Despite a match day squad of just 16 with some 7 players (including both first choice props) absent due to unavailability and injury the Wolves 16 still managed to edge out a well drilled and competitive 25 man Worcester squad in spring like conditions at Castlecroft.
New recruits Mark Sage
and Hayden ........ made their debuts at No 8 and Tight head prop respectively and Dan Farr
completed his first full game at Blind side flanker.
However despite the win the match was a game of two halves with the visitors having the edge in the first half and a resurgent home side grabbing the spoils in the second.
In the first half the boys in black got off to a flyer straight from the off with debutant Mark Sage
at No 8 pouncing on the first loose ball to power over the Worcester line to make an instant impact.
5-0 to Wolves.
However as the half progressed the Wolves squad lacked it’s usual vim and vigor with some uncharacteristic hesitantcy, sloppy handling and missed tackles which enabled the visitors to gain the important momentum needed to get back into the game. The Worcester 15 soon carved out a well worked try after 6 minutes to level the scores 5-5, and by the 20th minute added from a Wolves point of view - two soft tries¬ in which they developed quick ball for their backs to expoit space out wide. The resultant scores put the visitors ahead 5-15 which remained the score till half–time.
Half-time : Wolves 5 Worcester 15.
In the second half the half-time deficit seemed to galvanise the Wolves 15 into action and a more recognisable side re-appeared. Within 10 minutes of the restart they soon overhauled the half time deficit as the pack began to get the upper hand at the setpeice and in the rucks & mauls despite stiff competition from their opposite numbers. Two well taken tries from Hooker Rob Chapman
and Openside flanker Sean Casey
got Wolves back in the game meanwhile Full back Tom Jones
(TJ) converted the first effort to give Wolves a slender lead.
Wolves 17 Worcester 15.
Worcester despite being under the cosh & enduring plenty of personnel changes of their own remained in touch as the half progressed and to their credit on the 40minutes mark got a well deserved fourth try to re-establish their lead.
Wolves 17 Worcester 20.
Nontheless Wolves soon bounced back carving out a number chances in the final minutes. Despite a penalty near miss two further tries from Rob Chapman
and Sean Casey
wrapped up the match.
Final Score Wolves 27 Worcester 20.
In conclusion the Wolves squad were simply not at their best in the in the first half taking nothing away from the visitors whom despite conceding early on came back out their blocks all fired up and taking their chances when they presented themselves. The second half however was a different story with the Wolves 15 showing a bit more bite looking like the side we know they can be. The victory if anything underlined the growing strength in depth of the squad as a whole depite the lack of numbers.
Good win. Well done boys.
Match Squad: Amar Baden
: Rhys Bevan: Sean Casey
: Rob Chapman
: Adam Ellis
: Hayden: Dan Farr
: Freddie Houlder: Alex Hyde: Luke Jones
: Tom Jones
: Matt Laycock
: Connor Parker
: Mark Sage
: George Smailes
: Andrew Smith.