Stourbridge / Warley v Walsall
A Great Advert For Junior Rugby Development !
Walsall travelled to Warley today to play Stourbridge development team with Warley combined. All credit to Warley RFC , their pitch was in excellent condition. Probably the best we have seen this season. And the weather wasn't half bad either. Both teams played a good open game in the right spirit. The young ref was spot on today, well done young man.
Stour kicked off and Walsall pushed quickly up field using good hands to push the ball wide up the left hand side. A structured phase from a ruck saw the ball recycled quick out on to the right hand side, with Liam McDermott taking the final pass 20 metres out. With other sports being played close by Liam stopped for a moment thinking the whistle had gone, it hadn't so he went on his merry way to score close to the posts. A good team try converted by Tom Hale. 0-7
Walsall received the ball after the re-start and used possession wisely again making good yards up the pitch. Another well structured set of phases saw the away team spin it out wide left to find Raighne Hutchinson on the wing to use his pace and balance to power up the left channel to score near the posts. A great team effort once again. Tom Hale added the extras. 0-14 after 7 mins.
Walsall were then pushed near their try line from the re-start, after Stour used good possession and pushed the visitors further back towards their 5 metre line only to give a penalty away. Walsall wasted a penalty and were punished for it after 6 mins of pressure in their own 22. Stour made good use of the scraps Walsall fed them and rallied well as they went over to score their first try of the game near the posts. 7-14 Walsall.
Walsall knew the mistake made and seemed to push them on and learn from a moment of madness. At times Walsall pressed with purpose using fast ball coming out of a ruck, linking really well. Our back line attacked with good pace and depth most of the time. It was pleasing to see the small differences that they have worked on during training. Forwards worked better today and gave the backs more time to assess gaps in the Stour defence. Once seen Walsall made the most of any holes left and it didn't take long for Raighne Hutchinson to latch on to a well weighted pass put into his running line, and his feet did the rest. A rolling stone and all that !
Conversion made by Tom Hale. 7-21 Walsall.
On the re-start Walsall tried to push more pressure on Stour but they held firm in the defence, tackling in places was to a good standard all game. Wave after wave of attack was held by the home team until there was a good interchange in play by 4 Walsall players to feed it out wide on the left hand side. The final pass landing in Tom Harris' hands, leaving him 25 metres to use his speed and determination to score in the left hand corner. Another good team build up. Conversion missed at a hard tight angle. 7-26 Walsall.
Half Time Stourbridge 7 Walsall 26
The second half got under way after 3 changes at half time. Both sides evenly matched for the first 10 mins. Stour seemed to be getting their steam up and stoked their engine boiler, pushing the ball through 3 sets of hands after a great defensive turn over that they should never have won from a Walsall ruck. The home team no.18 took the ball at 3rd receiver at pace and out run Walsall's flat defence to crash over and score a great try. 14-26 Walsall.
That made Walsall react extremely well, so after a good re start kick Walsall collected the ball from a good tackle and jackal. Text book scoop up and quick service caught Stour off guard, resulting in the ball being shifted right through 3 pairs of hands. The final delivery was to Joe Birch, who powered down the right side breaking a tackle or two on the way to score wide right. Conversion made by Tom Hale. 14-33 Walsall.
After that there was a good open running game between both teams, each would attack only to lose out to a good tackle and jackal. It was also good to see a game with not much attacking kicking. The last Walsall try was a good team effort from a well worked angled kick from Raighne, who along with most the team chased to put pressure on the Stour defence. A jackal / counter ruck saw the ball recycled quick and the final pass out wide to Fin Gibbons to crash over near the corner. A great conversion attempt from the touch line, saw Tom Hale hit the cross bar. 14-38 Walsall.
Stour had the last word with another well worked try that was similar to the home sides 2nd try. Their no.18 took it again at speed from a different angle but still managed to break through and score under the posts. A good effort and try was well deserved. 21-38 Walsall
Full time Stour 21-38 Walsall
Thank you to Richard and his Stourbridge / Warley team for a great game. You have some really good players. It will be interesting to see how they develop together, See you next week at the tournament.
We played really well in periods of the game, still there is room for improvement in the way Walsall play. At times the team switch off and forget the basics, it will improve.
Positioning and understanding has vastly improved, keep focusing for the whole of the game.
Overall a good effort, developing well. Well done.
James thanks again for the running the line and shouting encouragement as always to The Bandits.