Teddington RFC director of rugby Paul Manley was buzzing after his team took their rare opportunity at Twickenham to claim Papa Johns Men’s Counties 2 Championship glory with a 53-19 win over Wensleydale.
The Londoners scored seven tries on their way to victory, with Joe Stainer and Tom Williams crossing twice and Max Aitkin, George Bradford and Matt Poole all scoring tries of their own.
Initially a ding-dong battle, Teddington pulled away either side of half-time to cruise victory, something that greatly pleased Manley.
He said: “We’ve been saying all week that you might only get one chance to play here so you have to make the most of it when it comes.
“It’s a massive pitch out there so I knew it would suit our flair players and they put on a show for everyone – it was great to see the crowd going crazy for them.
“We know our backline can be really dangerous, and we knew they had some massive forwards, so we had to weather the storm a bit and then let our backs make their mark.
It took Teddington just three minutes to take the lead, when centre Williams cut inside to finish off a score after the ball spilled out of a ruck.
Wensleydale came back quickly and soon scored a try of their own when Tom Larder bundled over from the back of a driving maul to make the score 7-5.
Bradford scored a wonder try in the right corner, with a finish for the ages from the loosehead prop, before Larder once again hit back, this time running a perfect line from 15 metres out.
Teddington then began to flex their muscles as Williams, Stainer and Aitkin scored three quick tries to give them a 33-12 half-time lead.
Two penalties from Bob Beevers took his tally to 15 points but a try from Jack Nichols reduced the gap to 20 points with plenty of time on the clock for Wensleydale.
Any chance of a comeback was swiftly shut down though with Teddington adding two more tries, as Stainer secured his double and quickly after Poole went over to reach the 50-point mark.
Manley continued: “Lots of effort from lots of people culminates in a result like that – our head coach Matt, has been amazing this year, the boys have really bonded with him and we are really proud of our club.
“It’s a lot of things coming together, it doesn’t just happen over a week or so.
“For teams like ours, it has given us something to build on, we are looking at developing our squad further and this Papa Johns Community Cup has given us a really good ending to the season.
“All rugby players dream of playing rugby at Twickenham and it allowed momentum to build – these memories will last a lifetime.”
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