Walsall’s Woeful Display
Walsall 0 Stratford 29
This will be a game that the Walsall players and the supporters will want to forget. The team enjoyed the majority of possession but managed to squander a plethora of scoring opportunities against a hard working Stratford team. Despite playing into a strong wind in the first half, the hosts monopolised possession for long periods. But, whenever they came within fifteen meters of the Stratford line they would make crucial mistakes. The ball would be spilled or the final pass was not delivered. Indeed, Walsall contrived to miss easy try scoring opportunities through overlaps being ignored on an incredible five occasions during the match. Stratford, in contrast took their chances well. Centre Kirby cut through for their first, and then a ninety meter kick and chase, after a Walsall pass, resulted in Whitby getting their second on the stroke of half time. The game had a similar pattern for all of the second half. Walsall would secure good field positions, but then the final phase would see players make basic errors. The visitors capitalised on these mistakes and embarrassed their opponents through some good running and passing to score three more tries. Kirby and Whitby got their second touchdowns with full back Smith also crossing. Harman was successful with two conversions. This defeat now means that Walsall’s slim hopes of gaining a play-off place have now disappeared.