Last year's finalists renewed their rivalry as Bucks 1st XV played their second game of the season against Wanderers last Saturday at Turf City. This was a game that both sides had been looking forward since the fixtures were announced.
Similar to their previous outing Bucks struggled to gain a foothold early in the game, Wanderers used their size advantage in the pack to muscle their way around the Turf City field. With Wanderers forwards creating go forward ball and Bucks reduced to moving closer and closer to the ruck, Wanders managed to get over for 2 early tries. With Bucks defence struggling to cope with Wanderers on the inside they smartly went wide twice and used their overlaps to score.
With Bucks on the backfoot for the first 20 mins they knew they had to get back in the game quickly to avoid Wanderers pulling away. With Bucks applying pressure in Wanderers 22, the referee had no choice but to award penalties. A tap and go allowed Ian Mularky to get over and bring the game to 12-5 coming up to half time. The heat and physical nature of the game meant the halftime whistle was gladly welcomed by both sides.
Bucks knew they needed to come out early and get some quick points after finishing the 2nd half the stronger team however it was Wanderers and their set piece which fired after half time. Again Bucks defence struggled with Wanderers big ball carriers and Wanderers created an overlap to go over in the corner again. With that try Bucks were 19-5 down and began to chase the game, Bucks started to play with more possession however Wanderers were able to frustrate play and slow down the game. After a piece of dangerous play, Wanderers had a man sent to the bin and with the numbers advantage Bucks got their rolling maul going and scored through Ed Rayfield, scoring on debut.
After Wanderers gave away another penalty Bucks went to the corner to set up another and get there 2nd score of the half, this time Tom Dunsmore crossing the whitewash. However with Wanderers returned to a full compliment they wrestled control back of the game and scored to tries to leave the final score 33-15. Bucks will be disappointed after this loss, especially coming into the Christmas break. This period off should allow Bucks to work on some key areas coming into the 2nd half of the season and with their International players to return Bucks can only look forward with relish to their next meeting with Wanderers in the new year
Bucks 15 (T: Mullarky, Rayfield, Dunsmore)
Wanderers 33 (5 tries)