Score: lost 5-22
Woodbridge 1st XV took on Old Swinford Hospital in the semi-final of the national cup on Wednesday, 8 March 2017. From the kick-off, OSH were deep into Woodbridge half of the field. Woodbridge quickly took the ball and made some good half breaks to gain yards through Hugo Kelleway and James Bellhouse, however the breaks were short lived as the big and physical OSH team added more and more pressure on to Woodbridge line. Throughout the first half, Woodbridge lived off scraps of possession as the OSH pack started to dominate the game, however outstanding defence from William Wells, James Bellhouse and James Brown ensured that we were only 15 points down at half time.
The half time team talk focussed on open space, playing quicker, trying to catch OSH out in the wide channels, and going faster and faster, making sure we played away from their big pack, away from contact. The boys increased the tempo and the intensity, and throughout the second half spent most of the time in the OSH half, pressing and pressing. Unfortunately halfway through the second half, OSH scored again, bringing the score to 22-0. However this did not deter Woodbridge, who came back more physical and more passionate than ever.
With the crowd roaring us on, Hugo Kelleway and Tom Innes started to pull the strings. James Bellhouse, James Brown, Kieran Saxton and Tristan Hilger were now running hard into space; the crowd started to feel that Woodbridge might just turn it around, and Hugo squeezed in for a try making the score 22-5.
In the last 10 minutes we pressed and pressed, but unfortunately couldn’t break through again, to leave the final score 22-5. The Woodbridge players were fantastic; dedicated, passionate and committed throughout the game.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents that have watched throughout the cup run; supporting so passionately from the touchline, and also Wednesday’s crowd which was fantastic and gave the players such a boost, and pride, in their performance.
Lastly thank you to the boys who have trained, worked and played so hard to represent the School throughout the year. To reach the semi-final of the National Cup is an astonishing achievement and they deserve all the plaudits.