Ampthill 24 v 21 WASPs
It has been a while since I’ve had to type so a: this will take forever and b: there might be the odd typo.
The weather conditions were perfect for rugby, a bit of moisture on the ground which soon dried out and only a light wind. We also has a nice lie in before this midday kick off. We played uphill first half.
The notorious Ampthill start was ready and waiting for my first report of the season, but I’m rather pleased to say that it will have to stay in the box for another time. We came out of the blocks at a good pace and a steady work rate from both forwards and backs.
We won our first scrum against the put in and after some nice simple handling in the backs Lui made some decent ground and then sent Liam on his way to score under the posts.
Some poor organisation amongst the kickers meant no kicking tee to hand and so Alfie had to attempt to drop the conversion. It didn’t go over but we had a well deserved 5-0 lead.
A lack of tackles and some high grabs for the players after their rather large No8 peeled off of the back of a scrum then put us into a bit of trouble inside our own 22. Really we should have stopped them but we couldn’t and so they scored 5-5 and then converted 5-7.
We’re used to a drop of the heads after conceding and I guess I feared that would happen today. Again, that one can stay in the box for another time. We showed great determination, a theme for the match and bounced back with a try for Ross, a “hammer” move from a penalty (boys can explain to parents what that means.) The conversion from out on the right was tough and despite the fact we had found a kicking tee, Lui wasn’t able to convert. 10-7.
We then had a period of some good rugby from both sides including a lovely passage as we played the ball out from inside our 22.
We should have dominated here but one of the weaker areas of the day, lack of quick support and physicality at the breakdowns meant we weren’t able to pull away as we might have done. Something everyone needs to work on to grow from today.
A couple of passages of trying to run everything back through their pack eventually resulted in a try to Wasps under the posts. 10-12, easily converted 10-14.
Some decent rugby from both sides in the middle of the pitch ended up with us having the ball just outside their 22. Henry saw a gap and went for it to score a good try wide on the right 15-14. Fynn was able to make the kick from a tight angle 17-15 at half time.
The second half started well for us, a good drive down the pitch into Wasps 22 resulted in a penalty for us near the right corner. A traditional Ampthill one man charge without support meant we failed to come away with points when we probably should have done.
The next few phases were notable for the injuries. Jacob injured an ankle and Jamie also hurt his leg and both had to be substituted. A great effort from Duncan saw him having to run to all parts of the field to patch and pick people up, I think we need to save up for one of the little golf buggies with a stretcher on it . . . .
Ross was unlucky not to score again after a great high interception catch and run into the corner. The referee felt it was a completed tackle by their last defender and so we weren’t able to score.
Eventually we found ourselves back in the right hand corner and Thomas came up just short from a quick pick and go. He then got injured and had to be replaced.
We then had another slightly frustrating passage of play, suffering from lack of aggression and impact at the break downs. Credit to Wasps as their rucking was generally quite effective, going past the ball rather than just up to it. We also failed to deal with their No8 who peeled off the back of the scrum AGAIN and cut through our defensive line. This is clearly one of Wasps main weapons and today we seemed willing to let them use it. A few more missed tackles and they scored under the posts for the third time 17-19 and converted 17-21.
With about 4 minutes to go we sensed that a loss here would have been harsh, but was looking likely as we were pinned in our 22 for a few minutes. However Fynn cleared downfield, the ball bounced perfectly for Liam who lit the afterburners and finished under the posts. 22-21. Fynn converted 24-21.
We had to soak up a few seconds of play and the referee blew for the end of the match. A great result for the A’s.
So in summary, a fantastic result with some really simple rugby but lots to improve on.
Well done boys