Woodbridge Warriors 7 v Crusaders 6
Woodbridge was hungry for a first win and started with a vigorous James Porter chase and regather. Crusaders conceded the first of what was to be many penalties and Jamie Smith missed a penalty effort. Crusaders big pack mauled out of danger and survived another penalty to push back and allow hard-working scrum half Rob Loone to take three points. Crusaders charged down midfield through second row Alex Widdrington, distributed by Loone for a kick downfield where right wing Jamie Dack failed to stop Clogg clearing. Woodbridge No8 Jono Cooke led a counter attack from a great Dan Knights and Archie Walker line-out that saw Woodbridge mount a sustained threat on the visitor’s line. Another great drive from Crus front row; Henry Joy, Sam Barker and Henry Mower averted danger. A couple more penalties and Crus were down to 14 and under the cosh. A couple of thumping crashes from Cooke and quick hands resulted in Jeff Buchanan running in unopposed to score. Crus put in a strong response, Mower to the fore, but Woodbridge held firm.
Crusaders lead the restart using fly half Ryan Harris and centres George King and Tim Zielinski until poor hands allowed Buchanan to thunder up-pitch. Fly half JP Hart tried a cross-field kick, big Ed Banthorpe and Tom Edwards picked and drove until penalised for obstruction. It was Crusaders’ turn with Joy battering up the left wing only for centre Tom Stokes to rip possession for a short-lived counter as both sides scrapped it out between the 10m lines. Yet another penalty gave Loone an opportunity and he took three more points in blustery conditions. Crusaders’ thrust was frustrated as Hart found a great touch just inside their 22 where Plummer and the forwards made a strong play for the line only for Zielinski and wing Lewis Kenworthy to counter back to the Warrior 22 only to knock on. Woodbridge pressed hard with Cooke a constant carrier but Loone rallied his troops with Harris and Kenworthy scampering up the right wing. Like snakes and ladders Crus went route 1 climbing the ladder through their forwards, driving again and again only to lose possession and slide down the snake of Hart and Clogg back into their own danger zone, Hart having a certain try slapped out of his hands.