Probably the best thing to be said regarding the Foresters performance here was that for some reason they seemed for a great deal of the match to be in second gear. It happens sometimes and they will know themselves that they must raise themselves to a higher level if they wish to maintain the fine records accumulated by Foresters teams over many seasons. At the end of the day they did come away with 5 points, so let`s not be over critical.
The Greens started off in fine style and were 10 points up after ten minutes of the game. It appeared that this was going to be easy. These points were accumulated in the first instance by full back Ryan Hamilton who joined in a flowing move by the backs to go over for a try. The backs were able to create this after very good work by the pack in creating a decent solid scrum. It was quite an experienced pack on the whole with a front row of George Altham, Tom Jackson and Mike Bradshaw, ably assisted yet again by locks Richard Rhodes and Sam Smith. The back row of Nathan Myers, Oliver Snowden and skipper Tom Whyte provided a solid base to a very decent eight. The next points came after an excellent five yard driven line out and who else but Myers was there to add another five points, giving a ten point lead to the visitors.
Then the Foresters had a snooze mode period where they literally went off the boil, not making more of their superiority and the half time came with the visitors 10-0 to the good.
The second half commenced with Yarnbury scoring a penalty, which was quickly followed by another Wharfedale try. Four or five extremely good phases gave Altham the opportunity to scamper over to the right-hand side of the posts for a try that was converted by the old warrior Jonathon Davies. The Greens were 17-3 up and then yet again the old brake pedal came into effect and Yarnbury responded in good fashion by scoring two tries one of which was converted. Here we were with a score line of 17-15 and what could have been a fairly major upset on the cards. The backs this week formed by half backs Sam Stockdale and Oliver Whyte, threequarters Sam Mason, Mark Simpson, Joe Slater and Scott Rogers, whilst some have not been around the block as much as other Foresters backs, they are accumulating experience every week and will benefit from games such as this. The final member of the backs was the afore-mentioned Hamilton at full back.
The replacements consisting of Jake Starkey, Neil Dickinson, Simon Borrill, Matt Hall and Jonathon Davies, as always, contributed in their usual solid way. The fourth try for the Foresters was possibly their best. A terrific 20 yards driven line out resulted in Matt Hall making sure that after making so much ground it was not wasted and touched down for the points. Davies converted and this provided a final score of 24 -15 to the Greens. Mark Simpson managed to get yellow carded five minutes from the conclusion of the game.
Undoubtedly a mixed performance from the Foresters but very few teams, if any, play at their best 100% of the time and though it sounds a bit twee, a win is a win as only good teams gain victories when not playing at their best. Bigger challenges lie ahead and the squad have to learn to play consistently good rugby. Undoubtedly they will.
The team: – George Altham, Tom Jackson, Mike Bradshaw, Richard Rhodes, Sam Smith, Nathan Myers, Oliver Snowden, Tom Whyte (c), Sam Stockdale, Oliver Whyte, Sam Mason, Mark Simpson, Joe Slater, Scott Rogers, Ryan Hamilton.
Replacements :- Jake Starkey, Neil Dickinson, Simon Borrill, Matt Hall, Jonathon Davies.