(by the Report Monkey)
With Goldilocks weather and a squad of 22 players, there was a positivity among the 3s that had not quite been there for the last couple of games.
Wendens were still waiting for a player as kick off loomed so Scott joined their ranks so we could start the game on an even footing.
Cantabs received the KO and it was not long after that a lovely break by Chris K put us on the score board, some good hands saw Chris in space where he chipped over and although he got to the ball first feeling the Wendens defence still on his heels he gave the ball one more nudge with the boot to see it land perfectly behind the sticks (luck off the Irish or pure skill I will leave for him to say!) for him to dive on and open the scores. Shepherd kicked over his 1st conversion of the season 0-7.
Wendens were quick to respond when shortly after some good hands, their slippery winger evaded his man and the full back to bolt round and tie the scores 7-7.
There were several missed chances by both sides with defences holding strong and both side's attacks not quite making it to the last set of hands/over the line.
Shortly before the end of the half it was Wendens who managed to get it going enough to muscle their way over to give them the lead 12-7 at the end of the half.
First half highlights for me were Will P's hit on their full back (superboom), and Sir's decisions, that were fair and balanced (I actually mean it!!) my favourite for which was "Wendens you messed that up and Cantabs you messed that up so we will split the difference and have a line out in the middle". Was great fun to play a game with a ref who both wanted the game to flow and seemed to enjoy watching the battle.
A couple of sets of fresh legs were brought into the fray for the second half with everyone playing so well in the 1st it was tough to see who to change so I swapped out myself for the youth and speed of Sachas and Tom P who had really played well for Dan S. Scott elected to stay with Wendens and Shaggy joined them to replace their injured winger.
The second half started and for the first 10 minutes did not seem to move from within 10m of the half way line with both sides defending well. But then like a flash and from just within our half Sacha broke free, and faster than you could say "French grease lightening" darted all the way round behind the stick to level the scores, then took the conversion to edge us ahead 12-14.
Matt Brown came on for Jack at flank and Dan B came on for a limpy Shepherd at full back.
It was not long before Dan B made his presence felt as he also broke away down the left wing from inside our half to out-stride and out-pace the Wendens defence, extras from Robbo 12-21.
Steve C was next to muscle and sprint his way though and around Wendens to notch up his first for the season 12-26.
Pedro was the next to add to the tally with another break away down the left (seriously why could we not have done this when I was still on there??), dotted down behind the posts, he then kicked his conversion 12-33 Cantabs.
Amongst these scores there was a couple of breaks stopped by Wendens, three men eventually pulling down the Beast and their full back putting his body on the line to stop a second break by Sacha, the tackle was his last of the game and Shaggy returned to the field in red (having come off when their straggler had eventually arrived).
Through out the second half when we were not scoring Wendens were applying the pressure and some great defending kept them from going over with a couple of charges held up over the line.
Eventually they made the pressure stick with a quick tap penalty charged and rapidly recycled to give a well earned score 19-33.
George came off after his opposite number landed on him during a moment of "razzle dazzle" (his words as I didn't see it) twisting his wrist in a bad way, Tim C came on and Beast moved to Prop. Not long after, Pedro's old man body could take no more and with our last 2 subs in red they agreed to let me return to the field for the last 5 minutes.
This meant I was on the pitch to see the score of the game, as Chris K broke free to speed his way over for his well deserved second try, 19-38 the final score.
Man Of The Match was a very difficult call this week with every player in blue and white having a great game. But for me the 3 main contenders were;
Will P, for his big hits and general being everywhere all the time.
Steve C, the tackle monster for well all the tackling!
Chris K, was behind most of the breaks we scored (and several we didn't), was limping from the end of the first half but it only seemed to make him faster!!
To me on this occasion Will just edged it, but only because of the hit on the full back that still makes me smile now!
Dick Of The Day was an easy choice, George get a better alarm clock!!
This was the most fun game I have played in a while, thanks to Wendens Ambo for never giving up and fighting until the last. And thank you to Sir for refereeing the game in such a fun and fair way.