With just a bare 15 available coupled with the heavy conditions underfoot, we would have to be at our best from start to finish if we were going to get anything from this game. Having never beaten Braintree in our many attempts previously, we knew they were a big physical side against whom if you sat back you would be punished.
It was all even in the early stages, with Woodbridge cancelling out everything Braintree though at us. We were first to score with a well worked ball eventually ran into the corner by Ethan Haywood following good work from our dominant forwards. With the conversion falling the wrong side of the cross-bar, Woodbridge had to settle for a 5-0 lead.
The squelchy conditions had both sides trading handling errors and needless penalties. Braintree tried as they must to use their power players but they couldn’t find any gaps with all 15 Warriors standing up to the challenge. Woodbridge were eventually rewarded for their excellent defensive efforts with a penalty on the half way line. A quick tap and go and the electric Isaac Feavearyear burst through the Braintree defensive line to score ,and set up a simple conversion for Ethan and put Woodbridge in a commanding 12-0 half time lead.
The wet conditions made it difficult for either team to really penetrate with ball in hand, and Woodbridge had the superior kicking game when needed. With both teams largely cancelling out each other’s attempts, it was always Woodbridge who were the more comfortable. Woodbridge twice went close with one effort being held up, and was followed by an unfortunate knock-on when grounding. With no further scores it was Woodbridge who claimed their 1st Braintree victory 12-0.
The Braintree coach said after the game “Your lads look like they have grown?” to which I replied “Thank you, they have, all of them!”