A Second Lesson
South Woodham Ferrers v Brentwood 9th September 2017
South Woodham Ferrers 1st team had a second lesson in London 1 North survival this weekend when they travelled to promotion hopefuls Brentwood. The lesson was simple; you simply can’t expect a weakened team to be competitive at this level. Without several key players the lads went down 62 points to nil as Brentwood punished ever mistake and missed tackle with some very clinical finishing.
The game opened brightly for Woodham and for the first 15 to 20 minutes the two teams looked more evenly matched than the final score reflects. For the second week running the scrum and lineout functioned well for Woodham and the forwards kept the ball tight.
The home side, playing down the slope, opened the scoring mid way through the half with a converted try from an attacking scrum. Further Brentwood pressure and some ill discipline saw Woodham down to 14 men when Warren Duggan was yellow carded for the team after a series of penalties in the red zone. Woodham hit back with a series of drives that saw them deep in the Brentwood 22. A niggling handling error saw Brentwood awarded a scrum which allowed them the chance to kick and clear their line. For the second week running the bounce of the ball favoured the attackers as it fell into the hands of the chasing Brentwood backs who ran the ball in for an easy try.
Brentwood were on the attack again from the kick off as the ball went too deep to allow the forward to complete. Some slick running saw Brentwood run in close to the corner for their slightly dubious third. The line judge had raised his flag for a foot in touch but was overruled by the referee.
Woodham were back under pressure from the kick off and when a clearing kick failed to find touch Brentwood made it 24 nil with another try and finish the half well on top.
The second half opened badly for Woodham, now playing with the advantage of the slope and the wind, as an easy kick off was run straight back at them. The speed and handling of the Brentwood attack saw them slice through the Woodham defence for their 5th try. This started a period of thirty minutes where Brentwood could do no wrong; they ran through their phases punishing every mistake from the away team and exploiting missed touch kicks to score 5 more unanswered tries and bring their final score up to 62.
Woodham never gave up and some fine work by the forward in the final ten minutes saw them deep in the Brentwood half. It is a shame that they could not find that final touch to get on the scoreboard to gain some reward for their endeavours.
The pack performed well and played with real heart, an outstanding performance given the score. Dom Hoey put in an excellent 80 minutes and the front row should be congratulated for their never say die attitude.