It’s often saidthat Friday the 13th is unlucky for some and in some senses that was the case for the Wanderers senior team, or Taunton II as they are officially now known. The other part of the Wanderers group is now known as Taunton III.
It’s fair to say nerves were probably quite apparent pre-match given the quietness of some players and it being a local derby, along with a decent enough crowd and the odd former European Cup winner watching on the side lines.
Despite the nerves and a smattering of Bridgy first team players after 10 minutes the arm wrestle was quite even with both sides defending well but unable to break the deadlock. The wanderers landed the first blow with a well-timed try for Nathan Whetlor in the corner, and in the old fashioned manner, the conversion was missed.
This appeared to gee the lads and from the kick off they were again racing through their paces and putting another score on the board, this time from a bout of excellent forward play, combined with the backs fluidity resulting in a try for Ben Warwicker, although his belly may have got their first. Again, the try was not……….you know the answer.
Clearly Gav Farley was desperate to get on the score sheet as given he was the leading team scorer last season he couldn’t be left behind and this time the try was directly under the posts. On this occasion, after so very kind direction by Mr Bussell on the bridgy side, the try was converted.
In between the second and third try Bridgwater started to find some holes and ominously started to find them from deep in their own territory. A break here and there saw some desperate defending only for ‘Fiji’ Tolman to attempt a try saving tackle by trying to stop an oversize midriff with his head, but to no avail.That try was not converted but after Taunton’s 3rd try two more were scored by Bridgwater and both were converted leaving the score at half time avery reasonable 19-17 to the home side.
The second half was much different. Suffice to say the brief moments when Taunton managed toget the ball not a lot was achieved although the endeavour was good. In patches the arm wrestle was quite even, but outside of those patches Bridgwater had very much the upper hand. Bridgwater scored 6 tries of which 3 were converted and at times the class of some of the Bridgwater players showed with the running of the game and the identifying the areas to hit. The last word did goto Taunton, with excellent forward work creating an overlap for James Devlin to scamper over in the corner. He decided to attempt the conversion, but……………..you know.
All in all avaliant effort by the Wanderers and a good measure of the level they need to reach to compete this season. Plenty of positives and it’s fair to say with a bit of hard work in training the level will be reached and exceeded. Next week home to Bristol Harlequins and the 3rds away to Frome.