Wildboys welcome a winning start
A great start to the season against a tough Rams outfit
The 15th of September marked the beginning of a new season for the Wildboys, returning for their first game at HQ Kingsey Road in what would be a tough test from Rams Centaurs. The sun was out, sky blue and ground firm from a dry summer period - a lovely day for wild rugby. 34 years ago, marked the birthday of everyone’s favourite ginger royal, Prince Henry of Wales. Sadly, his invitation to attend this momentous occasion was declined but he sent his well wishes and promises to join us for a John Smiths in the near future.
Wildboys own royalty George ‘The Prince of Thame’ White had rallied his troops. Absentees on this occasion included William ‘Wild Bill’ Taylor who was away touring the prisons of South America, Maxi Williams pumping iron with his CrossFit comrades and Jayson ‘Squidward’ Abbott who attempting to tan his albino skin in Indonesia. However, ‘The Prince’ had more than enough resources at his disposal and selected a strong squad more than capable of getting the job done. A familiar front row of J Goodson, G White and Ludgate would provide the muscle, backed up by an energetic engine room of T White and Mark Bradburn. Tots Rackstraw and George Hope were a formidable force on the flanks and newcomer Big Sammy Jones at 8 would steer the scrum. Harry ‘Bomber’ Hillier and Bob Nichols were a half decent pair of half backs, J Down outside them alongside debutant sinister centre Tom Strathdee. Max ‘Weasel’ Wood and flying wingers Jeffcock and Hackshaw complete the starting 15, a fine bunch of Wildboys worthy of their status and itching to get stuck in.
A Wildboys kick off lead to a furious opening passage of play, both sides looking to get in stride and show off the benefits of their pre-season efforts. Pressure from Chinnor saw Hopey get the first try of the game. Later Bob Nichols broke clear, using his round frame to go around the fullback and sprint towards the try line. A few years ago, no doubt he would’ve made it but on this occasion he was caught. Phases later off the back of a scrum and a well executed backs move saw Tom ‘Strathers’ Strathdee scythe through a gap and shimmy under the posts. The next try off the back of another scrum came from Big Sammy who picked up from the base and crashed over for a further 5 points. Loose play allowed a breathtaking break from Strathers, a supporting Chris Jeffcock the benefactor as he cantered into the corner for a final score of the half. In true Wildboys fashion the kicking tee could’ve been left in the changing rooms as all attempts were missed. The half concluded with a backlash from the Cents who bombarded the Wildboys try line only to be held up by Hackshaw who was off his wing and showed great strength.
The second half got underway and El Capitan White made some tactical changes, bringing on Franklin, George Earp and JPW to add some dynamism and much needed discipline to proceedings. Alas The Wildboys continued to give away penalties but were not seriously punished for their in-discrepancies. Play developed and the Wildboys got back on top, Sam ‘Ludders’ Ludgate used his beefy frame to dot down and open his try scoring account for the year. Cents pressure eventually told and some effective handling saw them touch down in the corner, their flyhalf also missing the resulting conversion. Big Sam Jones scored again bagging himself a brace on a fantastic debut in a baptism of fire for the Wildboys. A dash from Mark ‘father time’ Bradburn saw him charging towards the line, although being pursued he looked free and clear. However, he decided momentum on this dry September afternoon would not be sufficient and attempted an offload to Max ‘Weasel’ Wood, a forward pass was called and the opportunity was missed. Amends were quickly made by Harry Franklin who used his chunky summer physique to touch down from close range before displaying a quick turn off pace to bag another down the right wing. As the game was drawing to a close the referee finally lost patience with the Wildboys, Tom ‘Tommy Gun’ White the culprit but George Hope the victim as he was shown the yellow card. The Cents had the last word as they utilised their man advantage and scored another in the corner. The final whistle sounded and the Wildboys left the field victorious, the final score being 40-10 with both sets of kickers needing some much needed practise off of the tee.
Man of the match nominations were hotly contested, regulars Hopey, T White and Bob Nichols receiving their usual plaudits for fine performances. In this instance it was two debutants who came out on top, Strathdee having a superb first game but was just pipped by Big Sam Jones who bagged 2 tries and carried well all game. Mare of the match was won by Mark ‘father time’ Bradburn for throwing a forward pass and sabotaging an all but certain try. The Wildboys now have a weekend off before next welcoming Windsor in their next game. No doubt numbers at training will continue to be high and competition for places will be fierce, a welcomed sight for all those involved at Wildboys HQ, until then keep it wild…
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Gossip girl xoxo