Jake Usher (Capt)
“Evergreens take the sting out of Wasps”
Boom! What a way to start the new season, with a seriously strong starting XV (thanks Jacko for working with Wardy to get a few old friends out) on a calm September Friday evening, perfect for running rugby at Fortress Vallis, ending with a convincing victory against our vespid rivals from W3.
The tone was set from the start with a focused warm-up and solid catch and drive after Wasps kicked off. The first try of the new season was claimed by Peter Hodgkinson in the 4th minute, after a poor opposition dink was collected by Owen Bruynseels just inside our half, spun left with a pin point pass releasing Phil Chesters to make the significant ground, allowing him Hodgy a simple finish just a little too wide for Wardy to convert.
The forwards were not to be outshone and won a penalty deep in opposition territory, having won a scrum against the head after a crushing drive. The ensuing kick to touch and line out catch & drive resulted in a converted try. Dominance followed with a Chesters try from the kick-off, set up by a powerful run by Pup, then an Evergreens first for Owen P and a penalty try as Wasps reeled under the onslaught; 35 minutes in and over 30 unanswered points. Halftime must have come not a moment too soon for this set of yellow jackets.
However, once Fenlon had scored a clinical converted try from the back of the scrum to put us 40-0 up Wasps began to claw their way back into the game. Their 13 wearing centre, looking decidedly like a diet of Royal jelly was to blame for his youthful looks, scored under the posts and then the forwards swarmed to make it 40-14. Whilst Jake reminded us why we missed our talismatic skipper last season scoring in the left corner, Scouse reminded us why we didn’t by scoring only a yellow card for giving the referee a little too much barristerial back chat M’Lord.
But the Evergreens regrouped, settled the new backline of Tony Paul, Joe Price, Verma & Tel and scoring 3 further converted tries & allowing this manager to get everyone on the pitch at some point during the evening. They do say leave the best to last though and Wardy did that. This was not his almost flawless conversion kicking but, having ignoring three strong available runners, it was the cross field kick to find Owen P (how did he know he would be there…ESP I guess), who ran in our final try.
Gentlemen a fine start to the season, but it will be long and hard as we know. We need to continue this high standard if we are to regain our rightful place at the top of the Middlesex Vets Merit Table and earn the right to play the Surrey Vets winners for local bragging rights in the planned end of season play-off final. Next game is Friday 11th October (UCS Old Boys).
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