London Irish Wild Geese 17, Cinderford RFC 31

This weekend saw the Geese take on the new table toppers from the west country in the form of Cinderford at Hazelwood. Those who travelled for the reverse fixture would remember the close second half that almost saw the Geese obtain a losing and try bonus point, and even a possible upset had there been more time. This time however the visitors aimed not to be the second third big scalp for the men in green having seen what happened to Chinnor the week before.

The match started off with a lot of battles to see who would have the upper hand, but in the end, after 16 minutes the visitors got their first points from a missed tackle in the Geese 22, making it 7 points to 0 for Cinderford. It would have been 10 had an earlier penalty kick not gone wide.

The Geese struck back moments later from a scrappy scrum on half way when some beautiful passing and some fancy footwork put leading try scorer George Owen in to touch down, making it 5-7 in favour of the visitors. However, after the 25-minute mark, Cinderford capitalised from a penalty in the Geese 22 to drive over with their impressive maul which has been a weapon for them this season. Sadly, the half did not end without another score from the visitors, as a fumble in the Geese lineout allowed Cinderford over again, to bring the half time score to 7-19 for the visitors.

The second half saw Cinderford dominate at scrum time as the Geese found it difficult to even win the ball on their own put in. Unfortunately, the visitors used this advantage to force the referee to bin loose head George Dean, resulting in a man down in the already under pressure scrum and the scrum gave way to a penalty try for the visitors, making it 7-26 with only 3 minutes gone in the second half.

The Geese struck back again quickly with a well-run set play from a lineout on half way and again, on the end of this try, was the inform left wing Owen using his fancy footwork to touch down for his second time in the game. Yet again the Geese lineout malfunctioned to allow the visitors to steal the ball and run in to score in the corner to make it 10-31 with 20 minutes left on the clock. But the Geese ended on a high by Scrumhalf Chico U’Chong being denied a try and scoring a third when Sean Cunningham sniped over to make it 17-31 and holding the visitors scoreless for the remainder of the game.

A lot to work on, especially at set piece, but the heart and desire never faded.
Tonbridge Juddains visit next and Geese will want to do the double on them.

1. George Dean
2. Brad Clements
3. Ziana Alexis
4. Sam Hobbins
5. Scott Moore (Captain)
6. Pat White
7. Tyler Bush
8. Harry Rowland
9. Chico U’Chong
10. Alex Seers
11. George Owen
12. Charlie Broughton
13. Chris Hitchcock
14. Sean Cunningham
15. Peter Hodgekinson

Replacements:
16. Billy Fowler
17. Zaki Chamnaoui
18. George Drye
19. Archie Mackay
20. Joe Price