Another Sparkling Win for Walsall
Walsall 53 Tamworth 17
Walsall, for the second successive week, displayed some superb rugby skills in another emphatic win, this time against a useful Tamworth team. Walsall, again played their best rugby in the first half and secured their try bonus point just before half time. These scores came after a series of multi-phase attacks, mostly from long range.
But it was the visitors that produced the best rugby during the opening spells. They ran and supported well and forced the hosts to commit errors. They pressed hard as a result of close range lineouts with replacement, Stephen White being driven over for the opening score. White was on the field as a result of an injury to prop forward Boardman during, virtually, the first few minutes of play. Indeed, they lost another prop forward, Dean Smith, with an injury, midway through the second half.
The home team soon showed their intentions once they secured possession. They started an attack from deep in their own half with the ball being moved to Ethan Walker on the left wing. He gathered is own kick, but solid Tamworth defence stopped him just short of the tryline. The visitors, however, conceded a penalty in the ensuing play and Walsall’s Roger Weston calmly put over the thirty meter kick. Four minutes later Walsall scored their first, and possibly their best, try of the day. Benson won the lineout off the opposition throw. Forwards Alex Jones and Pete Fitzgerald made good ground. Half backs Pittaway and Wood moved the ball quickly. A long pass found centre Andy Taylor who gave full back Weston some space. He showed good speed before linking up with winger Walker. Who was soon away on a thirty meter try scoring run. It was not long before the hosts, once again, showed their attacking intent. It was Fitzgerald that made the line break and found winger Jeffrey Williamson in close support. He broke through tackles before going over for the touchdown from twenty meters. The third Walsall try was again instigated by some fine handling skills. This time scrum half Pittaway found Fitzgerald in support and he proved to be unstoppable from fifteen meters. Roger Weston then stepped up and put over his third conversion. All from wide out. The final score of the half saw No8 Merlin make ground before passing to Pittaway. He found Jon Ford in support. The Walsall centre made a strong burst before finding Williamson with a good pass. The strong running winger was stopped on this occasion. But from the ensuing lineout the Walsall drive resulted in flanker Jamie Hickman getting the touchdown.
The early period of the second half saw both teams losing players to the sinbin with the new high tackle law being the cause of several penalties. The Tamworth players showed a very positive attitude and put together some good attacks. They were rewarded after good passing put winger Cuckrowski away for a try. A Weston penalty gave the hosts another few points. The visitors, however, were on the attack again, but Walker intercepted a pass and raced away on an eighty-meter run for the touchdown under the posts. Weston added the simple conversion. The visitors continued to press and they were rewarded when No8 Lawrence burst through for a try from twenty meters with Jackson adding the conversion.
It was, however, the hosts that secured the final scores. Ethan Walker’s long kick resulted in a lineout deep in Tamworth territory. Possession was then secured before Pittaway made a short burst and found Dave Merlin in support to go over for the try. Walsall attacked again from the restart with Merlin,Fitzgerald,Weaver,Thorley and Benson making good carries before the ball reached Williamson. The winger was close to the tryline, but gave a well-timed pass to lock forward Andy Richardson to crash over for his first Walsall try. Both of these late scores were converted by the impeccable boot of Roger Weston.