OLD HEAD WINS THE DAY
Wyvern 5 – Wellington 2nds 13
The first of these fixtures saw Wellington run out decisive and comprehensive winners at Wellington with the Wyvern simply not at the races. On that day a certain Matt Parsons at 10 for Wellington pretty much ran the show.
Not so on this occasion. The score line really did not reflect the excellence of the game played by both sides. This time Wyvern forwards were always a match for the larger Wellington forwards, holding their own in both scrum and line out.
The first half the score remained at nil for a long time despite some heavy pressure from Wellington. Unfortunately Wyvern did not get off on the best start as debutant Richard ‘Dickie’ Mattravers suffered concussion whilst carrying the ball into 3 of the largest forwards he could find. It was said he was snoring before he hit the floor. Potentially the shortest debut ever for a Wyvern player at 11 minutes.
Unfortunately the Wyvern resistance finally broke with a try going to Wellington near to the end of the first half, converted by Parsons. Thereafter throughout the second half dogged defence from both sides saw the play swing back and forwards, with Wyvern saving the day on many occasions.
A penalty part way through the second half saw Welly move further ahead before some excellent catch and drive from the line out saw Wyvern get over the line with Deano scoring the try on behalf of the forwards. Unfortunately that was not converted and the same pattern of play continued with both sides probing the other as best they could.
In the end it was probably inaccuracies that let Wyvern down at crucial points in the game although they are now getting much less than before. There was yet a cruel blow to be dealt by Welly when in the dying seconds they slotted a well taken drop goal to prevent Wyvern picking up a much deserved losing bonus point. So near, yet so far……….
Overall a much improved performance from Wyvern showing just what they are capable of. With the addition of some recent higher level players the future for the Wyvern continues to strengthen in a very tough league.
SO NEARLY THERE
Wyvern 14 – Wells 2nds 24
Anyone who had played the reverse fixture towards the beginning of the season will have noticed two things. A far better performance by the Wyvern and that Wells did not have ‘first’ team players amongst their ranks. Despite the former Wyvern still managed to snatch defeat from the gaping jaws of victory.
In the first few exchanges Wyvern looked as if they were going to hand Wells a very uncomfortable afternoon and that would have been the case had it not been for some wayward passes through mis-communication and some errant kicking which produced very little for Wyvern. Unfortunately it gave opportunities for Wells to capitalise upon, which they did with aplomb in the first 10 minutes.
Two quick tries from turn overs or from a mis-cued pass ensured that within minutes Wells were two tries to the good. What has been apparent this season is that the Wyvern will never give up and will not let the pressure get to them to the point where they throw in the towel soon in the match, a good turn around in attitude from a season or so ago.
With a determination that has seen them stay with the pace through most matches Wyvern started to dominate the forward play with some excellent forward thrusting by the likes of Jon Parrish and Connor Crampton only to be held up a little by the Wyvern support not always arriving in the numbers required. In the main though the pressure proved too much for Wells to handle but they survived, not conceding a lot more tries with a little help from the young inexperienced referee.
After a period of about 20 minutes Wyvern found themselves in front following tries from Ben Warwicker after a period of forward domination, followed by another period of sustained pressure allowing Tom Bennett to go over almost unopposed and almost apologetically. Thereafter Wyvern simply couldn’t convert any of the pressure going forward, although they didn’t help themselves by kicking away possession and trying offloads that simply weren’t there. Despite this Wyvern in the main put in a very good performance and just need to cut out little habits that will see them become a more complete, competitive team.
Minehead Barbarians 1sts 72 – 3 Wyvern 1sts
Wyvern travelled to Minehead with the belief of causing an upset against one of the leagues stand out teams, but from the first whistle the Minehead pack asserted their dominance on the game with turn overs and forced penalties, leading to the 1st try in the corner. Following this however Wyvern managed to force an error 25m out, winning the penalty with the worlds fattest goal kicker, Ben Warwicker taking the points.
For those who have played at Minehead, you will know that the field looks like it should be the setting for a ski slope as apposed to a rugby pitch, however to Mineheads credit, they know exactly how to play it and Wyvern struggled to defend up the slope, with most of Mineheads first half scores in the top corner. Minehead led 50-3 at half time and Wyvern were looking at a very long afternoon.
A feature of this Wyvern side however is stubbornness, and despite the first half scoreline they refused to roll over, making Minehead work for their 2nd half scores. Wyvern had opportunities of their own, with Harry Macdonald looking dangerous throughout, nearly putting Connor Crampton away.
Minehead looked a very good outfit and look good to get promoted, so not too much should be made of this result leading into next weeks big game against Wells 2nds at home. Training will be at the Wyvern this week, 7pm start.