As hunting grounds go Walsall RFC down the years has always been our very own “house of pain” not a great place for a Wolves side who have often come and left with nothing more than self pride or a draw on their last visit.
So a cold winter’s morning with an increasingly cool breeze set the scene for a Wolves squad to eventually to get a monkey off their back.
As on all previous meetings the form book goes out the window and the Walsall boys prove if nothing else to be a strong and resourceful outfit.
In the first half the Wolves 15 came out of their blocks firing on all cylinders and drove the home side into their own 22 where they pretty much were camped in until the final minutes of the half. The Wolves pack dominated denying the home side any clean ball and any serious possession whilst at the same time providing an ideal platform for the Wolves backs to attack at will. With their defence under constant pressure it was a matter of time before the home side cracked and on five minutes No 8 Rob Chapman
broke through to get the ball over the whitewash to give Wolves a 5point lead.
Walsall 0 Wolves 5.
By the 25th minute Rob Chapman
in barnstorming form added another three tries finishing off some excellent forward moves in the Walsall 22 whilst fly half Luke Jones
managed to convert the final effort to give the Wolves 15 a well deserved 22pt lead.
Walsall 0 Wolves 22.
Up to this time the Wolves 15 played with a great deal of vim and vigour characterised by dynamic direct play bristling with intent complimented by good swift handling between forwards and backs. However a lapse in concentration allowed the home side to get some points on the board. The Walsall 15 despite being under pressure for the entirety of the half to their credit managed in their only foray into the Wolves 22 to break out through a static Wolves defence with a good kick and follow up to get the ball over the whitewash at the stroke of the half time to reduce the deficit.
Half-time: Walsall 7 Wolves 22.
In the second half the Wolves 15 went off the boil allowing the home side to get a toehold in the game. It was fair to say much to their credit and determination the Walsall 15 got the upper hand for much of the half however despite some marauding runs from their centres they didn’t much threaten the Wolves try line thanks to some solid defence which seemed to be the only part of the Wolves 15’s repertoire that was working with any effect! That said the home side did breach the Wolves defensive line to get over the whitewash five minutes from full time. The try followed a great run from their outside centre which resulted in another kick and follow up and the inevitable score to reduce the deficit even more.
Walsall 12 Wolves 22.
In the final minutes Wolves closed out the game in the Walsall 22 with the home side’s defence holding firm.
Final score:- Walsall 12 Wolves 22.
To conclude the Wolves squad will take away some invaluable lessons from two very different halves one where they excelled and the other where they were quite frankly disappointing as they went off the boil thinking they had the job done.
That said it was win, maybe an ugly win in the end but a win all the same. Bottom line that’s five wins out of six in the Staffs league.
Well done boys.
Match Squad: James Arnold
, Marinus Augostine
, Amar Baden
, Cameron Bahia
, Eesh Bhopari, Sean Bolton, Sean Casey
, Rob Chapman
, Zak Christie, Matt Corden
, Adam Ellis
, Matt Evans
, Dan Farr
, Alex Hyde, Luke Jones
, Tom Jones
, Matt Laycock
, Josh Melvin
, Connor Parker
, Tom Paskin
, Scott Russell
, George Smailes