Wheatley Tame Tadley Tigers
By Simon Chadbone
Wheatley dominate upfront but scrape win
Wheatley sealed victory in their final game of the season beating Tadley 11-10
The scoreline was no reflection of Wheatley's dominance in this BBO Premiership fixture, from the out set Wheatley looked to open Tadley up with high tempo flowing rugby but too often the final pass would go astray leaving the score line pretty tight.
Wheatley's forwards gave the Berkshire men a torrid time in the set piece taking 2 against the head in the scrum and forcing the line out to re-set for not straight. in the looses Alex Gabbidon and Pete Mitchell stood out carrying with vengeance and alway making the gain line. I was Joe Taylor who took the plaudits carrying the ball deep into the opposition half at every opportunity quite often with 4 defenders needed to brig him down.
One Wheatley weakness was around the breakdown constantly penalised mainly due to lack of support around the ball carrier, this also let Tadley off the hook more than once,
Tadley opened the scoring with a well struck penalty from the halfway, Wheatley responded with one of there own with Aaron Laman drawing the score level, 3-3 more Wheatley penalties followed giving the visitor field position, some hight tackling allowed the Tadley tight head to crash over with the fullback adding the conversion. 3-10
Wheatley continued to stretch the Tadley defence but without reward, It wasn't until the second half that Wheatley's persistence was rewarded, some phase play from the home side pack gave the backs space to play Joe Taylor hit the line at pace and dragging 4 Tadley players over the line to score out wide with Laman missing the conversion 8-10
Joe Taylor carries 5 Tadley players on route to score
Wheatley were now on top, now being rewarded penalties at the breakdown and for off the ball offences, Wheatley were gifted a penalty inforn of the posts after a Tadley man kicked out at the break down Aaron Laman did the honours putting Wheatley infant 11-10
Wheatley rode their luck in the closing minutes of the game conceding a penalty infant of the posts the resulting kick drifting agonisingly wide from the opposition 15.
Great defensive work from the home side notably Dan Bland and Sanda Mpanza kept the visitors at bay and Wheatley notched another home win and their third consecutive victory.
Wheatley finish the season in a strong 4th place having met the goals set out earlier in the year, with this group of players we have plenty of years in front of us and with the team developing well we look to next season with anticipation of more success on and off of the field.