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Grayson delight at 'awesome' Wibsey defence
Buy this photo » TRY TIME: Bryn Worsley escapes the Rossington defence on his way to touching down for his second try of the match for Wibsey
Wibsey 27 Rossington Hornets 14
Wibsey’s former director of rugby Dave Grayson, who is mentoring their coaches until Christmas, paid tribute to an heroic defensive display as they notched their first league win of the season to move off the bottom.
Rossington Hornets battered the home line at Northfield Road in a second half that lasted 52 minutes but could only add one try.
Wibsey, whose only previous points had come courtesy of an 8-8 draw with bottom club Thirsk three weeks previously, reached half-time with a healthy 20-7 lead thanks to tries by incisive centre Bryn Worsley (2), fly half James Sawyer adding two penalties and two conversions.
The South Yorkshire club replied with a try by scrum half James Richardson, which right winger Kai Wheatley converted.
But when the latter added a try and a conversion in the 63rd minute and Sawyer tested the patience of referee Laurence Pearson too often with backchat and was sin-binned, it seemed odds-on that the Hornets would triumph.
However, having survived the yellow-carding of lock David Wilkinson for a professional foul in the second minute of the second half, Wibsey again defied logic by surviving Sawyer’s sin-binning without conceding any points.
The tension was palpable on the Wibsey touchline but Sawyer spotted a gap in the sixth minute of stoppage time and scooted through for the match-clinching try, adding the conversion himself.
Grayson said: “We seemed to want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory but our defence was awesome.
“They seemed to be on our line for ten minutes in the second half but we drove them back.
“However, we need to improve our discipline as we played for 20 minutes with a man down.
“It should also be remembered, however, that we were without all of our back row from last season in James Birkbeck, Mike Greaves and Rob Greenwood, and one of our centres in Simon Birkbeck, and the other, Bryn Worsley, was making his seasonal debut.
“Off the pitch, the infrastructure is now there but what we need are players.”
On a pitch that had standing water in two places, Worsley soon showed what Wibsey had been missing, his second dangerous lateral attack leading to a penalty in the fourth minute which Sawyer stroked over.
Hornets had the early edge in the pack, however, and Richardson was able to dot the ball down over the line in the 17th minute when their forwards got a shove on at a scrum close to the Wibsey line.
The home eight then showed what they are capable of nine minutes later with a great drive in the Hornets’ left-hand corner, the ball being moved swiftly to the left for Worsley to stroll over.
Sawyer’s conversion and a penalty stretched the lead to 13-7 before Worsley spotted a gap from 40 metres out and sprinted through for his second try on the stroke of half-time, Bradford League cricketer Sawyer again landing the kick.
The most obvious final scoreline seemed 21-20 to Rossington as a converted try seemed guaranteed for the visitors at some stage.
But they either ignored overlaps - on one occasion a five-man - knocked on or just ran into a fearsome home rearguard, and Sawyer’s late try made the very unlikely prospect of a home triumph a certainty.
Any interested players should contact first-team manager Steve Brooke on 07769-678490.
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