Two losses against the mighty Lymm but WP show flashes of their true selves on an unfamiliar playing surface.
WPRFC 3 – 4 LYMM “A”
WPRFC: First half: AJ, Alex, Dan, Ben, Lewis M, Scott, Archie, Joe, James
Second half: AJ, Alex, Dan, Ben, Cameron, Alastair, Elliot, Toby
WP have to adapt quickly to the strange artificial turf that Lymm have been training on throughout the winter. Initially scrappy play from both teams. A break from Alex is held up short but possession is lost. Lymm use the ball well and make steady progress up the field which culminates in a pushover try after some excellent recycling. WP try again but resolute defence by Lymm forces a turnover from which they launch a rapier counter-attack which is snuffed out by a try-saving tackle from Alex, forcing Lymm into touch. Possession from the line out is soon surrendered after Lymm rip the ball free and charge through some weak defence. Further sloppy play again gives Lymm possession from which they score their third after good passing, recycling and rucking although there is some solid tackling from WP. AJ launches a final but unsuccessful attack at the end of the half. Coach Steve Riddlestone decides to make wholesale changes to the WP backs which proves an inspired decision as WP come out fighting. Defence is tightened up, solid tackling forces a turn-over from which Alastair gallops through to score. Lymm’s next thrust is brought to a sudden and spectacular halt as Elliot nails his man. Alastair drives through but this time is held up. Great defence snuffs Lymm out as Cameron forces touch. Toby on the crash ball offloads to Elliot who is held up just short. Alastair is putting himself about, disrupting Lymm and making a thorough nuisance of himself. WP force a turnover and AJ zips through the gap to score. Scrum-half Ben is getting much steadier ball from the improved rucking and is able to keep his backs readily supplied with good quality ball. Dan gets his man, forcing a knock-on. WP secure the ball, Ben flashes a pass through the backs for AJ to score his second. Lymm are very ruffled now, not expecting such a spirited comeback but the referee blows for time before WP can secure a draw. A much improved second half performance with better defence and more positive attack.
WPRFC 0 – 12 LYMM “B”
WPRFC: First half: Scott, Elliot, Archie, Alastair, Toby, Ben, Joe (Alex), James
Second half: Scott, Elliot, Archie, Alastair, James, AJ, Lewis M, Dan, Toby
WP start positively, forcing Lymm onto the back foot but poor concentration allow Lymm to score. Poor rucking give Lymm possession from which they score their second. Poor hands again surrender possession and missed tackles allow Lymm to score a third. Elliot scythes through the Lymm defence but last man standing forces him into touch. Lymm attack and are held up short, Archie forcing them into touch. Scott snaffles the ball from the Lymm lineout and WP then enter a truly excellent stage of play, passing and recycling the ball through five phases but are unable to break out from their own half. Finally possession is surrendered when WP are penalised for going in from the side and Lymm score again. Elliot tries again but is held up, possession is surrendered and Lymm score their fifth. There’s just enough time for Lymm to score again with lovely passing creating space for them to score in the corner. 6-0 at half time. The second half sees WP unable to keep sustained possession while poor tackling allow Lymm to score at will. When WP are able to keep possession then Lymm tackle hard and ruck well to regain the ball, allowing them to play some expansive rugby with good passing. The final score is a little misleading as WP did play some good rugby in the first half, but there was no doubting the significant gap between the teams on the day.