Generally over the years, Wallingford’s been a pretty well behaved club, but there will always be exceptions in rugby, and here is the ‘Naughty Boy XV’ from the last thirty years.
Monk – Though Monk has only 13 recorded yellow cards, it is likely closer to 20 given that he once got seven yellows in one season. A conversion rate of one yellow every five appearances over a career of 100 1st XV appearances is pretty good going. Based on this, he is the captain of the naughty boy XV.
Henry Zaluznyj – There’s not been many red cards over the years at Wallingford, so a straight red automatically qualifies you for the Naughty Boy XV. An old school hooker who loved the niggle at the set-piece, Henry’s red came courtesy of a right hook in a fiery encounter against Drifters (see image)
Jack Greenway – Vice-captain. Jack is one of the most legally violent players in the history of the club. One of only three players to achieve double figures on the card front, Jack’s sin-bin repertoire was wide ranging – leading with the forearm, kicking the ball in the ruck, fisticuffs, playing the ball on the floor, Jack had it all in the armoury.
Damion Bridges – Qualifies courtesy of the red card rule. Damion was a tough, old-school lock who never took a backward step when trouble occurred on the pitch. Pretty sure the red was for a punch.
Dorian Jenkins – A few contenders for second row, with Mike Turner (that punch) and Paul Lewis (red vs Alchester) coming close, but Dorian gets it for his nice guy niggle that he brought to the game. At least five yellows in his Wallingford career, probably deserved more.
Ian Jeffreys – Not really a dirty player, Ian earns this mainly through longevity. The third member of the double figures club, recent seasons have seen Ian pick up a number of tactical yellows in the last ten minutes of matches so that he can hit the showers early.
Nathan Chapman – Future captain. Nathan’s yellow conversion rate is phenomenal – 9 yellows in 38 matches, nearly one in four! Not a violent player, its Nathan’s greediness at the breakdown that has earned him most of his yellows. Like a kid in a sweet shop, his eyes light up whenever he sees the ball in a ruck and he just can’t resist.
Bungle – Six yellows and a red card early in his career, Bungle loved a big hit, most of which were deemed legal, but not all.
Phil Dawes – Phil really upped his naughtiness in the last couple of seasons of his 1st XV career. Notorious for his incessant chirp amongst referees, his attempts at increasing his tackle count (from zero) resulted in yellows for high tackles (of people over a foot taller than him) and trips (of people even shorter than him.
James Wiltshire – Probably the most chopsy of the Wiltshire clan, ‘Jay’ loved sledging the opposition and winding them up, and got so good at it that it nearly always culminated in the opposition picking up a card through reacting. Three yellows at fly-half before you’re 21 is no mean feat.
Pete McKinley – Not as many cards as you would expect, Peter’s intensity on the pitch sometimes spilled over, at which point the eyes glazed over and the opposition (and their touch judges) suddenly regretted picking on Pete. But whatever Pete did on the pitch, he would always apologise.
Pete Holton – Another clean player whose card accumulation is mainly down to longevity. Once achieved a hat-trick of yellow cards in consecutive games.
Ralph Smith – Only four cards in 250 games, but still more than any other centres in the club. Most of these were for being deemed offside when going for an intercept.
Dan Sadler – Most of his yellows were for try saving actions, but he makes the XV for his constant moaning and smack talk from the back of the field.
Henry Venners – A true gentleman with not many yellows for over 300 matches, he makes the cut mainly for his out of character two-footed kung-fu lunge on a Salisbury player as he grounded the ball. Somehow dodged a red.