Woodbridge Warriors enjoy pre-season battle against South Woodham Ferrers

Reave on his way to score for Woodbridge

Reave on his way to score for Woodbridge - Credit: Archant

Woodbridge Warriors 0 South Woodham Ferrers 10

Tom Stokes tackles

Tom Stokes tackles - Credit: Archant

A sunny day, colourful blazers and a gathering of fit young players and older, experienced supporters.

It must be the beginning of a new rugby season, a Vice-President’s lunch and a friendly match to blow summer cobwebs away.

Like last season, Woodbridge had arranged their warm-up friendly against a higher-ranked team. This year South Woodham Ferrers, currently in London 2 NE – three leagues ahead of their hosts, arrived at Hatchley Barn.

The game started after a minute’s silence for two club members who had passed away over the summer. David Neal, was a founder member of the club and helped build the clubhouse and Peter Moyse, was also a long-time supporter and hands-on contributor to the fabric of the club. They will be much missed.

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The match took place on Woodbridge’s excellent first pitch over three 20 minute sessions and two final 15 minute sessions.

The Warriors played an excellent game against their well-drilled opponents. Although forced to play a defensive game for much of the afternoon, they were sufficiently organised and fit to mount several attacking forays into the visitors’ 22.

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Coach Drew Fautley will have taken encouragement from the attacks in pods and hard rucking that his smaller side put in.

South Woodham took a five-point lead after ten minutes through a try wide on the right from full back Reave.

Despite some well-worked linking between pack and backs they found the Warriors defence too fast to score again until the 85th minute when Jenkins scored on the left wing.

Woodbridge’s supporters were given an exciting to and fro match in between with plenty of running and an ever-present sense that victory was possible.

In the end the visitors left with the win and both sides had given their squads a good warm up without serious injury. The Warriors will approach next week’s first league match against Swaffham at home with a spring in their step.

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