Thank you to Southend for coming and playing us today, we always knew it would be a tough game. They play at one of the highest club levels in the country, so this was always going to be about how we performed, rather than could we win.
Southend started with a level of intensity that we have never played against, surpassing our Cup Final Match last year, straight away they scored, kicked off and scored again within a few minutes. Everyone of their players is easily at an Academy level and they started so well.
To Woodbridge’s credit, heads stayed up in defiance and from the next kick off our forwards took control, with Pod after Pod, gaining 2, 3, 4 meters a time and starting to win the advantages from the referee and getting penalties and free kicks. But we just couldn’t get any points from these plays. And totally against the grain Southend scored out wide.
But again and again Woodbridge came back at them through the forwards, with James Eaton, Connor, Charlie, Brendan, James Owens, Harry, Curtis and David smashing into them and just before half time, this pressure resulted in a try scored by David (unconverted).
Many teams would have started the second half with a feeling of impending doom, not our boys – we took it to them time and time again. Southend were rocked by the upped intensity and the massive tackling from Woodbridge. But again as soon as their backs got the ball, 3 tries were run in in fairly quick succession, but not without masses of effort on their part.
Amazingly with still 5 minutes to go the intensity from both sides increased, David’s tackling was awesome with plenty of stoppages for Southend players to recover and take on water, this was truly a Woodbridge forwards day and the lads kept it there.
James O took quick penalty after quick penalty making yards and yards into the Southend 22, quick rucking and then quick hands out wide led to James O again, who started the move to finishing with a try, converted by Theo (his place and positional kicking was exemplary).
Woodbridge came second in points, but in my book first in desire and effort.
Men O the Match – so many played so well and above their usual ability, notable men – all the forwards, in the backs Henry, Tom, Jake and Travis, – but without a shadow of a doubt, for his awesome tackling (heard in the clubhouse apparently!) David, and also James O for being a Captain that leads from the front, encouraging his team, and making yardage!
Well done all.
Lastly – I hope Travis is okay, praying for bruised ribs not broken! But also in our cool down huddle, I can’t remember who said it, but someone said “ when do we play them again, I think we can take them next time”. And there was a hushed and confident murmur of agreement by the rest of the squad.
A day to remember in theirs and our lives – a day that the lads walked tall from the field of battle, with pride beating in their chests.
Warriors! Warriors! Warriors!