Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Match Report - U14s v Willenhall R.F.C.

Sun, 29 Apr 2007 06:37

Willenhall  5   Old Yardleians  10

As with last week, Willenhall were new opponents to us and we had no idea of their strength.  Early impressions from seeing them warming up before the match was that they looked a big physical side.  With a squad of nineteen to select from, Richard brought James and Christian back into the side.

The first few minutes were fairly even with a few handling errors resulting in scrums.  After 4 minutes as Old Yards were moving the ball forward into a dangerous position, one of the Willenhall players was adjudged to be coming in from the wrong side.  The penalty was awarded about 10m out from the Willenhall line which gave Old Yards the chance to try their 'cannon ball' move.  They had tried this move out in previous matches but without success but this time it worked to perfection.  Callum took the short penalty and handed on to the charging James who had started his run some 10m further back.  With other forwards on his shoulder James powered towards the Willenhall line blasting the defence apart and with the weight of support behind him was able to drive over and drop on the ball to give Old Yards a 5-0 lead.  Having played two seasons without scoring this was James's second try in his last two appearances.

The lead did not last long as Willenhall got themselves back on level terms after nine minutes.  Old Yards conceeded a penalty inside their own half and the referee advanced it on 10m after one of the Old Yards players showed dissent.  With Old Yards lining up deep inside their 'twenty two' Willenhall played it short to one of the forwards who ran diagonally across the field brushing off a couple of tackles to score near the corner.

The match was hotting up as the tackles were flying in and tempers were starting to fray, particularly in the rucks and mauls.  Old Yards were holding their own in the scrums against a bigger opposition pack and were providing a good steady platform for Callum to set himself before picking up at the base of the scrum and passing the ball out.  Old Yards were finding it difficult to get the ball out to the wings as players chose to step back inside rather than passing.

After 15 minutes Old Yards regained the advantage as Andrew scored an individual try.  After winning the ball from the scrum on the halfway line, Callum passed out to Shaun who in turn passed on to Andrew.  With the defence drifting across Andrew decided to run around the back of the scrum on the blindside rather than pass down the line.  Catching the defence by surprise Andrew sprinted on beating the first line of defence and with other defenders closing in he dived over the line to score.  The try did not come without some discomfort, however, as in the process of diving forward Andrew grazed his face on the hard ground.  With a little blood from his nose and cheek, Andrew left the field to be replaced by Dan.

The match remained even for the rest of the half with neither side creating decisive openings although Old Yards looked threatening when they got the ball out to the backs.  Willenhall themselves looked threatening whenever they got the ball out to their big centres or the forwards carried it on.  The Old Yards defence stood firm, however, and were quick to cover any breaks.  With the referee blowing the whistle for half time Old Yards were good value for the lead.

Half Time - Willenhall  5   Old Yardleians  10

For the second half Austin, David and Ben replaced Christian, George B and Shaun respectively, Andrew came back on with Dan replacing Tom at centre with Tom moving to fullback in place of Alex.  With all of the changes it would be interesting to see if it would make any difference in the face of some rugged tackling and challenges by the home side.

With Old Yards being pinned back inside their own half their defence had to be good.  There were a couple of times when the ball was played out of the scrum to Ben who showed great composure in the face of on rushing Willenhall players to coolly step inside with the ball rather than rushing into making dangerous passes.

Old Yards made their tackles when they had to so as to maintain their lead and every player was showing great determination not to conceed.  When Old Yards did break with the ball the home side were penalised for high tackles on more than one occasion.  With the frenetic play in the middle of the pitch and both sides tackling hard Old Yards had to make further changes due to injury as George D. and Austin had to leave the field with Christian returning on the wing and Alex moving into the scrum.

Old Yards managed to hold out for the remaining part of the game to win a very tight match and every player deserves credit for their performance in the face of sometimes over physical play by their opponents.

Full Time - Willenhall  5   Old Yardleians  10

Team:  James Lawler, Scott Wilson, Tom Carter, Matt Willetts, Christian Wilson, Shannon Killarney, Michael Scott, George Bishop, Callum Killarney, Shaun Morris, George Drabble, Andrew Cox, Tom Scott, Stuart Adams, Alex Patrick. 

Replacements:  Austin Hughes, David O'Grady, Dan Griffiths, Ben

Scorers: Tries - James, Andrew
Conversions - None

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