Crusaders RFC 19 v Woodbridge Warriors 25

Crusaders attacked from the off through No8 Robert Dye but were stopped by a couple of penalties which gave Woodbridge an opportunity to launch No8 Aldis Salavejs off wide with wing Simon Ward stopped by some strong defence. A strong Crus line-out gave centres George King and Greg Thurston a sprint to gain a foothold on the Woodbridge 5m line where Alex Widdrington missed a penalty. Crusaders continued to probe the defence but JP Hart cleared long downfield and pressure at the ruck delivered the ball to flanker Matt Bowman who scored wide on the left. That having worked Hart kicked again, Clogg ran the counter kick back, offloaded to scrum half Plummer and Stokes finished the 80m move with a score under the posts. The half ended with a sustained period of attack and defence on the home 5m line where it was a credit to Cru’s defence that no points were scored.

Woodbridge won more penalties and Salavejs, Jeff Buchanan, Jamie Smith and Bowman attacked left then switched quickly across field to Felix Kibble who beat Sam Barker to score. Lock Marshall Sykes worked well with Dan Knights to charge the kick off back, Bowman took over, then Smith to Plummer who scored only 6 minutes into the half. Crusaders responded with 20 phases of pick and drive involving forwards and backs – scrum half Robert Loone rallying his pack. A penalty added territory where a slick line-out, several charges by Dye and Callum Widderington in particular resulted in sub Robert Kingsley scoring. Woodbridge assaulted the home 22 again for Clogg to kick 3 points but Crusaders has a taste of success and were quickly back on the Woodbridge 5m line. A clean take at the line-out by Kingsley and Crus mauled over for Alex Widdrington to dot down. Kingsley nearly scored again but sustained pressure kept play in the visitors danger zone where repeated defensive infringements resulted in a penalty try sadly not early enough to give time for another, indeed Salavejs nearly scored in the final moments stopped by full back Jamie Dack. In the end an entertaining, close bonus point win for Woodbridge and bonus point loss for Crusaders.

 

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