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1st XV - Match centre

Old Haberdashers
South Woodham Ferrers
Sat 6 Jan 14:00 - London & SE Division - London 1 North Full time

SWF RFC v Old Haberdashers

with Woodham poor run continuing

South Woodham Ferrers RFC poor run of form continued this weekend with an away defeat to Old Haberdashers in London 1 North. The defeat leaves them firmly rooted to the bottom of the table and with a tough uphill struggle to stay up.

Again it was a story of slack defending and loose tackling in the first 15 minutes that let them down as Old Haberdashers romped to a 21 point lead before the lads started to get into their stride. Once the away side had got through their stuttering start they began to return to the shape that saw them win so many games last season with the forwards making some hard yards and the backs, supplemented this week by the visiting Woodham favourite Shaun Morris, running some neat lines to threaten the home teams line.

Sadly the side is missing too many of its finishers to convert periods of possession into points and this is what seems to be what is killing the team’s chances of London 1 North survival. For the last 20m minutes of the opening half Woodham looked the stronger side going forward but could not break through a well organised Haberdashers defence.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first as the home side, now running down the hill got back into their game. Neil Gittos was harshly yellow carded as he attempted to intercept a stray pass, only to have been adjudged to have deliberately knocked the ball on. The resulting penalty saw Haberdashers secure their bonus point try and effectively finish off Woodham chances of getting something from the game.

Two more unconverted tries from the home team, scored when Woodham were chasing the game to score for the sake of a bit of pride looked like being the end of the game. But the Woodham lads just would not let it go and were finally able to break the try line when Warren Duggan romped through the beaten defence to score a well earned consolation try.

It may have been a costly try with three players injured during the build up but it shows that the team has real heart and no lack of commitment to the cause. They will hopefully be bolstered by the return of some key players in the next few week but it will now need a monumental effort to gain ground over the teams above them.

The final score 36 to 5 is yet again a skewed reflection of the game, for 20 minutes of the first half and for long periods of the second, Woodham were more than equal to their opposition and with a bit more savvy thinking could have come away with a far better result.

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