Union start the season with a 10 try haul
In the Dave Dring Memorial game at Wymondham 3s
Match Report : Gareth Davis
In lovely sunshine we traveled over to Wymondham for the annual Dave Dring memorial game with a squad supplemented by some classy players. Joe Nicholson was one of these and played well.
There were debuts for Joel Reader, Matt Spenceley, David Sheldon-Smilley, Conor O'Kane and Jack Cottingham with Smilley running in his first of what we hope will be many tries for the club. Jack also showed some good running in his first senior game and will improve with more experience. Matt Spenceley had a solid game in the back row with Joel Reader prominent in the second row as the game wore on.
The start of the match was hard fought, with Wymodham competing well at the breakdown allowing their impressive half backs space to run and scored two converted tries before the end of the first quarter. Union fought back in the second quarter with Craig Dunbar crashing over from 5m, Joe Hegarty scored Union's second shortly after and Union took the lead 14-17 with fly half Jake Clarke running a great supporting line after Louis Ford's break in midfield. Wymondham caught Union napping taking a quick tap at a scrum scoring an uncoverted try to retake the lead 19-17 at the half time break.
After the break Union learned from their mistakes at the breakdown int he first half, where they failed to clear out rucks effectively and gave away a host of penalties and began to get stronger as the game wore on and the Wymondham legs tired. Being a friendly and be able to rotate the replacements regularly Union gradually imposed themselves. Improved handling and decision making to led to a score from Graham Hunt after a turnover by Joe Nicholson, regaining a narrow 19-22 lead as the game entered the final quarter.
A few strong words followed and the response was immediate with Nicholson on the scoreboard just after the hour mark in a carbon copy of his previous turnover, this one he finished himself. Union then began to run riot, breaking through easily with the power of Craig Dunbar, Michael Shucksmith and Joe Hegarty all proving too much for a tiring Wymondham, Hegarty in particular not only picking up a second and third try, also a fourth, Shucksmith also scoring a try. The last word was left to David Sheldon-Smilley who scored his debut try just before the final whistle taking the score to 19-62.
After the game Coach Gareth Davis said "We now move on to the league games, probably a bit under-cooked, with new players still getting to used our game plan and the players needing to implement better set plays. Last season was tough and the challenge this season will be to, first become competitive, then hopefully surprise a few teams. When we get things right i believe we will cause problems for all the sides in the league.
Next week, the first XV take on Swaffham at home, with the Firebirds away to Holt 3s, both games kick off at 3pm
It will be great to see some support for the lads and a good catch up after the summer. We have some very strong players from last season and the new recruits will add more experience and competitiveness to us. should be an exciting season ahead"
Team:- Michael Shucksmith, Ben Bond-Webster(capt), John Madden, Joel Reader, Adam Vincent, Craig Dunbar, Steffan Harwood, Matt Spenceley, Jake Clarke, Jack Cunningham, James Herrieven, Louis Ford, Daniel Norgate, Graham Hunt Replacements:- Conor O'Kane, Joe Hegarty, Joe Nicholson, Mike Smyth
Scorers:- Dunbar 1T, Clarke 1T, Hegarty 4T, Hunt 1T 2C, Nicholson 1T, Shucksmith 1T, Sheldon-Smilley 1T, Davis 4C