Sat 7 Apr 2018
A young Wycombe team ran in eight tries in their excellent 65-12 win over 11th placed Gosford All Blacks. Wycombe knew a victory would ensure that they finished no lower than 9th place and were first to trouble the scoreboard.
From a scrum Wycombe attacked through the backs but were stopped short of the line. With the referee playing an advantage fly half Freddie Roddick put up a speculative kick which wasn’t gathered and Sibu Zulu fell on the ball over the line to score, with Freddie Roddick making a difficult kick 7-0. Gosford hit back and put the Wycombe defence under pressure, initially the home team did well and defended strongly but couldn’t clear their lines. Eventually the pressure told, and Gosford went in under the posts to level the score at 7-7. Wycombe upped the tempo and from a penalty decided to tap and go, Joff Forber carried hard up to the twenty-two. The ball was recycled quickly out to the backs where Ollie Fennell-Wells showed great strength to bust through two tackles to score, with Freddie making the kick 14-7. Some strong carries from the kick off took play back into the Gosford half and then an accurate kick pinned the away team deep into their twenty-two. In trying to clear their lines Gosford didn’t make touch and Wycombe saw a chance to run the ball back and were only stopped by a high tackle in front of the posts. From the penalty Freddie Roddick took the points 17-7. For the last ten minutes of the first half Gosford enjoyed most of the possession and although the home team lost Joff Forber to a yellow card they managed to defend well and not concede anymore points, 17-7 at half time.
An excellent take from James Porter ensured Wycombe started the second half strongly, with the ball recycled quickly Freddie Roddick made a break and offloaded the ball to Tom Catchpole who fed Jake Banton, but some good defending stopped Jake close to the line. With Wycombe on the front foot Gosford slowed the ball down illegally and were penalised in front of their posts Freddie took the points 20-7. Wycombe looked to build more pressure but from a scrum a backrow move was intercepted by the Gosford winger and with no fullback at home looked to have a clear path to score, but a great chase and covering tackle from number eight James Porter stopped him short of the line. Although the ball was recycled quickly Wycombe held out and Gosford knocked on close to the try line. Another break from Freddie Roddick took the home team close to the opposition line, two penalties in close succession saw Gosford’s fly half receive a yellow card and again Wycombe opted to take the three points 23-7. From the kick-off prop Aryton Hooker made an impressive break and fed the ball out to Musa Umar who was stopped on the twenty-two, with Gosford a player down the ball was spun out to the backs where James Outten had the pace to score, Freddie made the kick 30-7. Wycombe were now in control of the game and Gosford were dropping off tackles and again from the kick off Wycombe made inroads into the opposition half. The ball was spun out to the backline where second row Mike Fradgley found himself in space and had the pace to score, Freddie made the kick 37-7. Another break from the kick-off saw Harry Tanner come away with the ball and some nice handling from him and Tom Catchpole put James Outten away to score again, Freddie made the kick 44-7. Another excellent backs move created space for Sibu Zulu to score his second try of the afternoon with Freddie making the kick 51-7. Not to be deterred Gosford never gave up and hit back with a try of their own through a good backs move 51-12. From the re-start Wycombe were penalised for being in front of the kicker and Gosford took a quick tap, but an excellent turn over from Joff Forber presented Wycombe with the ball and another break from Sibu took play up to the twenty-two and an accurate pass found Joff Forber who cut back inside to score, with the kick made 58-7. With minutes remaining the home team scored their final try when Harry Tanner made a strong break and fed the ball inside to Josh Hall to score, with Freddie making the kick 65-12.65 photos
Next week a tough away trip to second place Windsor.
Man of the Match – James Porter