Clifton 31, London Irish Wild Geese 33

The Geese went on the road to Clifton this weekend to try and avenge the last Saturdays loss to Canterbury.
This weekend saw the return of loose head prop Kerry O’Sullivan and openside flanker Tyler Bush to the ranks of the Geese. The game started off with some good attacking play from the Geese, nearly scoring two tries with linebreaks into the Clifton 22 by No.8 Archie Mackay and centre Sean Cunningham. The hard work in the first 15 minutes paid off as second row George Drye ran over from a short way out to open the account for the Geese, with outhalf Seers slotting the conversion, to put the Geese up by 7 with 15 minutes gone.

The hosts struck back minutes later off a lineout in the Geese 22 and, due a bit of sloppy defence, the Clifton centre ran over to level the game. The next score came from a blistering break by right wing Chris Hitchcock setting up the opportunity for No. 8 Mackay to stretch for the line to put the Geese back in front by 14 points to 7 after 25 minutes gone. Again, the hosts struck back 5 minutes later coming from another lineout in the Geese 22, allowing them to maul over for their second try and levelling the game yet again after on half an hour gone. The hosts finally managed to take the lead after increased pressure and territory inside the Geese half gave them a well-positioned scrum inside the Geese 22 which allowed their pack to claim a well deserved third try to end the half at 19-14 in favour of Clifton.

The second half started the same as the first with possession changing hands for 15 minutes before the hosts put themselves further in front from a clever snipe by their scrumhalf to run under the Geese posts making it 26-14 and claiming their try bonus point. However, the Geese showed some brilliant thinking and courage to go for a cross-field kick inside their own 22 to left wing Reon Joseph who skinned 3 tacklers and bashed out of a fourth to run in the third try for the Geese making it 26-21 after 57 minutes. Yet again the Geese allowed Clifton to camp in the 22 and using the very large try zones scored a fifth try from a smart chip kick putting Clifton up 31-21 with only 10 minutes left in the game.

Most would have written off a win for the Geese but after some hard-fought possession and yard gaining outhalf Seers again put another cross-field kick, this time inside the Clifton 22, for openside flanker and Jamaican international sevens player Tyler Bush to score the fourth for the Geese, putting them only 5 points adrift with the conversion added and only 4 minutes to go. The game went down to the wire as the Geese fought hard and finally got one last chance to score as a last gasp chip from outhalf Seers inside the oppositions 22 for fullback George Owen to score and level the game at 31-31 leaving Seers the job of a pressure kick to win by 2 and end a fantastic comeback, which he did confidently, ending the game Clifton 31 – 33 London Irish Wild Geese.

London Irish Wild Geese
1. George Dean
2. Jack Cohen
3. Ziana Alexis
4. George Drye
5. Scott Moore (Captain)
6. Pat White
7. Tyler Bush
8. Archie Mackay
9. Tom Barker
10. Alex Seers
11. Reon Joseph
12. Sean Cunningham
13. Charlie Broughton
14. Chris Hitchcock
15. George Owen

16. Kerry O’Sullivan
17. Zaki Chamnaoui
18. Sam Hobbins
19. Harry Rowland
20. Daniel Grant-Adamson