Gents kick start season with a big win.
With great anticipation rugby is back, we can stop pretending we have anything better to on Saturdays and get back to what we all enjoy most, running around in the blazing sun with our mates and earning a few San Migs.
With the first game of the season being a 3 o’clock kick off against Bucks 2’s, the first quiet Friday night since the end of the season ensued. Waking up on Saturday Morning (a sight I rarely see), I, amongst others, was pleased to see that the rain and storms that had been coming down all week had stopped and we were blessed with clear skies, perfect weather for quick wingers from the only decent rugby playing nation in the southern hemisphere.
The boys began turning up at YCK, Coco arriving early deserves special mention, and the atmosphere, along with the temperature began heating up. The warm didn’t take long and certain Englishman still managed to get sunburnt (apparently SPF110 isn’t enough).
The lads, led out by captain Kris Kowaliuk took to the pitch and were ready to receive the kick off. The squad was made up of Gents new, old and returning – debuts being given out to a number of players.
Kick off was taken by Bucks and the ball was taken nicely by the biggest 9 in Singapore, Rupert Macey, who proceed to go hurtling into the Bucks winger to welcome him into the new season.
A period of strong forward play then got the Gents into the opposition 22 where they won a penalty, in true French fashion, Coco decided he didn’t care what anyone else thought, and pointed to the sticks, subsequently missing.
A few minutes passed with the ball being played around around in the middle of the park by Bucks, Wanderers defence was holding well and they never looked like running through the middle, the ball was then launched out wide and a good tackle was made on the wing, the ball was dropped and Wanderers recovered, moving it quickly to the other wing where Jason How got his head down and ran passed four Bucks players for the first try of the game and season.
The second try of the game took slightly longer to come than the first, but on the 17th minute mark, Coco took a quick tap penalty and fed Number 8 George Lyons to score right in the corner.
After this, the floodgates opened slightly and Jason How took advantage, scoring two in quick succession.
Jason, already on a halftime hatrick had barely got back in position when Bucks kicked off on the 30th, he then ran 50m with the ball, offloaded to Ollie Powell who was surely in, but his legs decided they wanted to slow down just before the line, enabling the Bucks winger to make a good covering tackle, luckily Jack Tucker was there to clean up and get the ball to Xavier Macia who put the ball down under the posts.
The sixth try of the half came after a period of great forward play, where a number of opposition players were sucked into the ruck, enabling Jack Tucker to receive the ball just wide of the post and run through.
With half time approaching, more and more pressure was being piled on Bucks and Wanderers were really clicking, the final try of the half came from some well worked moves between the backs and forwards who again had managed to draw Bucks players into the middle of the pitch, leaving George Lyons to receive the ball wide, hit a hard line and offload to Full Back Ollie Powell who touched the ball down to close the half.
Halftime score 41-0
With the crowd growing and the Wanderers with a lot to live up to in the second half, Wanderers took the kick off which was chased well by half time substitute Jon Templeman (rumour has it recently attended a Bucks tour to Bali), who managed to turn the ball over. The ball was then worked very well through the backs and after at least 10 phases, Kris Kowaliuk managed to crash through the Bucks line and put the ball down on the 43rd minute mark – not a bad start to the second half.
As the second half went on, the tenacity of the fist half and beginning of the second began to take effect on the Wanderers who saw less of the ball and were under heavy amounts of pressure from Bucks for large periods of time, although the defence stood strong and never really looked liked conceding.
Just before the final water break of the day, Rauf, playing at 12 saw a gap in the line and broke through, smashing two Bucks players and bringing them down as he did so, he then offloaded the ball to Jason How, who accelerated through to get his 4th try of the match.
After the water break the game visibly slowed down, however the Wanderers kept their concentration and did not look like they were ever going to concede.
With 5 minutes to go before full-time the Wanderers backline put together a lovely move from one wing to the other, which was finished off by, you guessed it, Jason How.
Full time score 57-0
MOTM – Jason How
Honourable Mentions – Xavier, Rupert & Jason