Wetherby cheer 12 wins before Christmas

Wetherby Rugby Club are pushing forward on and off the field (Guy Roberts)
Wetherby Rugby Club are pushing forward on and off the field (Guy Roberts)

Wetherby Rugby Club have safely negotiated an unbeaten first half of the season, but two senior players have downplayed thoughts of an invincible season.

Wetherby have had a memorable calender year in 2014, with only one defeat and an unbeaten run that stretches back to February 8.

This season, they have scored an extraordinary 748 points in winning all 12 of their Yorkshire Four matches.

The Reds rounded off this year’s league matches with a 39-5 dismissal of Halifax on Saturday to ensure they would be top of the tree at Christmas.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Skipton in the Yorkshire Silver Trophy, captain James Gibson said confidence was flowing throughout the squad.

“Over the last few years things have slowly been picking up and this year, everything is just getting better and better,” he said.

“Everyone is really enjoying it at the moment. It’s a great set of lads and we have a buoyant atmosphere.

“We hope that we can go unbeaten this season, but everyone is coming after us now. Everyone wants to beat us. I don’t want to curse it (going unbeaten) by saying yes we can, but, we have a good chance.”

Veteran scrum half Nick Oates has experienced most of Wetherby’s ups and downs over the years. At 54 years old, he has represented the club more than 750 times in a career spanning more than 35 years. He believes the current crop of players are as good as have been seen at the Grange Park club.

Oates added: “It will be the best record in my time here. Since Wetherby rugby started, I am not aware of anyone having maximum points, certainly not by such a big points difference. We are doing exceptionally well.

“We have got to be strong favourites for promotion, whether we can do it unbeaten, that’s a strong question. Who knows what injuries might crop up.”

Wetherby has seen a number of players rise up from their junior section over the last few years, and both Gibson and Oates said the “one club” link at Grange Park was reaping its rewards.

More than 400 youngsters train at the youth set-up each Sunday, and now, the majority of the first team is made up of former colts.

The captain said: “All the lads that are playing for us have come through the junior system, the set up is thriving. If it wasn’t for the juniors, we wouldn’t be where we are. Hopefully we will see another good set of Colts come up next year too.”

Oates added: “Take me out of it, the ages in the first team are all between 18 and 24, if they stick around we should only get better.”