands and Andy Haughian were running riot. It was flanker Andy Haughian who managed to get on the scoresheet first for the Wheats. The home side were awarded a penalty on half way and Gareth Windsor put a great kick into the corner about 7 or 8 metres out from the Bromyard try line (I've got to big myself up once in a while haha). Alan Beauchamp hit his jumper Ben Dale from the line out and the Wheats pack drove themselves over the line with Andy Haughian the man with ball in his hands. Windsor added the conversion from out wide.
More Wheats dominance saw the boys camped in enemy territory for long periods after the try. Bromyard defended well to keep the hard running Wheats at bay, for the time being. Some great handling from backs and forwards nearly put top try scorer James Hancox in for yet another try but just the final pass was a little loose. The Wheats came again after Bromyard cleared their lines. Some excellent work at the breakdown by the Wheats pack allowed good quick ball for scrum half Sam Eaton to ship the ball off to fly half Gareth Windsor. The fly half managed to get himself past the game line and put prop Ben Craig in for the 2nd try of the game with a great offload. Windsor added the 2 in front of the posts.
Bromyard started to have some possession and tried to play themselves into the game after going 14-0 down. The front row of Ben Craig, Alan Beauchamp and captain Liam McCrea were dominating at scrum time. Powering Bromyard of the ball and turning a couple of the away sides scrums over. From a Wheats scrum came the third try of the match. Deep into their own 22 Wheats decided to run the ball out. Fly half Windsor hit a flat pass to centre Charlie Hands who timed his pass to perfection to oncoming powerhouse Ross Harrison. The winger powered his way into Bromyard's half and after some great passing opposite winger Lewis Faulkner was the man to run in the score under the sticks. Windsor added the extras.
Only minutes later came yet another wonderful Wheats try. A Wheats scrum in midfield allowed number 8 Ben Hands to pick up and pop the ball to scrum half Sam Eaton. The number 9 dummied and took the gap in the defence. A good pass into Lewis Faulkner looked to have put the teenager in for his second try in only a matter of minutes. Bromyard managed to get hands on the winger to stop him just short of the line but the teenager somehow managed to offload the ball back to Sam Eaton who dived in by the corner flag. That's now dizzy heights of 3 tries this season for Eaton, who is having an excellent run for Wheats.
With the try bonus point already in the bag Wheats wanted to completely put the game to bed before half time. Some quick ball off the top of a Wheats line out just inside Bromyard's half set up a fifth try of the game. Flanker Andy Haughian was causing problems all half with his hard running and he managed to get his 2nd score of the game just before half time. Gareth Windsor gave him the ball early and the flanker smashed his way through the backline, side stepped the oncoming fullback and slid in for a wonderful solo try. That's now 6 tries in just 4 appearances this season for Hocky!!! Windsor added the 2.
The half time team talk from coaches Matthew Cappell and Kai Hartshorn was more of the same please and a warning that Bromyard would come out strong in the opening minutes of the half, and thats exactly what they did. For the first 10 or so minutes Bromyard dominated the ball but the home side were resilient in defence and kept them out brilliantly. Some big hits coming in from Ben Dale, James Przybek, Andy Haughian and the 2 sets of brothers, the Beauchamp's and the Hand's kept Bromyard at bay! A clearance kick from Windsor pinned Bromyard back into their 22 where they then tried to clear their own lines but the kick landed straight into the speedy Lewis Faulkner's hands. The teenage winger raced his way through oncoming defenders to score yet another wonderful try! The youngest member of the squad is quickly becoming a major part of the Wheats team and now has an impressive 6 tries for the 1st XV. Windsor added an easy conversion.
Wheats used their extremely strong bench to keep the momentum going. James Fisher, Guy Maycock, Richard Saunders, Rob Clarke and Jamie Hutton all came on and kept up the fantastic energy in the attack and defence. The scrums remained dominant and the forwards continued to be excellent at the breakdown to win clean ball for Sam Eaton and Gareth Windsor to set up phase after phase of play. Excellent work rate throughout the team allowed Wheats to score again in the corner. A complete scramble for the ball insides Bromyard's 22 allowed replacement Jamie Hutton to dive on a lose ball to continue his excellent scoring run!
A very slight lack of concentration saw Bromyard cross over the white wash for the first time. A dropped ball from the restart allowed Bromyard to scramble over the line. Wheats didn't let this affect them and they continued their hunt for more points. Bromyard were keen to get some more scores themselves but some excellent defence and game management from the Wheats stopped them getting on the scoreboard again.
Wheats managed to score one more before the end. Another powerful scrum saw the referee award a penalty to Wheats. Number 8 Ben Hands quick tap and pure strength to bump a couple of defenders out the way allowed him to go over in the corner to finish the scoring off.
A dominant performance from the boys, with huge performances from 1 to 20 really put last weeks disappointment behind them. The forwards really fronted up in the scrums and at the breakdown to set up perfect ball for the backs to run riot. Special mention to fullback Josh Manning who made his first start for the 1st XV and looked as solid as a rock all game.
Saturday showed what potential this group of players have and what they can achieve. A team that had only lost once before this weekend were put to the sword from the off. This was our most complete performance of the season with structure and defence.
Ben Craig is now thriving in his new position at loose head winning scrum penalties. And even taking off my captain Liam McCrea at tight head our strength in depth showed and we still dominated the set piece.
At the other end of the scale young Lewis Faulkner was breaking speed records with ball in hand and always makes ground even with his slight frame.
The lads need to keep these level of performances up and perform to this standard every week otherwise winning a game 50-5 means nothing if you don't back it up!
Matthew 'Cheeks" Cappell
This Saturday the 1st XV travel to top of the table Burbage, in which is set to be a cracker of a game. Wheats will want to bring the same intensity from Saturdays game and look to go back to the top of the table.
UP THE WHEATS