After a series of tough encounters against good A XVs including in the opening rounds of Surrey Div 3, it was a welcome return to face direct peer opposition before returning to the League fray. The encounter, a friendly against a very sporting & hospitable Reeds U15B outfit, who ironically, currently sit where the Wanderers were last season, unbeaten at the top of Div 4…..

[quote_left]Sunday 8 November U15 B v Reeds B (A)[/quote_left]

While a sizeable 9 try win without reply is eye catching, this distracts from the most impressive feature of the fixture; the whole Wanderers squad playing a stunningly intelligent brand of simple but highly effective rugby. Rather than succumb to the temptation of seeking individual glory and attempting acts of 1st phase brilliance, ‘1-19’ to a man absorbed and stuck to a game plan (eat your heart out Shaun): bang it up hard in the midfield for a handful of phases and then exploit what the hard grunt had delivered – in this case loads of space…… That 7 of the 9 scores were crafted thus stands testimony to both what a simple game rugby can be and an infectious outbreak of ‘Intelligence’ in the Wanderers.

[blockquote]Report from James Howard[/blockquote]

While invidious to single out individuals in such a super team performance, here goes a few of many mentions one could make:

— The hard grunt – lost count of the number of huge line breaks by Josh J and Benji, but always with one eye on not going too far ….

— The hard grunt by the Maxs (x 2) & Zak both to ensure ball retention time and time again and to keep the pressure on, including one stunning high catch and return with interest off a restart

— The seamless contribution of the subs, in particular with great contributions by Alex (including an awesome chop tackle in front of his Dad), Sam & Hanek

— The clever bit ….. Max/Oscar at 9 and Josh H at 10 skillfully ensuring the above grunt could be exploited by 12-15….. not just once but time & time again.

— Tom for a hat-trick on his debut starting at 12 – each score a text book finish with an arcing run and great body position.

A top day – aptly illustrated by the Reeds’ Coach’s gracious disbelief we were a U15B side less 3 regular starters…… and one from which all the Players should take confidence as we venture back into Div 3 action on 22 Nov. Also great to see much of this skill and intelligence taken back into Paddy’s impromptu (courtesy of Chippenham RFC’s late cancellation!) trial match in training in last Sunday at Hazelwood.