Sun 08
Under 18's
First Game of the Season

First Game of the Season

By Jeremy Turner
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"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness"

: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness" Charles Dickens spot on with his assessment of the opening game for the colts against Westcliff.

Wanstead, with possibly the biggest squad the colts have fielded, came up against a team with nearly enough players to field two teams but still managed to give them a good game.

Within minutes of the game starting though, Tom Driver was called on to replace the injured Sid Robinson, a reoccurrence of a shoulder injury from last season. Westcliff started much brighter than their hosts and were pushing through the Wanstead half, good work by Max Cotterill looked to free up Harry Turner but a knock on gave the ball back to the visitors.

Westcliff build up some pressure, but Andrew breaks their concentration with a good clearance and run into the visitors half.

Improved defensive work by the Herons frustrated the visitors as they made slow progress back toward the Wanstead ten metre line, when they did attempt to break through Jamie and Dylan were on hand to drive the player and ball out of play. From the resulting line out Westcliff looks to have gained an advantage but Mason Noble with some quick thinking drives the attacker out again.

Wanstead won a scrum shortly after on their 10 metre line and Kyle relieved the pressure on his team by collecting a quick pass and running to the visitors 10-meter line, stopped only by some last gasp defensive work. Wanstead started to look brighter in their play, from the next Wanstead scrum, Max Cotterill gets the ball out quickly to Dylan and he drove over to open the scoring, conversion kicked by Harry Turner.

The score appears to give Wanstead belief and from the restart Harry Turner collects and goes on a run that ends on the visitors 10 metre line. Westcliff won a penalty and looked to break with a strong determined run, however the dependable Brandon Smith with a fantastic tackle stopped a certain try.

Westcliff were now camped in the Wanstead half, only good defensive work keeping them from scoring. It wasn't a surprise when they finally drive over to score after they are awarded a couple of penalties, conversion missed.

From the restart, Max Cotterill gets the ball moving quickly, Mason Noble the recipient of the ball, he drove forward and put Wanstead back into the lead. Conversion kicked by Harry Turner.

Wanstead, building up a good period of pressure looked to have extended their lead with a great run by Harry Turner but the try was disallowed. The hosts were finished the half strongly and against the run of play Westcliff get back into the game just before the whistle goes with a breakaway. Conversion missed.

Half time 14-10

During the first half Wanstead picked up four injuries meaning the squad was down to one sub for the second half. The visitors though, had the benefit of changing most of their team around with a fresh crop of players and this seemed to swing the game in their favour. The second half looked to be a defence against attack exercise at times with Wanstead keeping the visitors at bay for long periods of time whilst trying to work the ball around themselves. The visitors had to work hard for the three try’s they ran in, whilst Wanstead struggled to get over the line a couple of times.

There were some good performances and encouraging signs from the Wanstead colts against one of the better sides in the county and as Mr. Dickens also said, "it was a season of hope".

Full Time 14-25

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Match details

Match date

Sun 08, Sep 2019