20th November 1XV Report: Derby 40-17 Oadby Wyggestonians

With Josh Bingham’s late call off due to illness and the absence of the three Loughborough students, Derby had to show flexibility in rearranging selection and keep the team spirit in tact.

This hard fought win lifts Derby to second place in the league. However, it was not as easy as the score line suggests. The Visitors looked an all round bigger side and for the first fifteen minutes dominated possession and launched a series of attacks ending with a try by No.8, Arthur Redfern. Only consistent tackling kept them out until a Derby forward drive was pulled down just short of the line, gifting Derby a penalty try and Oadby’s Michael Wright sent to the Sin Bin.

That was the lift needed to spark Derby’s spirits and ten minutes later captain Andy Brown broke from deep to give winger Ryan Milton an opening he exploited with great speed for a try converted by Lewis Hancock. Two minutes later Hancock took a pass from Will Town to score and convert his own try. Once again the visitors put Derby under pressure in the scrums to win possession but an individual try by Andy Brown brought the try bonus point and a 21-points lead at the interval.

From the restart, Oadby exerted strong pressure, gaining ball from the scrums and breakdowns before left winger, Guy Want, went over in the corner. In the following ten minutes, Sam Tebbs scored from a long way out for Derby converted by Hancock and Guy Want crossed for the Visitors converted by Lunn. The big Oadby centres kept testing Derby’s defence but low hard tackling disrupted their pattern of play. By now Derby had identified the threats and set about closing them down. Josh Tizzard and Sam Tebbs have got used to taking scrum ball under pressure. This was key to keeping possession for the Backs. In the final minutes Sam Tebbs broke through several tackles, swivilled passed another and just made it to the try line for the best try of the game. Lewis Hancock converted to seal the victory.

This was another example of great team spirit and hard graft in a very open and attacking game of rugby. Clearly, Derby players are enjoying their games and it shows in the effort made by all of them. Whatever the selection, they must continue with hard work and play open attacking rugby.

It is away next week to Old Northamptonians. Come and lend your support.

Match report by: Gerry Sherry