Wheats travelled the hefty distant to Hereford to play Greyhound RFC. Majority of the boys and a handful of our loyal supporters jumped on a coach which left the Stade at 11am Saturday morning. The rest of the squad, who were working Saturday morning, and couldn’t make the coach arrived shortly after. A decent warm up was needed to get the long journey out of the system. In the reverse fixture back in September, Wheats romped to a 105-6 win at the Stade. Greyhound have been really strong at home this season so the boys knew they were in for a tough test.
Both sides started well with possession evenly spilt. Wheats managed to get the upper hand and found themselves inside the 22 where fly half Gareth Windsor made a half break. Some great hands and phase play from the Wheats followed. Back row Ryan McSorley and Ben Craig combined well and made more yards. Ben Hands put Dean Beauchamp in a little bit of space with a great flat pass, the big second row strode away from the Greyhound defenders and slid in the corner for a great try.
Greyhound managed to pin Wheats back following the try but Wheats stood strong and defended well. Wheats trundled their way up the pitch again. Some more hard running and some excellent quick ball provided for scrum half Richard Lowe set up a second Wheats try. Alan Beauchamp took the ball from Lowey, the hooker managed to get the ball away under severe pressure to Tom Brown who had to pick the ball up at his ankles. T Bizzle managed to get his pass away to speedster Lewis Faulkner. The winger raced away to score under the posts. Gareth Windsor added the extras.
After Wheats had gone 12 points up, the home side started to have more of the ball and made territory. Some great Wheats defence held them out for about 15 minutes until a lucky bounce from the back of a scrum allowed the Greyhound fly half to score to left of the posts.
Wheats then scored a 3rd try shortly afterwards through hard running flanker Ryan McSorley. Some good build up play from the Wheats with big carriers from Liam McCrea, James Fisher, Ben Hands and Ben Craig. Another big carry from Dean Beauchamp allowed him to get a great offload off to McSorley who beat 3 or 4 players to dive in for his first try of the season. Windsor converted the try. Greyhound chipped away at the scoreboard with a penalty shortly after.
Just before the final whistle Wheats managed the bonus point try. The try machine Ben Craig touched down for his first of the afternoon after a huge line break from inside his own half by Ben Hands. Craigy was moved from prop to his more usual position of number 8 and benefited from his back row partners awesome break. Windsor added the easy 2.
Apart from a few drop balls and a few to many penalties given away, Wheats were happy with their first half performance. Head coach Matthew Cappell told the boys to continue in the same way and perfect the game plan. Some good Greyhound defence didn't allow Wheats the 2nd half they really wanted. With lots of knock ons (mainly from the Wheats) the second half was very stop start.
Within 15 minutes, Wheats had another score. It was that man again, Ben Craig who smashed his way over to extend the lead. Windsor added the extras. Then came one of the tries of the season through winger Josh Manning. A scrum was awarded to Greyhound in the Wheats half. The powerful Wheats pack drove Greyhound backwards and turned over the scrum. Scrum half Richard Lowe decided to take advantage and go himself from the base of the scrum. He raced down the wing and made a great pass to supporting winger Manning. Manning managed a great chip over the top of the oncoming fullback. Josh won the foot face against 3 Greyhound defenders and the ball bounced perfectly into his hands to allow him to dive into the corner. What a way to score his first Wheats try!!! Windsor slotted the conversion from the touchline.
Some fantastic defence from centre partnership Tom Brown and James Hancox stopped Greyhound on a couple of occasions in the half, with some excellent tackles. Ben Craig nearly set up replacement winger Rob Clarke but a fantastic covering tackle from Greyhounds winger prevented Rob's first try for the Wheats. Shortly after, Craigy touched down for his hat-trick after another fantastic run. Replacement Ben Dale scored Wheats 8th and final try of the afternoon as he bundled his way over from a couple of metres out. Gareth Windsor slotted the conversion to finish off the game.
A solid away win from the boys scoring 8 fantastic tries. The Wheats back row ran riot and all the boys stood up in defence against some big strong Greyhound runners. Prop Scott Waite came off the bench to make his Wheats 1st XV debut. Scott always trains well and deserved his run out. Top lad!!!
Thanks must go to Greyhound for a great competitive game and for being fantastic hosts. We wish them all the best for the rest of the season!
Scoring 52 points away from is always great. It could of been more but we dropped a lot of the ball, which is unlike us.
A lot of the boys really put their hand up for a spot in the semi final squad on Sunday.
Matthew 'Cheeks" Cappell
Wheats face league rivals Claverdon in the Warwickshire Vase Semi Final this coming Sunday.
UP THE WHEATS