With over 20 minutes of the first half gone and with Doncaster Phoenix gaining a deserved score following sustained pressure to make the scoreline 12-5, few would have guessed the final result. Phoenix were far from a weak side and they never gave up the fight; indeed they forced their way over for the final try of the game. However, such was the pace and accuracy with which the whole Wharfedale team attacked, the Greens were an irresistible force. It was truly an outstanding performance which was cheered on by a large home crowd.
The opening try was a portent of much which was to follow. The Greens’ pressure in defence had driven Doncaster backwards and forced a scrum. Jack Johnson set the back line in motion and Ben Parkinson split the Phoenix defenders with a tremendous line to cross near the posts. Shortly afterwards the forwards drove an attacking line and Tom Whyte darted in for the try. The pack can take much credit for providing an endless supply of quality possession, even claiming a penalty try from a scrum towards the end of the game.
After the Phoenix try, Wharfedale dominated the rest of the half. Winger Ed Gill chased down a clearance kick to allow possession to be reclaimed and fellow wingman Josh Prell was on hand to gather a kick through to score. He almost immediately returned the favour with his cross-field kick finding Gill as Wharfedale attacked from 10 yards from their own line. Gill set off on a mazy run, beating five defenders as he covered the length of the field to touch down.
It was Prell’s turn next. New signing, Matt Houghton, won the ball at the ruck and swift hands sent Prell clear.
At 31-5 up, Rhys Davies was eager that the Foresters did not rest on their laurels and his half-time talk certainly did the trick. Doncaster Phoenix started the second period strongly but Wharfedale did not give an inch. They soon regained possession and the cut loose with devastating effect.
Firstly, Gill was put into space after quick ball was moved wide. He kicked past the last defender and won the foot race to regather and score. The next try was from a delightful move off the back of a central scrum. Callum Lockett fed Chris Swainson who put Archie Hancock away. After Jack Johnson had claimed a try to add to his 10 conversions, Swainson also had a hand in the next. A rampaging break by Prell had taken play into the Doncaster half, quick ruck ball allowed Swainson to find Ben Parkinson, again hitting the line at pace, to cut through to the posts.
Harry Bullough, back from a lengthy injury, had now joined the fun and immediately caused problems for the Doncaster defenders. Another series of good handling and quickly recycled ball from the ruck saw him claiming the next try. Following the penalty try from the driven scrum, Prell completed his hat trick with another fine team try before Phoenix’s consolation ended the scoring.
This young Foresters side has shown it can produce some excellent rugby already this season but this comprehensive performance undoubtedly reached new levels.
Jack Wells, Tom Jackson, Jack Hirst, Rhys Davies ©, Callum Lockett, Jack Kitching, Matt Houghton, Tom Whyte, Archie Hancock, Jack Johnson, Josh Prell, Max Bell, Jordan Annet, Eddie Gill, Ben Parkinson, James Huck, Morgan Davies, Oliver Snowdon, Chris Swainson, Harry Bullough, Simon Borrill.