The Devs started the league campaign with a fine win away at Yarnbury to set them on their way for the season. A strong team performance set the platform for some exciting rugby and fine tries but there is still plenty to be worked on.
The game started quickly with the Devs dominating possession and territory through strong forward running from Chris Howick and Matt Hall. It took a while however for the Devs to eventually create the overlap for James Ardron to score in the corner. Wharfedale were then put under pressure themselves but resilient defence and an effective back row trio led by Andrew Bode managed to turn the ball over on a number of occasions, and when the ball was shipped to the backs darting runs by the returning Sam Lockwood and Sam Mason gained the field position required for the impressive Morgan Davies to eventually cross the line. Sam Smith converted.
The set piece generally worked well and it was from a driven maul from the line out that the platform was sent to put Harry Croft over the whitewash.
Wharfedale were well on top by this point and a superb line by Morgan Davies nearly led to another try for Ardron but unfortunately he lacked the gas to see him home. This was not such a problem for Sam Smith however when a one on one opportunity was worked for him on the wing. There was only ever going to be one outcome and he left his opposite number trailing in the dust behind. Sadly this turn of speed did lead to another broken bootlace and he was unable to take any further part in the game. The Devs were able to get a fifth score before half time as Smiths replacement and the ever reliant Mike Mclachlan blasted over under the post. Davies conversion gave the Devs an impressive 29-0 lead at half time.
Unfortunately the second half did not quite live up to the same billing. Perhaps the Devs felt the game was won. Perhaps a lack of fitness came into the equation and Yarnbury certainly tried to up their game. Whatever the cause, it lead to a very scrappy second half. Wharfedale were able to get a score around 20 minutes into the half when Ian Close went in for one of his trademark 2 yard tries. The Devs certainly had there chances to score more but a slight lack of cohesion lead to dropped opportunities and a lack of concentration at the end allowed Yarnburys centre to score in the last play of the game.
Overall it was a good away victory but early season rustiness certainly gives something to work on ready for the next few home league games.