MATCH REPORT; TWRFC 1XV (49) v Hammersmith & Fulham 1XV (19)
Match Reporter: Bruce Elliott
It was an overcast but dry afternoon that saw us welcome Hammersmith & Fulham rugby club to St Mark’s on Saturday.
Wells under 8s were welcomed out for their curtain-raiser by the 1st XV who formed a guard of honour, and our under 8s returned the favour a while later for the main event.
Jack Greig kicked off for Wells, downhill away from the clubhouse.
Early pressure from Wells took them down to the Hammersmith & Fulham 5 m line only stopped as they cinceded a penalty. From the kick Wells quickly regained the ball and with a break from Nick Doherty and great bhands hands to Mylo Vanner-McKew who went over in the corner. The try was converted by debutant Jack Greig.
Wells looked dominant in these early exchanges. The ball went through hands again out to Mylo Vanner-McKew who skated down the line and offloaded to Angus Horne for try number two under the posts, also converted by Jack Greig. 14-0 after around 7 mins played.
Hammersmith had significant possession for prolonged periods of the first half but stomg defence from Wells held them off.
A succession of kicks eventually lead to a line out just inside Hammersmith’s half, but they were struggling to get their line out firing with only one from three won at this stage. A knock on from Wells lead to a Hammersmith scrum on the halfway line. Solid defence from Wells left Hammersmith little option but to kick, but they did this effectively, and after several exchanges they found themselves with a lineout just inside Wells 22. Wells were then penalised from an ensuing ruck which led to a Hammersmith line-out close to the Wells line. Strong defence from Wells forced Hammersmith to knock on and Wells escaped to the halfway line. But pressure was building from Hammersmith, who woorked the ball well through hands finding a gap just to the left of the posts. Simple conversion. 14-7
Frustratingly for Wells, from a solid attack Hammersmith intercepted a loose pass and took it into the left corner for the try. Good conversion. 14-14 with about 10 minutes left to the half.
From the restart Wells had a lineout around the 30m mark. Wells set up a series of phases with the ball was passed through hands to Jack Greig who found the gap, offloaded to Nick Doherty who went over the line for the try. Converted by Jack Greig. 21-14
This took us to Half time. Wells were good for the lead at this point, but Hammersmith weren’t going to make it easy.
At the start of the second half Hammersmith gathered their own kickoff and immediately applied pressure. Forced into the corner just short of their line Wells made a number of try saving tackles. The ball came to Jack Greig who kicked the clearance.
Soon after Wells gave away a penalty for a high tackle just inside the 22. Hammersmith kicked to the corner for the line out. This was a period of sustained pressure and after about ten minutes of the half Wells had just made it up to the halfway line.
Josh Curtis made a great break around the halfway mark, going head to head with two defenders. He showed it each way, once to Mylo Vanner-McKew, but offloaded to Andromar Du Toit on his left who took it all the way in. Conversion once again Jack Greig. 28-14 and the bonus point try in the bag.
Wells returned from the kick off energised but knocked on soon after. The resulting scrum was just inside Wells half. Hammersmith broke to the left taking it to the Wells 5m. It was cleared by Wells but at this stage they were under sustained pressure.
Wells won a line out around the 35m and again worked through the phases and then through hands the ball found its way out to the far wing to Mylo Vanner McKew who took it all the way in and dove into the far corner. Perfect conversion from Jack Greig. 35-14
Wells came straight back with a great break from Max Hobbs. Skimming the sideline he offloaded to Jack Greig who went in for a try on his 1st XV debut. Converted by Jack Greig. 42-14
Soon after there was a lovely cross field kick from Jack Grieg to Milo Vanner McKew, but he was unfortunately caught around the 15m mark.
Hammersmith had a little left in the tank and scored a try in the bottom right hand corner taking the score to 42-19 with 3 minutes left.
Wells returned straight away with another break from Hobbs. The ball eventually founds its way to Josh Curtis for the final score. Full time 49-19
The match saw two players making their 1st XV debuts – Andromar Du Toit and Jack Greig. Both scored tries, and Jack converted every try scored by Wells. Jack has played for Wells from under 6s all the way through. His father, Rob, also regularly played for TW 1st XV some years ago. Mike Rigby, TWRFC Chairman said “It was really lovely watching the next generation coming through today, and so successfully. Its what the club is all about”