Woodford sealed an encouraging 34-12 win over league leaders Westcliff in a friendly.
Westcliff kicked off and a clean catch saw Will Carey run at the on coming Westcliff players. Woodford support was quick from Euan Fay and Victor Chujor but Westcliff were quicker and won the ruck.
From here Westclff put together a series of phases of play. As the pressure mounted the Woodford defence was slow to organise and Westcliff spotted the gap and ran through for the first score, 7-0 on five minutes.
Woodford responded well with DanFarrelly chasing the kick off to tackle the catcher and then contest possession. With Jamie Ali in support they free the ball and pass to Victor Chujor who spots space down the wing.
Chujor’s powerful run sees him all the way to the line and a try in the corner, his first try of the day which is unconverted, 7-5 on 7 minutes.
Both sides are now playing at full tempo with strong running attacks and solid tackling cancelling each other out. Woodford gain a slight territorial advantage but at the scrum a good hook and shove by Westcliff gets them the ball.
The attack is fast but Woodford defend well and force a penalty. Woodford run the ball with Chujor leading but Westcliff win the breakdown and attack. Rhys Phillips and Tom Mead combine to win the ball back and slip a pass to Chujor who makes a break and feeds Jed West.
West makes more ground and Woodford win a scrum a few metres out from the try line. The Woodford scrum is secure and Chujor picks up and bursts over for his second try which is not converted, 7-10 on 10 minutes.
From the restart Tom Fitzpatrick ran the ball back and in to contact with Chujor in support. The quick rucking of Westcliff secured them possession but at the next phase William Tindall and West regained the ball for Woodford. Rob Yiannakou took the attack on but Westcliff won the ball back.
Spotting the Woodford defence out of position Westcliff launch an attack down the left to score near the corner, 12-10 on 15 minutes.
Westcliff make an uncharacteristic error knocking on at the restart but Woodford fail to capitalise dropping the ball after a cleanly won scrum.
Westcliff counter attack but covering defensive tackles from Carey and Michael Batt slow Westcliff’s progress. Further tackles from Yiannakou and Farrelly force a Westcliff error and Woodford can relieve the pressure and get out of their half.
Mick Chamberlain, Anthony Hamilton and Arun Vaid are brought on as Woodford replacements.
A Woodford penalty is taken forward by Farrelly and Hamilton who combine to take play well in to the Westcliff half. As both sides make mistakes Woodford secure a scrum near the Westcliff try line.
Phillips and West break but are unable to score and are penalised for holding on to the ball. The Westcliff clearance kick is fielded by Hamilton.
Woodford attack with Marks and Max Venditti combining before Westcliff rip the ball out and attempt to run it out of defence. A fumble is pounced on by Ali who links with West but the Westcliff defence stops the Woodford progress.
From the scrum Woodford spread the ball wider and as Batt breaks the line and commits the defender before a floated pass to Hamiton that sees him out pace the cover to score, the try being converted by Marks, 12-17 at half time.
Westcliff made team changes at half time and Woodford kicked off the second half with intent. Yiannakou and Chujor make good ground and with support from Mead and Batt the play moves forward. Woodford combine again with Farrelly driving forward before slipping a pass to Hamilton who arch round the defence and score, 12- 22 on 32 minutes.
Woodford knock on at the restart but West is up quickly at the Westcliff scrum to win the ball and put in a clearance kick down field.
Marks following up kicks the ball on towards the Westcliff try line. Marks collects the ball and several defenders and the ref decides the ball has not been grounded.
The Woodford five metre scrum is solid and as a second push disrupts the Westcliff pack West picks and drives over for a score, converted by Marks, 12-27 on 45 minutes.
Westcliff attack again but sound tackling from Woodford stop the attack. A quick kick and chase from Batt and Hamilton is unsuccessful but as Westcliff run the ball out West tackles the player in to touch.
A long ball to Venditti works bringing Chamberlain in to the attack but the probing run by Marks is defended well and a Woodford knock on gives Westcliff a defensive scrum.
They win the ball cleanly but as they seek to kick clear Will Curness is up to apply pressure and the kick is not as good as hoped for and Hamilton picks up the ball for an attack.
The cold is affecting handling as both sides knock the ball on.
A Westcliff clearance kick is fielded by Carey who runs at the heart of the defence. He makes excellent progress and when finally caught Ali is on hand to take the pass and speed across the line, 12-34 on 51 minutes.
Westcliff launch another wave of attacks but Farrelly tackles the threat out of existence. Woodford find some energy in the last minutes as Venditti combines with Fay to drive Westcliff backwards.
Westcliff regain possession and attack back but a timely tackle from Jack Laumann-Mamas prevents a score. Woodford re-group and force Westcliff in to touch.
Woodford do not stop and Batt, Hamilton and Curness combine to work the ball free to feed Vaid but with three defenders on him the ball slips out of his grasp and the final whistle blows.
Man of the match: Michael Batt
Woodford Under-15s: Rob Yiannakou, Arun Vaid, Mick Chamberlain, Euan Fay, Victor Chujor, Will Curness, Rhys Phillips, Jed West, Tom Mead, Alex Marks, Jamie Ali, Dan Farrelly, Anthony Hamilton, Will Carey, Max Venditti, Jack Laumann-Mamas, Tom Fitzpatrick, Michael Batt, William Tindall.