Wharfedale 51, Cambridge 23
On the face of it, it sounds harsh to be critical of a team that have just run in seven tries, some of them delightful, and scored 50 points.
But head coach Tom McGee had it spot on when he thought there was so much more to come from Wharfedale, despite a convincing SSE National League One comeback victory over basement club Cambridge.
The Dalesmen coughed up points too easily in a first half in which they trailed 20-18 and then rather lost concentration after they had scored 33 unanswered points in the second half.
“We were coasting it in the second half when we were only at 60 per cent,” said the Scotsman.
“We scored some nice tries but, and I know it isn’t easy to do, I would like to see us at 80 to 90 per cent for longer periods.”
The victory moved the Green Machine up one place in the table to tenth, but McGee added: “I am not going to say that I want us to finish in the top six.
“The most important thing is that we are constantly learning and improving.”
Full back Christian Georgiou, back with Wharfedale after a spell with his parent club Leeds Carnegie, scored 26 points on a glorious autumnal afternoon via two tries, two penalties and five conversions, but even he wasn’t entirely happy with his contribution.
The 20-year-old from Halifax said: “I am enjoying my rugby at Wharfedale and we have some excellent coaches.
“I was happy when I had the ball in hand in attack, the lines that I ran and when I was using the kicking tee but I had a mixed game otherwise.”
A storming run by hooker Steve Graham laid the platform for Wharfedale’s first try in the sixth minute, Georgiou crossing the whitewash on the right.
But 16 minutes later the Dalesmen were 17-5 behind, Cambridge all too easily finding holes in Wharfedale’s defence to bag tries for fly half Elliott Bale and full back Mike Ayrton, Bale converting both before stroking over a penalty after the Dalesmen had been penalised ten metres for backchat to referee Andy Taylorson.
Pressure on Bale behind his own line then led to a try for home flanker Dominic Barrow in the 26th minute, Georgiou converting before adding a penalty five minutes later to reduce the deficit to two points.
Bale - a monster effort down the slope from just inside his own ten-metre line - and Georgiou them swapped penalties before Bale’s third success put Cambridge 23-18 ahead five minutes into the second half.
Before the second half had started, the Dalesmen had lost winger Simon Horsfall and Barrow to injury, but they capitalised on Cambridge skipper Gareth McComb’s sin-binning in the 47th minute for slipping his bindings.
Influential No 8 Alistair Allen and centre David Clark scored tries, Georgiou converting the latter to extend the lead to 30-23.
And the Greens then twisted the knife, Barrow’s replacement James Tyson, Georgiou and centre Andy Hodgson scoring late tries, Georgiou converting all three before the contest rather petered out.