Match Report 12.9.2021: Wyggs-Lions 35 (7*) – 54 (10*) Belper Rugby Club
(*denotes number of tries scored)
The first match of the season for both the new-look Wyggs-Lions U14s and visitors Belper took place on an immaculate pitch under warm autumnal skies at Oval Park. The Wyggs-Lions eager to appreciate how the combined squad would operate, as well as benchmark progress from the training sessions so far.
Belper kicked-off the first quarter and an immediate handling error from Wyggs-Lions forced a scrum deep in their own territory. Despite an early collarbone injury to one of their players, Belper looked the hungrier of the 2 sides and scored from a penalty with an unopposed run down the wing. Wyggs-Lions upped the pressure thereafter, demonstrated by some determined running from Alfie, before Belper capitalised on some sloppy defending and scored again. Already 2 tries down and it only being the first quarter, the onlooking home parents began to look anxious. Tristan collected the next kick-off and set-off down the touchline to open the Wyggs-Lions account for the new season, steadying the early-season nerves. Jonny Sobek picked-up where he’d left off the previous season with a trademark intercept try. With the scores quickly levelled both players & spectators began to get excited. Belper began to panic and make mistakes with a series of high tackles, the ensuing penalties and territorial advantage giving Healey Heritage the opportunity to dot down from a Jonny Sobek run. The Wyggs-Lions ran in 3-2 tries up at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was a spirited affair, that saw Belper come back with force. An early run by William looked a certain try before he was ripped by Belper’s last man. From then on, Belper rained down the tries, demonstrating the more aggressive running and rucking energy to force Wyggs-Lions onto the ropes. The second quarter finished with the scores turned at 3-5, and Belper had cause for optimism.
Not for long though. Once again the Wyggs-Lions roared: 2 more tries in quick succession from Jonny Sobek pulled the scores level. One another intercept try, the other a run down the wing unopposed. Ethan collected the following kick-off and again dazzled Belper with his clean set of heels. Healey Heritage and Jonny Sobek again combined following a spirited run from Umman Dhillon – his strength belying his inexperience in his first ever rugby match. However 2 late tries from Belper levelled the scores at 7 tries apiece at the end of the third quarter. All to play for in the final quarter.
Conversions were instated for the final quarter of the match and Belper again capitalised on some sloppy defending and lack of concentration. 3 tries, 2 of which were converted, meant Belper finished as outright winners. The crowd were left wondering what might-have-been but also quiet satisfaction, however, that a good-natured match had demonstrated plenty of promise for this burgeoning Wyggs-Lions relationship with the squad having mixed almost seamlessly into 1 cohesive unit with a high and consistent level of skill throughout after only their first fixture together.
OW U14 Team Manager