Wyvern 0 – Minehead 55
One suspects if you were not aware of the history of the two teams battling in Somerset League 1 at Wyvern RFC on Saturday you would not understand the significance of the nil all score for the first twenty minutes.
One of those sides not so long ago graced South West 1 whilst the other team only 3-4 seasons ago were in Somerset 3. With that in mind this was always going to be a gigantic step for Wyvern RFC.
The final score of 0-55 did not reflect the game in any way. Wyvern were in reality up against a very well drilled Minehead firsts who kept their heads and clearly stuck to their game plan. As expected the Minehead pack were just that little bit quicker to the breakdown, just that little bit more robust in the contact area.
For long periods of the match Wyvern tackled heroically with Man of the Match Jake Foster in particular getting through an immense amount of work in both defence and attack. Despite some of the players being out of position, such was at the support amongst the squad that all positions were covered exceptionally well and credit must go to the players who stepped up to the mark in the heat of battle to deliver a commendable performance.
In reality not all of the Minehead tries can be chalked up as a result of either Wyvern losing focus or Minehead brilliance although it is fair to say that Minehead made more of the opportunities presented to them than Wyvern did. One never likes to disagree with the officiating but on this occasion it might be suggested it helped Minehead more than Wyvern on a few occasions.
In the end Minehead were the deserved winners but Wyvern can take a lot of positives from the 3 matches they have played thus far and if they stay focused on the season plan should comfortably compete in a very difficult league aiming for at least mid-table. In context that’s quite a feat for a social team that only entered league rugby 6 seasons ago. Well done to Minehead who are sure to be in the top of the league group come the season finale. Onwards and upwards for the Wyvern with their next trip to newly promoted Wells.
Old Bristolians 24 – 24 Wyvern.
Wyvern travelled to newly promoted Old Bristolians with confidence on an improved result than that of the previous week. Wyvern were hoping to start the game fast and played with a lot of offloads leading to an early try through Tom Stanley, converting it himself.
Unforced errors by Wyvern led to Old Bristolians getting themselves into the game, levelling the scores through their own converted try. This was then followed by another try by the home side, which is how it stayed until half time.
At half time Wyvern knew what had to be done to win the game, but it was Old Bristolians who scored next, extending their lead to 19-7. Wyvern had to wake up and whilst down to 14 men through a yellow card for numerous penalties on their own line, Wyvern managed to get on the scoreboard through Paul Dungey. Wyverns forwards had started to take the game by the scruff of the neck with strong runs through James Dean, John Parish, Ben Goddard and Paul Dungey. This was rewarded close in following sustained pressure by the Wyvern pack, with man of the match James Dean crashing over for an unconverted try. Wyvern still trailed by 2 points.
The Wyvern forwards continued to make inroads, with the backs starting to gain ground as well. The backs broke through Stanley and Busek, with Paul Dungey on hand for his second of the game, converted by Tom Stanley. Wyvern led again 24-19. With Wyvern seemingly in control the home side managed to score a lucky unconverted try to level the scoreboard, which is how the game finished.
It was another promising performance by Wyvern, with the forwards scrummaging well with structure beginning to fall into place. The 2 points picked up leave Wyvern 8th in the table and looking forward to Minehead Barbarians visit to Mountfield Road next week.
Match date: 03/09/16
Venue Keynsham 2nds
Final score: 35-7
It all started with one of the most interesting bus trips for some time. The Wyvern battle bus (kindly supplied by Mr Goddard) rolled into Keynsham with just under an hour to kick off. The weather was not the most attractive for the first game of the season but then who wants to bounce around on a concrete surface.
Despite the conditions and lack of time for preparation it has to be said that the score really didn’t reflect the game. For what seemed like long periods of the game the Wyvern enjoyed possession and territory but in the end just couldn’t convert that advantage into points, which is exactly what Keynsham did.
Many areas of the game came out as positives for Wyvern with the scrum and the back line operating in attack particularly well. The performance across the whole squad despite the conditions has to be commended particularly with a new coaching set up and therefore different take on the style of play. What does seem apparent is that the squad are starting to develop into definite contenders for the league which is the aim for the season.
Much of the points scored by Keynsham came from errors by Wyvern as the ball seemed to be that much slipperier for Wyvern than it did for Keynsham. Unfortunately some days that’s the way it rolls and there will be games in the season when the reverse will occur.
In defence it was a sterling effort by all concerned including the smallest guy on the pitch for Wyvern and although there is a lot of work to do its clear to see that the foundations are being built for a good defensive side which will in turn create opportunities for attack and a much more solid squad going forward.
Keynsham took the opportunities when they came and that was the difference in this game. Wyvern managed a good surprise try from a tap by Gavin Farley who then proceeded to run through most of the Keynsham squad somehow, which was then converted by Tom Stanley. Particular mention should be given to the 50 year old debutant who must be looking forward to a return to the ranks he joined some time in 18………..
Onwards and upwards to Old Bristolians.