Wednesday 24 April - Wharfedale 3rd XV v Ilkley 2nd XV (A) KO 6.30pm -------    Saturday 27 April - Wharfedale v Lymm (H) KO 3.00pm ---- Foresters v Sandal 2nd XV at West Leeds RUFC KO 3.00pm ......

Harrogate Georgians 7 Foresters 39

Could we start that for the benefit of those who don`t really appreciate these reports, a quote from Socrates “ I only know that I know nothing “

This was a game played in dire conditions with uncontested scrums and the players from both sides did extremely well in providing a competitive (despite the score line ) game of rugby. The Foresters also used this game to fully test two of their players who have been absent through injury. Both came through with flying colours.

The Greens were undoubtedly the better side but there were times when Harrogate showed fine attacking prowess, yet lacked the final finishing power that the visitors possessed . The early first points came through a try from Ollie Cicognini , who proved throughout the match very difficult for the Georgians to contain. The try was created by good work from the backs  who gave assured performances throughout the game. Conversion missed but it must be made very clear the difficulties experienced by anyone attempting to stay securely on their feet when attempting to kick for a conversion or penalty. In some areas practically impossible.

Again with the conditions affecting so much of the play it is tricky analysing individual performances but the front row of Jack Wells, Tom Jackson and Jack Hirst (c ) and locks Tom (Kestrel ) Rymer and Morgan Davies worked with great commitments throughout, Davies using his physical attributes to some effect ! Further solid play and good handling by the backs saw Cicognini dash through again , converted by Marcus Farnworth. Score now stood at 0-12.. The pack was completed with a back row of Joe Moorhouse, Charles Glover and Jack Kitching defending and tackling with great effect to nullify Harrogate’s  efforts. They worked tirelessly .

The constant pressure shown by the Foresters resulted in a try by Ben Blackwell who used strength and power throughout the match and in combination with his fellow centre Josh Prell proved to be  regular battering rams to open up the home sides defence. They are a real dual handful ! Half time came with a score line of 0-17 and to be fair Harrogate, who never faltered, didn’t seem to have an answer to Wharfedale’s constant attacking abilities. It was becoming more noticeable that the backs now regularly threatened and further points lay in the pipe line. Full back Harry Bullough, with Cicognini the players returning from injury was solid, very eager to attack using the three-quarters of Blackwell, Prell, Cicognini and Farnworth at any and every opportunity. Complementing this was good work from half backs Max Bell and Omari Kaup-Samuels and all in all the Wharfedale backs were on song. Cicognini duly completed his hat trick, thoroughly deserved and quickly followed by another from OK Samuels, sharp enough to snatch a further five points.

The Georgians showed their fighting spirit with a reply consisting of a well worked attacking movement by their backs and a fine converted try, giving a score of 7-22. This seemed to revitalise the Foresters and they went on the rampage yet again with tries from the power house Blackwell, Omari Kaup-Samuels and final on converted  by Farnworth ,from Duncan Clayton Stead. The latter was one of the replacements used by the Foresters and the others Harley Debney Succoia, Fred Hewitson, Thomas Darwin, Sam Mason and Harry Ellison all contributed in no uncertain fashion to the squads efficiency and ambitions. Wharfedale are indeed fortunate to have such replacements available . The final scoreline 7-39 and how encouraging to see the lads brought in from the Development squad fitting in so readily , with the usual commitments and desire to win the Foresters have come to expect. Well done to them ! 2022 would appear to be something to look forward to , after an extremely good first half of the season.

Lucky enough to be watching this game in the company of several of the players attractive girlfriends/partners, all keen supporters, 39 points on the board, a couple of after match drinks – what more could man ask for !!! Finally when you take into consideration the overall conditions, you have to admire the Foresters approach and determination to play positive, attacking rugby all through the game, with no foot off the pedal. Willing to accept mistakes and then crack on, a pleasure to support them.

Squad: Jack Wells, Tom Jackson, Jack Hirst (c) , Tom Rymer, Morgan Davies, Joe Moorhouse, Charles Glover, Jack Kitching, Omari Kaup-Samuels, Max Bell, Oli Cicognini, Ben Blackwell, Josh Prell, Marcus Farnworth, Harry Bullough.

Replacements: Harley Debney Succoia, Duncan Clayton Stead, Fred Hewitson, Thomas Darwin, Sam Mason, Henry Ellison.

Fred Bullough.

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