Sedgley Park Tigers 35 Wharfedale 31

League leaders given a scare.

Conditions were perfect for a game of running rugby and what a feast we had. After early skirmishes by both sides, Sedgley won a scrum against the head and after several phases Daniel Maher crashed over for the first try which was converted by Stephen Collins, 7-0.

From a lineout in the 15th minute the ball was recycled from left to right for Oscar Canny to cross the whitewash for a try which Tom Davidson duly converted, 7-7. In the 18th minute Matthew Beesley was given a yellow card for a no arm tackle off the ball.

This did not deter Wharfedale who held up  a maul over the line and won a penalty From the lineout some clever interplay between Oscar Canny and Sam Gaudie saw the later score a try, the conversion missed. 7-12. Sedgley were starting to get some ascendency in the set piece and from a lineout  their rolling maul saw Daniel Maher score a try which Stephen Collins converted tp make the score 14-12.

As the first half rolled on Sedgley were gaining increased momentum and some slick handling down the right flank at pace saw Sam Stelmaszek score a try which Stephen Collins converted, 21-12. Wharfedale were having to dig deep but were awarded two penalties before half time which were both missed by Tom Davidson.

The second half started with Sedgley dominating possession and after many phases of play were rewarded with a try by Oliver Glasse which Stephen Collins converted, 28-12. Momentum was changing in favour for Wharfedale and some magic from Sam Gaudie made space for Sam Dickinson to crash over for a try, Tom Davidson adding the extras, 28-19. The Sedgley set piece then rolled into action, scrum, penalty, lineout in Wharfedale 22m line, rolling maul, try Daniel Maher, converted by Stephen Collins,35-19

The last 10 minutes produced some fantastic running rugby by the younger element of Wharfdale  to such an extent that Louis Verity scored two excellent team tries, one converted by Tom Davidson to make the final score 35-31.

Sedgley rightly deserved to win as their set piece was excellent which allowed them to dominate possession but Wharfedale have some very talented backs on which to build a very bright future

Simon Verbikas, DOR, commented

If you were a neutral at yesterday’s game you would have thought it was the top two teams playing for the league title. The score didn’t really tell the tale of the game. It was a well deserved 2 points away at Sedgley Tigers unbeaten so far this season so was always going to be a tough game.  We produced a spectacular game of running rugby, our tries were full of skill, pace and teamwork and I don’t think many sides would score 5 tries at tigers home ground.

Extremely proud to watch the lads keep trying to play all the way to the final minute of the game and I’d like to have had another 10min to see what may have been.  As a squad we are making excellent progress and have to now become consistent with our performances to move forward as a squad.

John Utley, WRUFC

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