|16th September 2017||3.00pm||2nd XV||17-12||Medway||Premier 3 East League||H|
Saturday 16th September marked a new beginning for Thanet Wanderers 2nd team after the departure of coach Mike Pond at the end of 2016-17 season, Andrew Ballen has now taken over the 2nd team with new 2nd team captain Chris Hood both coach and captain got off to a winning start against Medway Rugby Club.
Carrying on with tradition, Wanderers where slow to start against a very well coached Medway team conceding a converted try within the first few minutes of the game however this was to be the kick start that Wanderers needed. Neil Roby playing at 10 was influential in leading the Wanderers back line, guiding in particular Ben Cannon to break through tackle after tackle. Wanderers gained further possession and soon had a line out on Medway 5 metre line, the line out led by Reagan Doody kept possession with crash ball after crash ball coach Andrew Ballen took the ball one last time crashing over the try line scoring with Neil Roby adding the additional 2 points. 7-7. Wanderers now started to believe in themselves and each other, the solid blue line in defence was immense with hard hitting, no nonsense tackling from everyone! Wanderers found themselves again in the opposition half, quick ball from the break down from scrum half Harry Higate-Royce resulted in Calvin Fassam crashing over the line to score Wanderers second try of the match. 12-7.
Injuries to Captain Chris Hood and Lewis Stone resulted in a reshuffle. Tony Boyce bringing experience and a cool calm head to the pack and young debutant Matt Musindi at 17 years old playing at inside centre. After the break, just like the start of the game Medway ran hard at Wanderers scoring almost immediately pushing the score to 12-12 again this was the wakeup call that Wanderers needed to kick start the second half. Brilliant direct running from Reece Hougham and Jimmy Robinson took Wanderers way over the game line looking dangerous with every attack but unfortunately not turning it into a score.
Then came the moment of the match…. Wanderers line out – won – maul set – maul moving – In comes James Whowell receives the ball at the back of the maul, looks up sees space and runs scoring the decisive try of the half. 17-12 to Wanderers with 10 minutes to go. With a crowd of 80 supporters cheering Wanderers every run and every tackle this spurred the team on, the solid blue line stood strong and saw the game out winning our first league game against Medway 17-12.
With a mixture of youth and experience in the team, this team showed that if you work for yourself, work for your team mates but most of all work for the badge on your chest we can and we will beat any team home or away!
Wanderers man of the match went to Reagan Doody who took control of the forward pack with pride and passion whilst also overseeing the running of the line out for such a young man he shows such potential.
Thanet Wanderers 2s are away to Dover Saturday 23rd September.
Team – Whowell, Quinney, Bourton, Fassam, Hood (Repl – Boyce), Doody, Payne, Ballen,
Higate-Royce(Repl – Lawson), Roby, Stone (Repl – Musindi), Cannon, Filip, Hougham (Repl – Stevens), Robinson
Written by: Andrew Ballen
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