Wetherby 31 Wath 20
Clinical Finishing Cuts Wath To Pieces
Wath travelled to Wetherby with optimism for the first game of the new season and led by new captain, Joe Earp. Dominating possession and territory for the first 30 minutes, Wath never really threatened their opposition line and had nothing to show for their efforts.
Having hardly been out of their own half, Wetherby struck from a line out on their own 22. A clever backs’ move gave the full back space and he showed great pace to score a try in the corner. The missed conversion left the home team with a 5-0 advantage just before half time. Things got worse for Wath as the home team extended their lead to 12-0 with a converted try in injury time.
A sloppy start to the second half by Wath allowed the talented Wetherby hooker to make a clean break and score unopposed under the posts: 19-0 after 41 minutes. Wath’s exertions gradually began to wear down the opposition and, on 50 minutes, Jack Whitlam, the Wath stand off, kicked a successful penalty to get Wath on the scoreboard: 19-3. Wetherby struck back almost immediately and a combination of “crossing” and poor tackling meant Wath couldn’t prevent a fourth try for the home team. The score moved to 24-3 as the conversion was missed.
Refusing to capitulate, Wath responded well. Following an extended period of pressure created by
both forwards and backs, Jack Whitlam crossed the opposition line. His own conversion went wide,
but Wath had closed the score to 24-8 with 15 minutes left.
Wetherby, who seemed able to raise their game at will, struck back immediately and an excellent offload allowed them another try under the posts. The added kick gave them a comfortable 31 -8 lead.
Continuing to show good team spirit, Wath stuck to their task putting the home team continually
under pressure near their own try line. After committing a series of penalties to prevent Wath scoring,
the referee yellow carded two Wetherby players in the 80th minute. Wath took advantage of the
superior numbers and scored two tries in injury time: one by Joe Earp and the second by Joe Bartlett.
One conversion gave the score line some respectability at 31 -20.
The home team fully deserved their win. Despite limited possession, Wetherby’s defence was well organised and their attack was incisive. Wath, by contrast, looked short of match practice. The one highlight of the game was the performance of Jack Jewell whose pace continually threatened the Wetherby defence.