Rugby Success for Ryan
On Sunday the 12th January 2020, Ryan and his rugby team Sherwood Wolf Hunt had a day that will live long in the memory of all concerned with the team. As underdogs, they qualified for the Challenge Cup after dominating the Midlands Competition in 2019. In the first round of the cup, they were to face Wests Warriors, who sit a whole tier above and play at a significantly higher level.
Wolf Hunt believed from the beginning that they could pull off a Cup shock, and they did it in the most dramatic of ways. The team started off strong, bagging the first points of the game with just four minutes gone. Their opponents hit back soon after with a well worked try.
It was an intense and well battled first half with brilliant defensive efforts from Wolf Hunt as they held their ground. As a full back, Ryan was commended for his ‘safe hands’ and got himself onto a number of testing high balls, ultimately helping his team to get back on the attack. The first half also saw a harsh yellow card for Sherwood’s prop forward, leaving the side down to 12 men temporarily.
A penalty kick from along with two previous conversions kept the scoreboard ticking over, but with the opposition posted two tries with just 6 minutes left on the clock before the half putting Wests in front.
Wolf Hunt were 4 points behind in a game where they had dominated at half time, but this didn’t seem to deter them – even when the Wests’ Centre increased the lead to 8 points!
The 421-strong Debdale Park crowd could see that Wolf Hunt had more to give, and they worked their way up to earn 4 more points and close the gap. After a neat chip over the top to second rower who went untouched under the sticks, there was disappointment not only for the team but the excite crowd when it disallowed for offside.
The next 10 minutes presented a tremendous amount of defensive work, which shut out considerably larger opposition time and time again – Wests were just not gaining any momentum. The wings really helped to keep Wolf Hunt moving forward to test a tired opposition defence.
Wests looked the favourite to score in the last 5 minutes of the game. They worked their way into the Wolf Hunt 10 metre line until a moment of madness from the Warriors camp gave Wolf Hunt a penalty.
The last few moments were moments of magic! The penalty was taken, and the ball was hoofed deep into the Wests half where Wolf Hunt eagerly accepted it. The forwards drove forward and found them pressing on the Wests line. After what would be the last tackle, on the last set of the game, the ball was scooped up and released the ball into space and in the 80th minute, the ball was over the line, handing Wolf Hunt the points they needed to win the game!
The following week, Sherwood would play West Bowling in the second round. 621 people turned up at Debdale Park to see the boys put on a very gutsy display. Despite this, West Bowling came out on top, with the final score being 6-38. Though they were knocked out of the cup, this opportunity was a huge success for the club and for the local Rugby League. There are so many positives for them and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Ryan and his team!