Eight-try Wanderers cruise past Worcester

ON THE SCORESHEET - GJ van Velze (picture by Linda Dawson)ON THE SCORESHEET - GJ van Velze (picture by Linda Dawson)
ON THE SCORESHEET - GJ van Velze (picture by Linda Dawson)
Rob Verbakel doubled up as the Wanderers ran in eight tries on their way to crushing Worcester 52-26 at Franklin’s Gardens on Monday night.

It was the second win in as many ‘A’ League games for the Saints shadow team as they added the Cavaliers’ scalp to the victory at Leicester a week earlier.

Kiwi second row Verbakel, signed from Otago during the summer, was joined on the scoresheet by Teimana Harrison, GJ van Velze, Tom Collins, Ethan Waller, Alex Woolford and Howard Packman.

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There were also plenty of points for another former Otago man, Glenn Dickson, with the fly-half kicking six conversions.

Harrison was the one to start the scoring, turning on the turbos to blitz past the Worcester defence and dot down.

Dickson thumped the conversion through the uprights and the Wanderers had a 7-0 lead inside the first five minutes.

GJ van Velze added a second score soon after, making the most of an unstoppable maul as the Cavaliers folded.

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Collins, who could sidestep a defender in a phonebox, went over for the third try, gliding through the Worcester defence to add his name to the scoresheet.

Dickson, impressing at 10, added the extras and the Wanderers were eyeing a huge tally with more than 60 minutes still to play.

Verbakel used his power to make it four home scores inside the opening half an hour and the Cavaliers were being shot down with alarming regularity.

They did show some defiance in defence before the break, stopping what looked a certain try with the Wanderers camped on the away line.

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And after the interval the away side showed began to show real spirit, pegging back the Wanderers.

Howard Packman’s yellow card in the second minute of the half was key, with the Cavaliers scoring twice while the wing was off the pitch.

Max Stelling was the man with both the tries, which were converted, before Waller got the Wanderers’ fifth score of the night.

Again the Cavaliers responded, with Ben Howard on target.

Tom Chapman brought the visitors back to within five points, but Verbakel wasn’t about to let the lead slip as he dived over for the Wanderers.

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Dickson converted to make it 38-26 and he also added the extras to replacement Woolford’s try with seven minutes to go.

But the score of the night was still to come as Packman ghosted past several Cavaliers challenges to put the seal on a comfortable night for the home side.

Wanderers: Artemyev (Skelcey 70); Collins, Diggin (Olver 56), Stephenson, Packman; G Dickson, A Day (Glynn 40); E Waller (Hobbs 56), Haywood (McMillan 40), Ma’afu (Parkins 53), Verbakel, Craig (Woolford 43), Harrison (Harry 70), Nutley, van Velze.

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