Wheats travelled the short distance to Dunlop on Saturday afternoon for the first league game of the season. With perfect weather conditions and a good quality pitch the game was set to be a cracker.
After last seasons woes for Dunlop, having to drop out of the league half way through the season, Wheats knew they would be well up for the game and ready to go from the off. Dunlop dominated possession in the opening 10 or so minutes through their forwards. Wheats defence was up to task and a managed to break away the first time the backs got their hands on the ball. Unfortunately a dropped ball 10 metres out denied Wheats a try, but not for long. After some good build up play from the forwards, fly half Gareth Windsor chipped over the top of the defence, with the bounce of the ball in his favour managed to regather and score under the posts. Windsor added the 2 points.
Dunlop continued trying to break through Wheats via their forwards. Wheats again stood strong and cleared their lines. A loose pass from Dunlop landed in centre Ross Harrison’s hands. He managed to outrun the covering defenders and score a great intercept try. Windsor added the extras.
A few minutes later a touch of déjà vu as Dunlop gifted Wheats another try. This time Gareth Windsor intercepting and running half the field to score his second.
Half time 19-0
Wheats head coach Matt Cappell wanted more dominance from his team in the 2nd half and to put the game out of reach of the home side.
Wheats managed to put their game plan together early in second half with plenty of big carries from James Przybek, Guy Maycock and debutant Darren Perry. Gareth Windsor managed to complete his hattrick after some great phase play from Wheats and bring up the try bonus point. Windsor added the extra 2 points.
Wheats then dominated most of the half with some strong running from the forwards and some deadly finishing from the backs.
Fullback Jamie Hutton put a peach of a kick into the corner for Lewis Faulkner to chase and collect to score his first of the season. Conversion added by Windsor.
Shortly after, last seasons top try scorer James Hancox, smashed his way over the line to get his account up and running. Conversion added.
Wheats were running riot at this point and big Ross Harrison managed to beat multiple players to dive in for his 2nd try of the game. This was shortly followed by some good play from winger Steve Pahal who offloaded to Jamie Hutton to score under the sticks. Lewis Faulkner managed to get another try at the death to round off a great afternoons work.
Gareth Windsor 3
Ross Harrison 2
Lewis Faulkner 2
James Hancox 1
Jamie Hutton 1
Gareth Windsor 8
The first game of the season is always a tricky one. 154 days since the last competive fixture means cobwebs and rustiness can set in.
The game was scrappy at times but this was expected as new combinations were being used and debuts being made. We made some silly errors at times not holding on to the ball but we also cut through Dunlops defence at ease with fast direct running and slick hands.
Matthew ‘Cheeks’ Cappell
A good strong start to the campaign from the Wheats puts them top of the league on points difference.
This Saturday the boys turn their attention to the RFU Cup with a tricky trip to Northampton Mens Own.
UP THE WHEATS