Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Wharfedale RUFC
9:58 PM 18th February 2024

Match Report: Wharfedale 39 Ionians 19

Ed Williams has been reporting for the Yorkshire Times, part of the p.ublished group of online newspapers, on his local club, Wharfedale RUFC.

photo by Ro Burridge
photo by Ro Burridge
Another dominant Dale performance to back up last week’s win away at Otley. Dale dominated the opening of the game and an unfortunate knock on stopped Dale getting an opening try after they had completed 20 phases. Robbie Davidson took Dale into the lead with a 44-metre penalty.

More excellent ball retention by Dale, with forwards and backs combining well, ended with a 5-metre lineout. An effective catch and drive was finished by Robbie Collinson.

More extensive play ended with a held-up decision and a dropout under the posts. It was not the end of the pressure as Omari Kaup-Samuels fielded the ball.

photo by Ro Burridge
photo by Ro Burridge
Rob Baldwin created mayhem in the 22 offloading to Kaup-Samuels who got close to the line. Dale extended their lead after losing the ball and then a superb counter-ruck was finished by Louis Verity who picked the ball up and dived over. Robbie Davidson narrowly missed both conversions.

I’s did have some time in Dale’s 22 after some poor discipline by Dale but could not cross the line, ending with a knock on 5 metres from the line. Wharfedale’s third try was superb. They won the scrum and ran the ball. Rob Baldwin, Oliver Cicognini and Josh Prell combined to run the ball up to half way. The ball was quickly recycled and then moved to Robbie Davidson who broke through the centre to score under the posts. He added the extras himself.

photo by Ro Burridge
photo by Ro Burridge
Hull started the second half grateful for a couple of mistakes by Wharfedale and they got on the scoreboard after a good catch and drive with Alexander Forth touching down for an unconverted try.

The home side again built through the phases and came close to the line but seemed to lose the initiative by holding on and then a bit of back chat moved them back 10 metres. The kick to touch fell into the grateful arms of Ryan Hodgson who seemed to be given the freedom of midfield running from deep in his own half up to I’s 22.

The forwards took over and a surge from Baldwin took the play up to the line but his offload was not taken cleanly. Dale secured a bonus point with an unconverted try by Josh Burridge after good handling and support play by Cicognini and Sam Dickinson.

photo by Ro Burridge
photo by Ro Burridge
Again, Hull were given the ball in Dale`s 22 with some poor discipline by Dale which also earned Jake Armstrong a yellow card. Armstrong was bemused by the decision and one or two I’s players were also amused. I’s scored another try from a catch and drive with Forth grabbing his second and Lewis Minikin converting.

Any momentum that the Humbersiders were building was stopped in midfield by a jackal by Cicognini and then Burridge.

The Dalesmen secured the ball from a lineout on their own 10 metre line. Ben Markey broke the gain line and offloaded to Verity who carried the ball well into I’s half. Quick ball was set up by Baldwin and then fed to Cicognini. Cicognini sold a dummy and ran in from 35 metres. Davidson converted.

photo by Ro Burridge
photo by Ro Burridge
All credit to the visitors as they kept trying to play some good rugby. They were rewarded when Lucas Powell dived over for their third try. This was converted by Minikin to close the gap to 13 points.

The scoring was finished off, from another efficient catch and drive, by Ben Patchett for Dale. Davidson slotted the extras.

Wharfedale captain, George Hedgley, reflected after the game:
“We dominated the first half and our discipline was good and mistakes were virtually non-existent. Our standards were not as high in the second half and we allowed them some territory and possession which they used well. Our quality and work rate was enough to see us through and showed that this squad really works together.”

Wharfedale Hodgson; Prell, Cicognini, Verity (Pinder 79), Kaup-Samuels; Davidson, Darwin; Dickinson (Meehan 64), Collinson (Patchett 64), Armstrong, Stockton (Green 66), Hedgley (c), Pinder (Burridge 49), Markey, Baldwin (Beresford 66)