Warriors WYMCA battle to victory over Worcester Police

Warriors WYMCA’s touch rugby side secured a 10-8 victory in an entertaining game against Worcester Police last week.

After a strong first-half performance the team had to withstand a spirited second-half fightback by the visitors, before late tries from Liam Cooper and Rich Oxenbury wrapped-up the win.

As expected, after playing several fixtures this month, Warriors WYMCA started more cohesively and they took an early lead when Josh Jackson floated a pass out to Rich Oxenbury on the wing, with the skipper racing down the line to score.

Before long Jackson found himself on the scoresheet after collecting a pass from Cooper and sprinting through a disorganised defence for a try.

Worcester Police opened their account with a well worked try, before Cooper fed Jack Doogue-Johnson who burst through the defence to score a debut try.

Doogue-Johnson added his second shortly afterwards after an assist from Jackson.

The Police got their second of the night when they created an overlap on the left, but Warriors WYMCA hit back when a lovely delayed pass from Cooper found Joe Pain coming in on a great line to score.

Just as Warriors WYMCA were looking like they were in complete control they switched off in defence and allowed Worcester Police an easy try just before the break to make it 5-3 at half-time.

Warriors WYMCA started the second-half strongly when Cooper combined with Jackson, who dived in to score, before Ian Wareing set-up the President for his first try shortly afterwards.

Warriors WYMCA were then guilty of over confidence as they attempted several risky passes and kept on gifting possession back to the Police.

Two quick tries for the visitors made the score 7-5 before Cooper and Jackson combined again for Johnson's hat-trick.

Worcester Police then began to dominate, at one stage forcing three consecutive sets of six on the Warriors WYMCA tryline.

With Warriors WYMCA beginning to tire Worcester Police were able to exploit some gaps to score three tries without reply and level the scores at 8-8.

With both teams trying desperately to create the match-winning opportunity, mistakes were common place, with several quick turnovers.

Suddenly, from a quick play of the ball Rich Oxenbury spotted a gap down the blind side, passed to Nathan Collins who set-up Cooper for the try with one minute remaining.

From the restart the Police tried to create one last chance but they lost possession. Cooper set-up Collins, who should have scored, but he was stopped by a fantastic tackle.

From the play the ball, Cooper was able to fire a long ball out to the unmarked Oxenbury to score and wrap-up the win.

After the match Head Coach Dave Rogers was pleased with the resilience of his side.

He said: “I'm delighted with the win. The first-half performance was really good and really we should have had the game won, but then we lost the plot for 10 minutes in the second-half.

“We didn't look after the ball and gave them too many opportunities to score. The most pleasing thing was that the players got themselves out of the situation and showed the strength of character to win the game.

“All the momentum was with our opponents by then, but we got the vital score and the players should be proud of that.”

President Liam Cooper added: “The players got a bit over-confident at one stage and it almost cost us.

“At 4-1 up, that should have been game over but we allowed them back into the match. That said, all the boy deserve huge credit for battling to victory.”

1. Rich Oxenbury (c), 2. Julian Lund, 3. Maggie Lewen, 4. Joe Pain, 5. Josh Jackson, 6. Dom Mitchell Bennetto (vc). Subs. 7. Liam Cooper, 8. Jack Doogue-Johnson, 9. Ian Wareing, 10. Nathan Collins, 11. Dave Rogers