A solid second half performance took Wetherby U15s through to the second round of the Yorkshire Cup with a 31-12 victory over Bradford and Bingley on Sunday.
Bradford and Bingley immediately put Wetherby under pressure and scored the game’s opening try of the game in the corner following a scrum inside the Wetherby 22. It was excellently converted for an early seven-point lead.
At this stage Wetherby were at sixes and sevens with a lack of co-ordination, too many knock-ons and missed passes.
Attacking opportunities were gained by strikes against the head or from turnover ball but were then wasted as the ball was knocked on or passes went to ground.
However, although the attacking threat was misfiring the defence held firm.
A Bradford and Bingley line out on the Wetherby five-yard line was successfully repulsed and a following penalty to the hosts missed.
Towards the end of the first half two events sparked a complete change in the nature of the game.
Firstly Wetherby drove a maul 25 yards down the pitch demonstrating a forward supremacy they would not relinquish and then there was change at scrum half and the passes that had been going astray now started to go to hand.
Having realised that greater success was to be had keeping the ball in the forwards, this is exactly what Wetherby did. Paul Greathead made a break into the Bradford and Bingley 22 but then the ball was kept in the forwards each time crossing the gain line until Ben Sharpe crashed over for Wetherby’s first score. The try was converted by Harrison Dalton to take the score at half time to 7-7.
Wetherby maintained the forward dominated game for most of the second half.
Wetherby were soon camped in the opponents’ 22 from where successive drives from Will Hodgkiss and Sharpe led to the ball going to Huzayfa Kayani who was not going to be stopped from a few yards out, taking Wetherby into the lead for the first time.
A third try followed soon after following a similar pattern but this time it was Patrick Reynolds taking the direct route and driving over.
With a 12 point lead the backs were finally allowed to join in with Greathead and James Broady scoring from open play. There was just enough time for Bradford and Bingley to score a final try but it was not enough to dampen Wetherby’s mood.