Sunday 7TH April 2013 - Trentham AWAY
The penultimate game day before the Staffs Festival and end of the season!
This morning we had the lengthy journey to Trentham to play in our last but one game of the season before the Staffs Festival. Lots of holidays and illnesses meant we only turned up with 8 players, but as Trentham only had 5 this wasnt a bad thing.
So, we decided to give everyone a bit more rugby and play 5-a-side. We had 3 games and full credit to Trentham each of their players played full games as they had no subs. Likewise, credit to the Walsall players for having patience and allowing 3 substitutions to take place at each half time interval.
So, brief match reports for each of the 3 games.
Game 1 - Won = 11-3
Players (and tries) - Rhys (5), Max (1), Ben W (1), Freddie P (2) and Hendrik (1).
Off the bench at half time - Charlie P (1), James (1), Noah.
Walsall started exceptionally well in this game and possibly took Trentham a little by surprise with the pace and defence that were displayed. The score really didn't reflect how well Trentham played, but with a couple of loose balls dropped and turn overs from touch, Walsall capitalised and scored several length of the pitch runs from deep in their own half against the run of play. That said, Walsall were obviously far more drilled in defence, maintaining their defensive line well and tagging all that came at them. An excellent start to the day.
Game 2 - Won = 14-11
Players (and tries) - Rhys (3), Max (2), Hendrik (1), Charlie, James (3).
Off the bench at half time - Ben W (1), Freddie P (3), Noah (1).
A much tighter game this time round. Trentham began to really organise their defence and had several very quick jinky players and well as a big,fast, strong runner who realised how much damage he could do when he put his head down and ran hard at the Walsall defence, breaking to score a couple of excellent tries. Credit to Walsall's defence, they mostly held strong and whilst they maintained their defensive line, Trentham exploited the outside on several occasions with some of their quicker players. Despite Trentham obvious improvement, Walsall stuck to their game plan and remained calm, taking their opportunities when they could and again making several length of the pitch runs from deep. Support play was also impressive with Walsall players always being able to rely on someone being on their shoulder when tagged.
Game 3 - Won = 11-10
Players (and tries) - Max (1), James (1), Charlie (2), Noah (2), Hendrik.
Off the bench at half time - Rhys (3), Ben W, Freddie P (2).
The closest of all three games. Trentham's confidence from the second game was boosted even more and this showed during this game. Some strong running, players being more confident with the ball in hand and side-stepping or exploiting the outside channels to score some great tries. That said, Walsall again remained calm and tagged as well as I've seen all season. Even with 5 players in the defensive line, it remained well organised and forced Trentham to look to run out wide. As the day progressed, it forced Walsall to change their style somewhat as the big gaps were much smaller now and Trentham were working well tagging. But, as has been the case most of the season, the enthusiasm to support their team mates meant that a player was always there to receive the pass and capitalise.
So, three excellent displays from all of the Walsall players, but I have say well done to Trentham who improved with every game and have a very talented group of players. Hopefully we get to see them at the Staffs festival in a couple of weeks time.
All Walsall's players did well enough to deserve individual mentions today.
Freddie P yet again showed his strength in defence, more than standing up to all thrown at him, but also showed some real pace and style when scoring some fine tries.
Charlie P, despite being one of our smaller players had some exceptional length of the pitch runs, not to mention showing strength well beyond his size in flattening Trenthams biggest player. Tags Charlie! ;-)
Rhys did well picking up some loose balls and running the length, whilst also standing up to some of the bigger players. Showed good strength and pace.
Hendrik, still got those dazzling feet and tagged extremely well.
Ben W, as ever always on a shoulder and tagging with real passion.
James, obviously going to be one of our strongest players, good hard running and 5 well taken tries.
Max, impressed both myself and Trenthams coach with some outrageous side steps resulting in some mesmeric tries.
Finally, Noah. Noah has continually impressed throughout the season. He gives all he can, tags well, supports well and when he gets a bit of space he can really open up. The touchline is his friend and he loves to hug it when on one of his runs. Today he played, for me, his game of the season and more than deserved the Star Of The Week trophy. Well done Noah.
Next week we have Stafford at home. Unfortunately, I wont be able to make it. Hopefully Jack will be there, but if not Mike W will be there and Noah's dad has kindly volunteered to assist if required.
After Stafford, its the Staffs festival at Burton. Details to follow......