13th January 2018
Wanderers Gents return to the Padang
With one win on the Padang in the season already secured, the Singapore Wanderers 2nd XV took to the legendary field gunning for the double. SCC Tankards, who always front a formidable team, were looking to secure their spot on the top of the table.
Both teams started the game with the same intentions on a wet overcast afternoon. Physicality and high balls were the order of the day. Straight from the kick off, Wanderers returned with a high ball to ensure play was contested in the opponent’s half. A number of physical exchanges followed with SCC making it to the wanderers 5m line but it was defended solidly until a scrum was awarded to the Wanderers, a telling moment for both teams, a time for the packs to prove their worth with SCC regularly showing their size and strength in previous encounters. The experience in the Wanderers front row made up of Robert McMickan, Colin O’Muiri and Kris Kowalski proved to be the catalyst and dug deep to dominate the scrum in all aspects and continued the momentum a few moments later pushing yet another scrum over the line with number 8 Mathew Roberts running it over for the first try of the game.
The momentum continued as the ball was kicked back and forth until mistakes were made by SCC’s back three ensuring the Wanderers continued to hold a dominant field position. An outstanding and consistent performance from the second and back rows proved too much for SCC in the lineouts with Conor Brennan stealing the ball in the air and the inside pass to winger Nanhong Tiah leading to a break of the line and an outstanding try. The first half came to an end; 14-3 with Wanderers only conceding 3 points having given away a penalty early in the half.
The second half started in similar fashion with both teams looking to gain territory. SCC continued with their strong runners in the centre which required similarly strong and persistent defence from Tom Chamberlain. SCC developed their game, playing more expansive rugby, however, this was met with an equally determined defence proving to be too strong to allow for any free runners. Turn over ball and running with strength and determination, the Gents built up phase after phase, the forwards forcing SCC to commit men to stopping their surge, with back row Lorenz Kingbell’ proving too difficult to track. A quick ball from the breakdown allowed fullback Martin Cartwright to break through and secure a third try for the Gents. A true team try to please the coaches.
With 15 minutes left, the Wanderers continued to apply pressure. Finally, in a moment filled with either confusion or virtuoso, a pause and offload from fly half Kieran Sasiadek saw winger Nanhong once again through a gaping hole in the hosts defence, this time taking the Wanderers from the halfway line past the twenty-two. A supporting run from the fly half ensured an easy pass to get Wanderers a bonus point for four tries. Converting his own try, Kieran Sasiadek was four from four on the conversion front. We’ll forget about the missed penalty.
The SCC Tankards, however, continued to show perseverance. As the Wanderers started to lose focus and eased the foot off the gas, SCC showed their strength. On the 72nd minute mark, SCC set up a strong driving maul from a lineout 5 metres out burrowing through for their first try.
28-8 to the Wanderers. An all-round strong performance from the Wanderers Gents, that saw them show a glimpse of their real potential. Lead by Rhino, a strong leader encouraging a team that showed too many strong performances to pick out one.