ST JOSEPHS 26
“No-one to blame but ourselves” commented captain Joe Russell “we nearly rescued a poor performance but lacked the composure when it mattered. All credit to the “Joes” they deserved their win”
On a surprisingly bright afternoon the home side were first out of the blocks. Challenging the first kick off they established good field position and proceeded to pressure the St Joseph’s line. Declining shots at goal they elected for some driving lineouts but the forwards were unable to convert their chances. After a third penalty Luke Fish had a shot at goal only to see his attempt go wide. The visitors were finding it difficult to get into their stride but when they did the Wanderers were caught offside and their first penalty shot was successful 0-3. The home side stepped up the pace and responded well. Phil Pariyo started a counter attack carried on by Fish and when the ball was recycled Pariyo was back on his wing to crash over 5-3. With the momentum with the Wanderers and a real threat out wide the home side were soon further ahead. From a scrum on the 10 metre line Myles Churcher broke blind and he fed Pariyo who outpaced the defence again to score his second try. Fish converted from the touchline 12-3. The visitors were up against it and their chances were few and far between but when they had an opportunity they took full advantage. From a scrum penalty they established good field position and after several phases following a lineout they found a hole in the Wanderers defence, crashing over for their first try 12-8. Back came the Wanderers and for the rest of the half they held the ascendancy. Unfortunately, there seemed a desire to try to batter through the defence rather than outpace it (where there was an obvious advantage) and the sides went into the break with the home side marginally ahead 12-8.
The start of the second half saw the home side deciding to kick the ball away when in possession and this allowed the visitors to gain some momentum of their own. Creating a foothold in the Wanderers territory a neat move from a scrum provided them with a second try and the lead 12-13. A gallop downfield from Rob Weston gave the home side a chance but once again composure 5 metres out from the “Joes” line and good defence failed to provide a score. With their line intact the visitors once again took a chance when it arrived. First a penalty after a deep kick gave them second 3 points 12-16 and when another Wanderers attack was foiled by a dropped ball in the St Joseph’s 22 a kick ahead became an 80-metre foot race. The home side defence struggled to get back and the visitors follow up was just able to ground the ball before it went dead. The try was converted 12-23. Staring defeat in the face the Wanderers woke up. Remembering that they had the pace out wide they worked Pariyo a little space and he never needs a second invitation. Breaking a couple of tackles he then raced away to score his third try of the afternoon. Fish converted 19-23. Momentum had swung back to the home side and after more pressure a scrum gave them good field position. Once again the danger was out wide and after a couple of phases Jacob Laroche crossed the put the Wanderers back ahead 24-23. It seemed that despite the poor performance the home side would come away with a bonus point win but the visitors threw everything at the Wanderers. With the clock in the red it appeared that the home side defence had survived when the ball was spilled but a massive scrum by the visitors gained them a penalty and with the last kick of the game St Josephs took home the deserved win 24-26.
Tries: Phil Pariyo (3), Jacob Laroche
Cons: Luke Fish (2)
Massiv man of the match: Phil Pariyo
Pics on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/gp/12570451@N04