Wild Geese lose out to Cinderford
John S Hunter reports
On Saturday 8th October, the Wild Geese met a side at Hazelwood who had been relegated from National 1 at the end of last season; in turn, the Wild Geese had just been promoted from National 3. What did one read into that? Read on…
Cinderford kicked off but early honours went to the home side. After 2 minutes, out-half Peter Hodgkinson scored a try, which he converted himself. After a period of Cinderford pressure they kicked a penalty goal on 9 minutes to make the score 7-3. Fifteen minutes of Wild Geese pressure ensued, where they had 3 seemingly kickable penalties but opted to go for a kick to touch, win the line-out, and score a try – but to no avail on each occasion. On Cinderford’s first foray for some time into the Wild Geese half, they scored a good try, which was converted to give them a 7-10 lead. Equally good play by the home side produced a try by centre Seb Rodwell on the 31st minute, which was converted by Hodgkinson to retake the lead at 14-10. Cinderford responded with the best try of the half on the 35th minute, using the full width of the field and stretching the home defence. Deep into overtime they added a penalty goal to leave the visitors ahead by 18 points to 14.
The second half began with 9 minutes of sustained Cinderford pressure, resulting in a converted try, to take them further ahead. Three minutes later, they added another converted try, courtesy of their enterprising back play, to make the score-line 19-32. Midway through the half a try from replacement three-quarter Matt Killeen gave hope of a Wild Geese comeback. It was not be as Cinderford added a penalty goal on the 3th minute, to extend their lead to 19-35. Killeen scored a consolation bonus point try in the 36th minute to make the final score 24-35 in favour of the visitors.
In summary, we must look back at the first half and the Wild Geese’s insistence in going for tries instead of taking penalty shots at goal; added to that was one instance of ill-discipline, which cost them another potential shot at goal. Truly, if the Wild Geese were going to win this match it had to be ‘won’ by half-time. As it happened, Cinderford showed the extra nous acquired by playing in a higher division last season. It is not often the Wild Geese back-play is outshone but it was on this occasion.