Swans v Wimborne B
Swans overcome Wimborne to top Merit table
The first chill of winter was driven away by the warm sun that greeted the players at Bestwall for the top of the table clash between against the old foe Wimborne.
Before warm up, a thank-you to our sponsors Cool Tec who came for a team photo to present the boys with the Kit they supplied for the second year, many thanks again for your support of grass roots rugby.
It was going to be a tough encounter, it always is between two teams that know each other so well but from the kick off the writing was on the wall, first Finn then Harri and Sam all put in hard tackles to drive Wimborne back behind the gain line from their first ruck. This set the tone for the afternoon with both teams tackling well in the loose. George G showed his progress again with tough first up tackles on the flanks.
The swans scrum looked strong getting a push on the Wimborne put in, with Arthur back and hungry for a win he led a great performance from Lewis and Will to apply pressure. In the line-out Charlie J excelled with Arthur lifting at 1 he got in front of his opposite number to disrupt and take the opposition ball.
Unfortunately Wimborne lost their 10 after 15 minutes with a knock to the head forcing Jack Brown to drop back from open side flank to fill the role.
The play for the first 20 minutes was kept tight with both teams using close channels of 9 and 10 to test the opposition. Steve kicked to the corners so Swans could defend the counter attacks in the Wimborne half. Aiden was unlucky not to get the bounce and score in the left corner from one kick. After 25 minutes we welcomed back Ray following his sabbatical into the back row as Sam went to prop. Immediately he rewarded the team with a trademark ankle tackle on the wing to stop an attack dead. Wimborne were still good over the ball stealing anything that Swans were slow to clear. Finn was tackling everything and made lots of meters with quick taps at penalties supported well and driving deep into the opposition half.
The solid partnership in the centre continued as Barnaby and Rory gave away few meters and excelled in keeping the opposition in the air to let the back row attack the ball. It was this partnership that gave our first try, after a driving maul from a set piece line-out took the ball 15 meters to the opposition 5 meter, George G broke and was stopped at the line, a number of rucks ensued with the forwards getting over the ball well. The Wimborne backs were caught flat footed when Steve looked to screen to Barney then released Rory on a short ball running an out to in line to score under the posts. Steve converted for a 7-0 score line. Wimborne came back into the game with chances on the Swans line that were held out until they broke the defense who were caught sleeping out wide after a quick penalty tap and go to give a 7-5 half time score.
Wimborne had a player yellow carded for a persistent team offence.
The pace did not slow in the second half although both sides kicked more ball away to gain position on the pitch leading to lots more work for Jacob, Aiden and Tom in defense, again solid with attacks being stopped by 2 or 3 covering tackles. In attack there was little space for the back 3 to get space to move.
Swans varied their line-out moving to Ben and Harri with the 4 ball to great effect in the second half, Finn took over throwing duties as Lewis had picked up an injury although he continued to play on.
At a scrum on line Finn broke from No 8 to switch with Barney on a great line who crashed into a strong defense. Soon after in the same corner Arthur picked up and went on a quick run from a ruck to crash over in the corner for a well deserved try. Later he tracked across the field to assist Tom tackling the Wimborne hooker into touch as he threatened the line
In the last 10 minutes the forwards gave their all in the tight with Sam being true to his boasting and was immovable over the ball a real thorn in the oppositions side as they tried to get back on level pegging. Nervous times for the coaching team and supporters in the end it was basic mistakes and missed tackles that gave Wimborne too much ball and despite the tackles of the centers the ref awarded the try to Wimborne who did not make the conversion in the last kick of the game to give a well deserved win to Swans 12-10.
A great performance for the whole team to be proud of with some real intensity and aggression over the ball. Special note to Finn, Harri, Sam & Arthur who delivered the edge at the breakdown to bring the win.