Waterloo provide sternest test of the season for Stockport
Despite some exciting 2nd half back moves and good forward drives by Stockport the Waterloo dominance of possession in the first half gave them a winning platform
Stockport RUFC V Firwood Waterloo, North 1 West, Saturday 30 September 2017
This was Stockport’s sternest test so far this season, Waterloo who were also relegated from National 3 last season, came to Headlands Road on the back of two narrow losses and produced their best performance of the season to win by 27-14. Despite a positive start by Stockport, Waterloo dominated some 85% of possession in the first half and went into the break 17-0 up having scored 3 tries. The second half saw Stockport getting more into the game, with some very exciting running by the backs and some very good driving play by the forwards, scoring two tries, both converted by Tom EATON. But Waterloo continued to make few mistakes and scored a penalty and another try to finish well ahead.
After an early attack by Stockport, Waterloo had a spell of 10 minutes going through phase after phase but despite their dominance of possession the Stockport defence was good enough to hold them between the 10 metre lines. Eventually the pressure told and a missed tackle gave the Waterloo number 6 the opportunity to score the first try, which was converted. Stockport then lost No 8 Jordan PEARSON with a suspected broken arm. Waterloo continued to dominate and apart from an exciting run out of defence by Stockport full back Joe WILSON, it was all Waterloo. Their patient pressure eventually produced an unconverted try for their No 13 to make it 12-0. Stockport then had a good attack but a massive clearance kick by Waterloo took play back into the Stockport 22, the line out throw was not straight so Waterloo had an attacking scrum, at which Stockport conceded a penalty. Waterloo took advantage and the third phase from the ensuing line out resulted in their 3rd try, which was again unconverted for a 17-0 lead.
Stockport started the second half well, with several phases resulting in a penalty and from the line out 15 metres out a well organised drive gave hooker Andy BROADHURST a try, which Tom EATON converted. The only kickable penalty of the game was conceded by Stockport following the restart and Waterloo went 20-7 ahead. On 55 minutes more sustained pressure by Waterloo gave them another forwards’ try and the conversion took them to 27-7. Stockport were playing much more positively and having more possession and after some good interplay the ball went to Player/Coach Dean SCHOFIELD, who ran in from 30 metres to score wide out. Tom EATON made an excellent conversion and there was some hope of a bonus point with the score at 27-14. Despite maintaining momentum Stockport conceded a penalty for crossing as a good attack developed and the referee blew the final whistle minutes later with no further score.
Next week brings an away derby at Wilmslow, with the two old rivals meeting for the first time in many years.