The Wildboys found their X-Factor
On the 7th of October 1959 the music mogul Simon Cowell was born and since his birth the world has been graced with many top tracks to bop along to as well as a few dancing dogs to warm our hearts on Saturday evenings when home alone with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. It was on Big Si’s 58th birthday that the Wildboys were hoping to be in tune and contending for the number one spot when they welcomed Henley Vikings to Kingsey Road.
The Wildboys were once again being led out by Vice-Captain Thomas White, due to brother George’s knee being no less hurty than the week prior. The team sheet saw the welcomed return of Jon Down, who has been sunning himself all over the globe and Jon Goodson who has made a speedy recovery from a poorly calf muscle (speedy in comparison to Martin ‘Buttons’ Bradbury last season).
Henley Vikings had been struggling to find a front row for the days fixture and subsequently were going to be forced to concede the fixture and give the Wildboys a bonus point walkover win. However, in true wild fashion the Wildboys lent the Vikings a player to enable a competitive fixture to take place and make sure that they rugbied. Both teams owe thanks to Harvey Goddard for stepping up on the day and ensuring that the fixture happened.
It had been discussed before the match that the Wildboys had to ensure they had the X-factor from the word go, but a dropped ball from the start and a few subsequent bad plays saw the Wildboys defending for the initial period, looking more like Wagner than Chico. However before long it was Chico time and the Wildboy’s hobby horse enthusiast Rob Nichols was parading over the tryline for the first try of the day. William Taylor slotted the conversion, making it 7-0.
The Wildboys seemed to have their game plan sorted, dominate the set pieces with the forwards then giving the ball to the backs, who in turn would run a slick training ground manoeuvre and make their way over the tryline. This worked in relatively quick succession for the next 3 tries, scored by Max Wood, Adam Draper and Rob Nichols. Will Taylor managed to convert one of the conversions extending the lead by 2 points.
The 24-0 lead was then seemingly a reason for the Wildboys to switch off for a short moment, seeing Henley take a quick penalty and run the ball over for their first of the day, the resulting conversion was narrowly missed, putting the score at 24-5. This minor lapse in concentration was soon rectified and shortly after the stat man Adam Draper was darting over for his second try, the conversion was missed.
The dominance continued and this time the forwards decided to run a try in, Max Williams peeled away and was heading for the tryline when he looked to his left and saw what looked like Simon Cowells elder brother running alongside him, he quickly realised it was Mark Bradburn, who shares his birthday with big Si, Max saw fit to gift him a birthday try and Mark was quick to accept diving over to make it 34-5. Will Taylor missed the conversion and then was replaced with the returning Jon Goodson as he has got a very hurty knee too.
The end of the half was slightly marred by what looked to be a serious injury to a Henley player who was stretchered off after injuring himself attempting to step the stand in skipper, the Wildboys wish him a speedy recovery.
As the ends changed, the tides certainly didn’t, the Wildboys continued to press and tries from Jayson Abbott, Adam Draper, Max Williams and Harry Franklin, each in turn converted by Harry ‘Dad’ Hillier made the score 62-5.
Next up was the try of the day, a few phases of play, led to prop Sam Ludgate sprinting from the half way point toward the try line, he beat two players, off loaded to lock Tommy White, who handed off one player, tackled by a second, but off-loading in the tackle to Sam Ludgate who continued forward, was tackled, but off-loaded like Sonny-Bill into the hands of prop Harry Franklin who touched down for his second of the day. The conversion was missed, making the score 67-5.
Sonny-Bill Ludgate was the next to score, followed by two further tries from the unstoppable Adam Draper and finally James Way, all but one of the conversions were slotted by Harry Hillier putting the score at 93-5 (although recorded as 91-0). Credit to Henley who battled on to the very end of the game and showed real spirit, even when reduced to 14 for the final 15 minutes. However, nothing can take this massive victory away from the Wildboys, who were at the level of Susan Boyle when on previous weeks they had only managed Michelle McManus.
Every player shone on this day, notably Adam Draper for his 5 tries, but man of the match this week goes to Tots Rackstraw, who once again was dominant around the pitch. Mare of the match was this week awarded to Jon Goodson, who dropped the ball from the restart which would’ve seen him through a gaping hole in the defence, however the drink was graciously accepted by Harry Franklin, who kindly showed it to us once more later in the evening.
The Wildboys were this week without Nicholas Harrison as he was busy getting down on one knee, we wish the happy couple many congratulations all the happiness and wildness in their future together.
The Wildboys have a week off, then head to the in-form Windsor. Until then keep it Wild…
You know you love me
Man of the Match: Tots Rackstraw
Mare of the Match: Jon Goodson
Tries: R.Nichols (2), M.wood, A.Draper (5), M.Bradurn, J.Abbott, M.Wiliams, H.Franklin (2), S.Ludgate, J.Way
Conv: W.Taylor (2), H.Hillier (7)