This was a must-win fixture for Wellington who sit third form bottom while Gordano prop up the rest of the table. Wellington were bolstered by the return of their captain Micky Norman and the unfailing kicking of Matt Parsons.
In conditions which were barely playable, Wellington played into a gale blowing straight down the pitch in the first half, and although they turned around 10 – 7 down at half time, it was probably Wellington’s hard work and skill levels in this period which ultimately won them the match.
Wellington kicked off and won the early exchanges in the tight but whenever the hosts turned over possession they were able to use the wind to relieve the pressure. After 8 minutes a penalty in front of the post was converted, and five minutes later a try off a rolling maul was converted to give the home side a 10 – 0 lead.
It was after this that Wellington played probably their best rugby given the conditions. The forwards absolutely worked their socks off taking short passes off of rucks and moving the play slowly up field. It wasn’t pretty, but it was perfect for the conditions, and stopped Gordano using the wind to relieve the pressure. After one such period of play which saw Welly get to within 10 metres of the hosts line, scrum half Will Brewer spotted a gap in the home defence and darted through and dived over. Parsons converted into the wind to make it 10 -7. Late in the half Wellington found themselves under pressure in their own twenty two, but showed great composure going through many phases to run the clock down before kicking it out of play.
The travelling support knew that a 3 point deficit was nothing given the conditions, but the lads on the pitch had to make it happen. They did so perfectly using the conditions to gain field position to such effect that Gordano only managed to venture into the Welly 22 twice in the whole half. Under pressure Gordano gave away kickable penalties, two of which Parsons accepted to give the visitors a narrow lead. With time running out Parsons put Ben Gamlin in the corner from a quick tapped penalty only to have him pulled back by the referee. Despite this Gordano could not break the strangle hold and eventually the referee blew the final whistle.
This was by no means a classic running game of rugby, but what it did show was that Wellington are growing in confidence and are able to adapt to differing conditions.
Next weeks see the re-arranged fixture against Barts RFC at home. Barts are another club sitting below Wellington so again it is a crucial fixture. The England-Ireland game will also be on the big screens afterwards, so come down and cheer the boys on.