Wildcats away day down in Reigate
By Graham Shaw
Away day winners wow the crowd
The squad were nervous going in to this fixture. They were playing against an Old Reigatian RFC team that beat us 65 (we stopped counting at 40)-15 and a Guildfordians team that beat us 29-15 in the cup. However, they went in to the weekend with confidence from their recent cup victory and some great training sessions. We were joined once again by 2 Streatham & Croydon RFC players to make a squad of 18.
The focus for the day was "confidence" as well as applying pressure in defence and keeping the ball moving in to space in attack.
Guildfordians 14 - 17 Warlingham
A fantastic performance by the squad. Every player was switched on from the first whistle (for a change!) and an early try helped the belief among the players. Some fierce tackling, brilliant offloads and great team play were on display from both teams and the game was particularly tight. Another Wildcats try gave a 10 point lead but Guildfordians came back strongly to take the lead with 2 tries that had accurate conversions. Wildcats kept on pushing to score a third decisive team try with a fine conversion to cap it off.
Old Reigatian 10 - 5 Warlingham
ORs were missing some key players but were supplemented by Guildfordians to make a 15 a side game. It was a different opposition team from the start of the season but there were still at least 8 Surrey players in their combined squad alongside some experienced players. The nerves were clear across the Wildcats but the determination and effort kept the team in the game at 0-0. A try a piece with no conversions made for a tense finish. The Wildcats fought at both ends - resolute defence on the try line forced the turnovers but they couldn't breach the opposition at the other end. As tiredness crept in a few penalties appeared allowing ORs to clear their lines and string together some great attacking play. A breakaway try for ORs against some tiring legs for the Wildcats was a cruel blow. Every player continued to push forward and the spectators commented on the fact that another 10 minutes might have allowed the Wildcats back in the game.
Old Reigatian v Guildfordians
The Wildcats then had players loaned to both our opposition for the final game of the day - a demonstration of how well the girls in teams within Surrey get on together as well as a great display of Rugby Values. Guildfordians won this final match to give everyone a share at the end of the day.
The squad showed how far they've come this season and their hard work has paid off. The individual and squad development of confidence, skills and desire to compete was off the charts - loads to learn from but more to be proud of. Well done to everyone for playing for other teams as well - a true sign of rugby values. My favourite thing was some quotes from opposition coaches and parents (they can't be biased like us!):
- 'They kept the ball alive better than most teams I've seen this season and really worked as a team - there were no individuals out there'
- 'I didn't have to give one penalty because they all played to the laws - they were a pleasure to referee' - 1st game
- 'I can't believe it's the same team that we saw at the start of the season'