Wetherby U15s beaten in Yorkshire Cup Semifinal
Proud Wetherby acquitted themselves well in a quality game, but were not able to overcome a very strong Old Brods
At long last the oft-postponed showdown against Old Brods was on. No snow or ice, in fact glorious sunshine initially, although the good old Grange Park wind soon blew in cloud and then rain. The pitch was in good condition, and it was game on.
The first half belonged to Old Brods, and they started with a sustained period of possession, threatening our try line. That their first score took sometime to occur was a credit to the Wetherby defence, with notables contributions from Callum, tracking back to kick the ball out before it could be picked up by the attackers, and try saving tackles by Mo and Harvey.
However the pressure finally told as an Old Brods back skipped through a tackle to score, with 2 points from a successful conversion. Yet soon after a lovely turnover from Harry W at the scrum secured Wetherby ball, and several phases later a grubber by Chester which he ran on to himself and scored. Despite excellent forward play by Wetherby, arguably having the upper hand at the scrum and ruck, it was Old Brods that got the next 2 scores, first a converted try and then a penalty kick to give them another 10 points. For them, getting the ball wide to their pacey wing, was a winning strategy, and one that we had difficulty defending against.
But patient play and possession, using that forward power, built up to our second try, which was again scored by Chester, and converted, after a number of strong carries by Sam A amongst others. We were staying in touch but couldn’t build on that momentum as Old Brods replied almost immediately with another score down the wing, again for maximum points. We kept at it, with Josh’s pace from the restart twice leading to him winning the ball, and strong defence on our line stopped another opposition try, although another kicked penalty meant that there was a decent gap between the teams at half time.
Wetherby started the second half strongly, with pressure on Old Brods in their 22 forcing them to concede 2 penalties. Louis nearly scored but was adjudged to have had the ball held up, but the resulting 5 metre scrum saw the ball get to Harry A to force his way over to score, which was converted by Chester. The momentum was with Wetherby and another try would have put us close to Old Brods. We continued to have lots of possession and chips forward by Chester to run onto. This forced a penalty to get a line out on the 5 metre line but the opportunity was squandered, and ultimately the failure to turn sustained pressure in the Old Brods 22 into points was a costly one.
The final phase of the game saw the pendulum swing back in favour of the visitors whose last 2 tries gave the final score a sheen that was not really a fair reflection of the overall match.
As the coaches said after the match, this was a great display of rugby from both sides, with our forwards on top for the majority of the game. But credit to Old Brods who were deserved winners, playing simple rugby which got the ball out wide and used their wingers to devastating effect. And a huge amount of credit to the Wetherby players who gave Old Brods more than something to think about, gave it their all and made their parents, extended families and coaches extremely proud. Credit too to our fabulous team of coaches for a very successful Cup run this season.