On the day the club celebrated the tenth anniversary of hitting the dizzy heights of National 3
with a players’ reunion, the current squad were unable to replicate the celebrations on the
Naming the same starting line-up from the previous game for the first time this season, the
coaching team had faith that the squad would be able to right the wrongs that resulted in
them losing by a point to Ripon.
However, in the very first minute, history seemed to repeat itself as Laund Hill were
penalised closed to their own line, allowing for an early shot at goal for the visitors.
Luckily for Laund Hill though, the wind was causing all sorts of problems and the kick was
pushed across the face of the goal.
And just a couple of moments later Laund Hill had their own chance for three points as Wath
were found guilty of holding on at the ruck 45 metres out. Due to the strength of the wind,
Skipper Ed Black handed the ball to Tom Egan but even though the kick had the distance, it
drifted just wide.
However, from the 22 metre restart, Ben Hill beat the first couple of tackles and the ball was
recycled quickly. Going down the blind-side, full-back Luke Earnshaw burst into the line and
fed winger Will Burns-Smith who beat his man on the outside. As the covering defence
came across, he passed the ball back inside to the supporting Earnshaw to score the first try
of the day to take the team into a 5-0 lead. Unfortunately, the wind made the conversion
difficult and Egan was unable to add the extras.
With the wind making both kicking and handling tricky, Wath were able to demonstrate their
dominance in the scrum and when the referee awarded them the first scrum penalty of the
day in front of the posts, they elected to kick to reduce Laund Hill’s lead to 5-3.
At this point, Wath seemed to turn the screw and Laund Hill had seemingly had no answer
other than to give a number of penalties away. This allowed the visitors to build pressure
from a line-out close to the line. When the resulting maul went to ground, the referee
reached into his pocket and sent Ben Hill for a spell in the sin-bin.
With the already mis-firing pack unsettled further, Wath took advantage by electing for a
scrum from the penalty and pushed the Laund Hill forwards behind the try line to score a
converted try to take them into the lead after just 16 minutes.
Chances for the rest of the half were few and far between as both sides struggled in the
conditions. However, it was the home team that came closest to scoring on a couple of
occasions. Egan looked to have narrowed the deficit with a penalty kick as both touch-
judges raised their flags, but the referee over-ruled their decision and disallowed the attempt.
And as the half came to a close, scrum-half Lewis Vernon made an excellent break and
kicked on as the defenders came up to meet him. Unfortunately, he was just beaten to the
chase as the Wath full-back grounded the ball behind his own line. As Laund Hill looked to
apply the pressure from the goal-line drop out, a Wath player unfortunately sustained an
injury and the referee brought the half to an end.
Frustratingly for the home supporters, chances in the second-half were extremely few and
far between. Uncharacteristic errors and penalties at the scrum gifted Wath an early
converted try, followed by a penalty providing Laund Hill with a very steep up-hill task to get
back into the game.
But Wath were far too good a team to allow this. And with just 10 minutes to go, their scrum-
half capitalised on large gap on the blind-side to dart over for another try to put the game to
Entering the final minute, things were made worse as Sam Burt was sin-binned for dissent
and Wath used their extra-man advantage to score their bonus point try to win the game 32-5.
After the game head coach James Tindall said “Sometimes you just have to put your hand
up and say you were beaten by a better team. Unfortunately though, even though the
penalty count was lower than previous weeks, we still don’t make things easy for ourselves
and some players will have to take accountability for that. However, there are technical
things out there that we have identified that we can learn from and we will start to address
these at training on Tuesday. Hopefully our cup quarter-final next week will allow us to reset
a few things and we’ll be able to use it as a spring-board to kick-on for the rest of the
Earnshaw, Bulloch, Evans, Longley, Burns-Smith, Egan, Vernon; Burt, Hill, Barrett, Dalton,
Black (c), Watson, Bender, Nasaqa.
Replacements: Walsh, Hiscock, Crotty