Woodbridge run rampant in big win at Newmarket
London 3 Eastern Counties
Woodbridge Warriors 44
Eighth-placed Woodbridge had not beaten their hosts in Newmarket for four years, writes Simon Ballard.
Blustery conditions made kicking a gamble so forwards had to fight for possession and Woodbridge’s front row, Simon Codd, Dan Bond and Luke Norman - a mix of experience and youth – prevailed in early skirmishes.
After several frustrated attacks the Warriors were rewarded with Angus Clogg kicking a penalty.
Woodbridge sustained pressure Jono Cooke charging and flankers Matt Bowman and Aldis Salavejs relentless in support.
Newmarket held its line-outs and put in a couple of mauls – hooker Peter Boyle rallying his pack – but Hart and Cooke brought play back to the home 22, with Cooke offloading to Tim Johnson for Tom Stokes to score.
From the restart second row Michael Reeves put in a strong carry bowling Cooke over in the tackle. Clogg took another three points and then like a supercharged bumper car Salavejs took the kick off 60 metres to resume pressure, Dan Knights being held up before Stokes offloaded to Bowman to score.
The Warriors started aggressively in the second half keeping ball at breakdowns and backs moved the ball wide left and right – Cooke thundering on the wing.
However the first breakthrough came from a period of repeated Newmarket attacks, scrum half Harvey Bell moving ball quickly to his forwards to carry repeatedly or chipping through for wing Simon Guenigault to chase.
The ball was stolen by Simon Ward who ran a diagonal line before passing to Sam Hallows to score. Ten minutes later prop Billy King sprinted 40 metres and regathered a fumbled pass to kick on and score.
Play returned to the Woodbridge 22 and a battering succession of tackles to keep fly half Joe Stafford and his eager pack from scoring.
Prone to the breakaway Newmarket was vulnerable and Simon Codd nearly scored before Cooke, King and Bond combined to assist Salavejs to stampede over to score.
From another scrum in Woodbridge territory the Warriors energetic replacement scrum half Taff Lloyd moved the ball wide for another sprint down the wing and Bond finished off a convincing victory.