WPRFC 31-29 Bromley RFC
An edge of the chair first game for the Falcons
After witnessing a summers fitness regime your newly appointed correspondent was in confident mood prior to the Falcons season opening match against Bromley, who would be looking to avenge last seasons defeat.
With information received that Bromley were unable to contest scrums due to a lack of replacements in the front row, your correspondent was full of optimism.
The news that young Adrian would be missing for a number of weeks after sustaining a knee injury whilst representing his school was a bit of a blow, numbers were tight already but thankfully the Danish contingent had renegotiated the departure time for the Viking long boats and helped get squad numbers up to a minimum. Good effort!
Prior to warm ups it was pleasing to see our kickers practicing and going through their routines.
Bromley start the match, ball is allowed to bounce by WP, WP recover, there is a knock forward and scrum awarded to WP. A poor kick from the resulting scrum and constant Bromley pressure and Bromley score, conversion missed 0-5.
Our re-start is not 10, scum Bromley and their 8 picks and goes. WP give away a penalty. Constant pressure in the midfield, WP can barely get out of our half. Karim makes a solid tackle taking Bromley into touch. WP are ‘up-hill’ and its bitty and not clean but WP snaffle the ball back to take a turnover. Next play ref awards a pen to WP. Kick taken but touch not made, ball returned by Bromley back into our 22, WP defend resolutely, ref awards another pen to WP for Bromley not rolling away. WP are struggling to make gains, Bromley are defending and tackling well. Ref awards another pen to WP, touch not made again, however Bromley fortunately knock on at the halfway line. Scrum WP, much better from WP. Another Pen to WP. Touch is made, line out ball is poor but WP retain. WP aren't making sufficient gains, Michael T correctly decides to try something different and makes a great kick through which Max S is chasing like a leopard, he collects and goes over the line for our first points of the season, we miss the tough conversion 5-5.
Bromley re-start, good take from WP, the ball is popped to the front row, WP go down to set but Bromley turnover, ref is a tad harsh on WP for not rolling away but the player was making the effort and was being held, but you've got to take these decisions. There's quick pressure from Bromley, and from a scrum they burst through WP defence and score which is converted. 5-12.
WP re-start and Bromley return with interest, WP miss numerous tackles and Bromley score in the corner, conversion missed. 5-17. Time for a ‘discussion’ from the coaches. Frankly Bromley are worthy of their lead, and your correspondent is somewhat mystified.
A deep re-start from WP. The forwards arrive and the ref awards a scrum. Resulting scrum WP knock on, it's all rather frustrating we’re struggling to put successive moves together. Scrum Bromley, good tackles going in, WP get possession, good, hard & aggressive, balls in hand to Harvey, strong running he sees a gap and goes on a run to score in the corner. Conversion isn't made. 10-17 & half time, that try was very important to keep us in touch.
Half time replacements take place, WP kick off, I can't read my own writing but a scrum
Is awarded to Bromley. Max S smashes in an Exocet tackle, WP tails are up, constant front foot forward from WP and Bromley are feeling it going backwards, ref awards another pen to WP. A much better kick, and WP pin Bromley in their 22. Maul ball doesn't come out scrum Bromley, this time we're ready for their pick and go, Chris nails his tackle, Harry follows up, ruck formed and Bromley are desperate and spoiling, hands are on he ball in the ruck long enough for the Bromley lad to re-lace the ball, the ref can't see it as infringement is blindside, your correspondent politely points his out to the ref but to no avail. WP go again, it's reminiscent of some good plays last year. The ball gets out to Karim, strong, powerful forward momentum from Karim and he bludgeons through for a try, which is converted by tall Dan. 17-17. That's more like it, game on.
A replacement is made. Charlie F coming on for injured Dan.
Bromley re-start and WP look to keep the intensity, but Bromley are matching up, again Michael T decides to kick, and what a kick it is, makes touch near to the corner, Bromley trudge back.
Bromley lose the line out, ref awards scrum Bromley. Bromley are on the back foot, we gain possession, we go with Mike T who bursts over the white line for a good try, the ref intervenes and awards a penalty try so no need to convert. He has previously warned the Bromley 9 for tripping, and unseen by most the 9 repeats and the ref punishes him. 24-17
Bromley re-start and WP should go on and push their advantage. But some slack play from WP, Harry W, instead of just taking the ball into touch when under pressure, flips it back, Bromley take possession and score directly, hopefully a lesson learnt. Conversion missed. 24-22.
WP restart, WP are soon back in their 22, WP recycle and knock on. From the resulting scrum Bromley go blind side and score! The Bromley supporters go wild, conversion. 24-29.
Ruairi comes on for Christian who pops off to A&E for some glue. 6 minutes to go.
WP restart, and your correspondent is becoming battle weary, WP can't break the gain-line, it's a battle, Bromley are facing up, they are really pushing the off-side, so much so that I'm sure their 10 is within a metre of the ref. The WP supporters are a model of restraint. The refs young and he's learning. It's all a bit messy, WP have got to believe, Bromley knock on, WP scrum. Time for deep breaths. WP are putting Bromley under pressure, they know it, and they defend, WP gain ground, surely the last play, your correspondent isn't writing, the pens gnawed, more WP pressure, the ball gets out to Max S, nothing's going to stop him, he crashes over the line under the posts, 29-29…. Up steps Max H, who keeps his nerve to send the ball over the bar for the winning 2 pointer. The ref blows for full time, WP are jubilant and Bromley shell shocked, marching bands and fly-pasts are requested.
Bromley may have two Waitroses’ but on this occasion the spoils of war go to the mighty WP.
The whole squad played, and the boys should be mighty proud that they didn't let their heads drop and fought right to the last second, hopefully another lesson learnt.