KGS, Saturday 18th Feb 2023
Wasps 29, Reds 22
Conditions were perfect for rugby at KGS. Beautiful day, with a light Zephyr coming in from the Southwest with only light cloud cover. Shaping up for a fantastic internal match The Reds verses Wasps.
It was a absorbing match of seesawing momentum, moments of individual brilliance and resilient defence.
The Red kicked off and was received by wasps.
After an initial raid into The Reds 22 from wasps, a penalty lead to a change of possession. This led to the Reds shifting the ball into the Wasp’s 22. Following stout defence, Paul Johnston crashed over to post the first points of the game which was converted giving the early lead of 7-0 to The Reds.
Again Wasps were able to gain the ball and building momentum. With several ambitious runs utilising a potent left edge attack.
However again and again they were turned away by Reds defence. However eventually the pressure became insurmountable with Ryan Silver finishing in the corner following multiple phases. A difficult sideline conversion missed and the score was 7-5.
This period of possession seemed to boost Wasps confidence with their second score coming from a movement in their own half finished by Paul Georges. This time Ryan Mooney made no mistake with the boot to accumulate the Score to 12-7 to Wasps.
The game then moved into a period of what would later characterise the match, of end of end play, with both teams failing to execute expansive play to score.
Following this it was the Reds that were able to capitalise. Moving the ball to the outside and score in the corner courtesy of Keith Dearness. Drawing the scores level at 12-12, with a difficult conversation attempt missed.
This play was also the return salvo of a mini battle which developed between the two wingers on Wasps left and Reds right edge.
The score remained unchanged until half time, however both sides also had their chances. Most notably to Wasps, in the dying moments of the half when a loose ball was kicked forward, however subsequent dribbles of the ball meant that a chasing Wasps played was caught offside.
The resumption of play after the break showed that Reds had clearly paid attention to the half time spray. With a break through the middle of the Wasps defence from Paul Mackenzie in his half and subsequent run. Mackenzie found his support players and following a flurry of offloads; the Reds scored again through Keith Dearness.
17-12 To the Reds.
The reds were able to maintain momentum and pressure and scored again in the corner, however this time on their left, with Fraser Dowel crossing the stripe and continuing to build an impressive resume, after only taking up the game recently.
Although the conversation was missed, The Reds were enjoying a comfortable lead for the first time in the match at 22-12.
However it was not to remain so. As Wasps wrested possession back and were able to move the ball into The Reds 22 again and build pressure. Despite resolute defence from the men in Red, Wasps moved the ball to Silver on the wing who crashed through Dearness, in a collision that would have been heard in Stromness, to cut the deficit to 22-17 and the resumption of battle of the wingers.
A fine sideline conversion attempted drifted wide.
The passage of play had left its impact on Dearness, who was sent for a HIA. Which consisted of Bull holding up all digits on one hand and asked Keith how many fingers. He guessed right with 6 and could continue play.
The game continued in its same fashion with both teams moving into scoring positions, but unable to convert field position into points.
This changed following a career metre run from Glenn McLennan of 10m. This allowed Wasps to move onto the front foot. Following several phases, Silver again was able to exploiting the situation to score again and level the game.
This time Mooney took advantage of some sideline coaching to convert and Wasps moved into the lead for the first time in the game at 24-22.
This spirited Reds into action and what followed again was sustained pressure in Wasps 22. However their defence held and they were able to fashion a turnover.
Wasps launched a lovely movement through the back line again Silver took advantage, who on this occasion couldn’t be contained by the cover defence, breaking several strong tackles to score again. 22-29 to Wasps.
Reds had plenty to play for and launched several attacks into the Wasps half and 22, with only the final pass not going to hand. However they had left themselves with a lot to do and little time to do it. A counter attacked from Reds led to a kick which strayed a little deep, allowing Wasps to regather possession and kick the ball out, with all time lapsed.
A great game played in good spirit and rugby was certainly the winner on the day.
Man of the Match for Wasps voted by the Red players was duly awarded to Ryan Silver. An easy choice, a hat trick despite the diligent attention of Keith Dearness, who on another day could have walked away with the plaudits.
Man of the Match for Reds again was an easy choice for the Wasp men, with Fraser Dowell elected as the best Red man on ground. A try, a bucket of metres, tackles galore from the new convert to the game played on heaven.
Special thanks will have to go to Erland Drever for organising the match and exemplary HIA skills. The game was expertly refereed and controlled by Ian Rushbrook.
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