Launceston 38 Wharfedale 24
Two tries conceded in the final quarter condemned Wharfedale to their first defeat in five games.
The Greens returned home with a bonus point for scoring four tries, three in the first half, but were eventually over powered by a well drilled Launceston side. With the conditions suiting running rugby the home side came out firing, scoring the first try in the opening few minutes. Their lead was short lived however with Wharfedale scoring on their first meaningful attack. A sweeping move was finished out wide by skipper Rob Baldwin after fine handling by the back division. The Cornishmen, who were dominant in the set piece all afternoon, then marched into a 17-5 lead courtesy of two tries and the boot of fly half Tony Yapp.
The visitors responded by two well worked tries of their own, taking the half time score to 17 a piece. The first was a carbon copy of Baldwin’s try; this time Chris Malherbe benefitting from slick handling to power over from two yards. James Tincknell scored Wharfedale’s third to continue his fine try scoring form after a cross field kick. Mark Bedworth added the conversion to surpass 1000 league points for the Greens.
The second half continued in similar vein to the first with Launceston using their impressive line out to control proceedings, reclaiming the lead with a well worked try. Dan Solomi sneaked over from close range and if support had been on hand for Phil Woodhead after the scrum half made a searing break the outcome could have been different.
As it was Launceston seized the initiative with two late tries to end any chance of an upset. There were a number of plus points for Wharfedale to take in to next week’s game against champions Esher. Tom Wareing, starting his first league game, performed admirably and Phil Woodhead was a constant threat to the opposition defence with his sniping breaks.
Wharfedale: Luke Gray; Andrew Hodgson, James Tincknell, Chris Malherbe, Dave Hall (Dan Hart 70); Mark Bedworth (Dan Matthews 70), Philip Woodhead; Mark Chivers, Steve Graham (Gavin Hindle 60), Chris Steel (Ben Fear 60), Richard Rhodes, Richard Brown (Jim Mason 75), Tom Wareing, Dan Solomi, Rob Baldwin (c).