The Wild Geese Narrowly fail to win at Henley

On Saturday 3rd December the Wild Geese played Henley (away), in National League 2 South, but failed to record a much sought after victory over a team that started the day below them in the league, as they lost by a single point 24-25. Perhaps all the luck in rugby was used up by England at Twickenham on the day! On the credit side, another losing bonus point and a much improved performance from the previous week were some consolation.

Report from John S Hunter

The Wild Geese started brightly; full-back Ollie Turner kicked a penalty goal after 5 minutes, followed 4 minutes later by a well-worked ‘training pitch’ try by right-wing Matt Killeen, converted by Turner, to give them an early 10-0 lead. Henley dominated the rest of the half, in terms of possession and territory, but had only a try after 20 minutes to show for it. That left the half-time score at 10-5 in favour of the Wild Geese, which one sensed was not enough.

The Wild Geese stayed in the lead – with the minority share of possession – for most of the second half but with Henley repeatedly threatening to score. Henley scored first with a penalty goal after 2 minutes to reduce their deficit but 2 minutes later open-side flanker Tyler Bush scored a try, converted by Turner, to put the Wild Geese 17-8 ahead. Henley responded with a try after 14 minutes but the Wild Geese seemed to have secured the points when centre Ben Kitching scored a try after 24 minutes, converted by Turner, to lead 24-13. However, the last 15 minutes of the match saw the Wild Geese concede too many penalties in particular, to give position away as well as possession. Henley scored a converted try after 26 minutes and another try after 38 minutes, to ‘steal’ the game.

The Wild Geese have one remaining home fixture before Xmas – against Redruth next Saturday – and it is to be hoped that the improvement in performance noted in this game will be repeated then.