Strong displays from Wilko, Kite and CJ allow backs to flourish
A strong display from Wibsey Warriors forward pack, supplemented back cool finishing from the backs earned 2 much needed Premier Division points after they comfortably defeated Slaithwaite Saracens 34-14 at Northfield Road.
The Warriors welcomed back skipper Nick Walker from injury and Danny Bingley also made a welcome return to first team rugby after his own injury nightmare of recent years.
The opening score from Wibsey came with just 5 minutes on the clock. Mike Derrick intercepted a Slaithwaite pass just 5 metres from his own line to burst clear, only to be hauled down just inches from the opposition try line. The break however left Salithwaite short in defence, and when Nick Walker fed full-back Danny Belcher with a short pass, the recent signing from Clayton had the easiest of scores to the right of the post (6-0).
The Warriors second score took some time to arrive with both sets of forwards drawing themselves into a strong battle, and the ever changing weather conditions not allowing for flowing rugby. It was the home side’s forwards that were leading the opening exchanges and following on from his hat-trick last week against Birkenshaw, CJ Vogel scored another trademark try with a 5m burst through the Saracens defence. Andy Robinson once again tagged on the extras (12-0).
The score could then have been extended further shortly after the restart. Wibsey’s attacking threat down the right hand side was too strong with this time Nick Walker striding clear, only to be caught with a high shot from the opposing full-back with the line at his mercy. Rather than allowing the advantage and giving the Warriors an easy score, referee Darren Gillespie blew up for a penalty, with no further action taken against the Slaithwaite man.
To add to Wibsey’s frustration, Slaithwaite then reduced the arrears when a last tackle grubber kick evaded the Warriors defence to land safely in the arms of an opponent for him to dot down in the corner (12-4).
The home side re-grouped however, this time showing their attacking threat down the left. Ryan Smith was instrumental in the two touchdowns, firstly feeding Nick Fontaine to slide over and then Dave ‘Vainicoatsie’ Coates to give Wibsey a strong lead going into the interval (24-4).
As the second period kicked-off, the ever-worsening conditions once again launched the display into a forward battle through the middle. Wibsey were more than a match for their visitors, in particular Second-Row pair Mike Kite and Andy Wilkinson, the latter having his best display in a Warriors jersey since his recent registration.
Slaithwaite were the first team to register a score in the second period. A last tackle kick through looked to be carrying no threat, however when Dan Belcher slipped when collecting the ball, it allowed the Huddersfield based side to pick the ball up and go over near the posts (24-10).
Skipper Nick Walker then added a score for Wibsey when a flowing move from left to right saw the Centre register his 4 point effort. A repeat was on the cards just 2 minutes later only for this time Walker to be tripped by the Saracens scrum-half, who was given 10 minutes in the sin-bin for the foul.
The Warriors did manage to register their sixth score of the afternoon shortly after. This time Mike Derrick was on hand to score after Harry Hall gave him the easiest of finishes following some excellent build-up play by Andy Robinson. The Warriors number 7 then completed his good display with his 5th conversion of the afternoon (34-10).
With the game safe, The Warriors intensity dropped off for the final 10 minutes. This allowed Slaithwaite to gain a consolation score from a short forward drive (34-14).
Overall, a strong forward display coupled with clinical finishing in the backs allowed a good win for Wibsey who gain 2 points to keep themselves from being dragged into a relegation dogfight at the bottom of the table.