Wharfedale are faced with an unenviable task in their desire to provide competitive matches week in and week out for the Foresters. West Park prior to this game had accumulated zero league points with a points deficit of – 213 from eight games.
You may consider why is that so important? The problem becomes apparent when Foresters players are required for first team duties and the Club needs these players to be sharp and hardened by having played tough competitive games of rugby against strong club sides. This is not easy to achieve a great deal of the time but let us at this point give praise to West Park who, unlike a number of other clubs, turned up and provided good match play time. Not in any shape or form Wharfedale’s fault and certainly not the oppositions. People work extremely hard behind the scenes to overcome this situation and Wharfedale pay the price for having such a powerful second string.
The game itself was played in bad conditions with wind and rain creating the usual problems such weather provides. There is very little point in analysing the match itself except to say that both sides attempted to play decent rugby when the elements and conditions were against them. The Greens were expected to be stronger and they were. Wharfedale attempted to run the ball at every opportunity and create chances, consequently it would came as no surprise to see that the Foresters tries all came from the backs and in particular they benefited from getting the ball wide at every opportunity. The first try was scored by Jamie Guy after an opposition kick had been charged down and the wingers then made hay. As a result of the Greens approach wingers Ralph Wellock and Josh Prell went over for two and three tries respectively and not to be out done, the centres Matt van Sertima with one and Andy Rhodes with two, showed the determination and skill of the threequarter line.
The other tries came from James Druce and Harris Catley, the latter coming on as a replacement. The other replacements used were Matt Close, James Huck and Ben Parkinson. Kicking duties went to Druce in the first half, who slotted over five and then in the second half, Rhodes, who added a further two. Max Bell played a competent game at scrum half and the forwards front row of Joe Jackson, Jake Parkinson and Ricky Cano provided their usual experience to the task in hand. Second rows Rhys Davies, Sam Smith and the back row of Nathan Myers, Mat Hall and Jack Kitching once more showed their importance to the performance of the pack as a unit.
It was not one of those games where it could be said that such and such a player stood out, although it must be mentioned how well the wingers took their tries. Rather that the team as a whole knuckled down to what they had to do and did their job well. Once again praise is due to West Park who never gave up on what looked an impossible confrontation and they certainly deserve credit.
James Druce (c), Ralph Wellock, Matt van Sertima, Andy Rhodes, Josh Prell, Jamie Guy, Max Bell, Joe Jackson, Jake Parkinson, Ricky Cano, Rhys Davies, Sam Smith, Nathan Myers, Mat Hall, Jack Kitching.
Matt Close, James Huck, Ben Parkinson, Harris Catley.