Wellington’s away game to Chosen Hill was a motorway nightmare followed by a mudbath.
A journey which should have taken an hour and a half took three hours on Saturday as congestion on the M5 meant that Wellington arrived just five minutes before the kick off. George Hodgson and Cameron Venn who didn’t travel on the team bus missed the start altogether.
This meant that Anthony Gill and Will Brewer who were meant to be on the bench started. Brewer in his first appearance in the first fifteen for twenty months following knee surgery found himself in the unfamiliar outside centre position, while Gill slotted in at second row.
Torrential rain in the days leading up to the game, and heavy rain throughout meant that this was never going to be an open game, although both sides did try to play rugby.
The hosts were typically abrasive as you would expect from a Gloucester team, but the young Wellington pack refused to take a backward step. Numerous handling errors, which were to be expected in the conditions, caused frustration and on occasion’s tempers were frayed. The Wellington tight five held the edge in the scrums, while the Former pupils just edged the line outs.
Half time arrived with neither team troubling the scorers, but Wellington now had to play up the slope in the second half.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with the slippery ball proving to be too hard to control. After fifty minutes Chosen Hill scored what proved to be the only points of the match when Rich Austin crashed over the line after several phases.
Wellington refused to lie down and die however and spent a long period pounding away at the host’s try line showing remarkable skill in the conditions as the picked and drove around the corner. To their credit Chosen Hill defended resolutely, and refused to yield.
Despite the low score it was quite an entertaining game with young Tom Hawkings looking secure under the high ball, and Ben Price looks more at home in the nine jersey every week.
So Wellington had to be content with another losing bonus point, but once again they can be proud of their efforts and on another day could easily have taken the spoils.
Match report: Mike Brewer