Wigan 50-5 Didsbury Toc H
For all the progress Toc have made over the past few seasons, there have been some memorably bad days along the way. By and large, though, the consistency level of performances has improved while the frequency of rogue results has diminished. This defeat was as bad as any.
Some of those freakish losses have been down to complacency, others have been those inexplicable sporting days where nothing goes right. Then there are the matches - usually, in Toc’s case, against Orrell - which are lost with the team not playing anywhere near their potential.
In successive seasons not that long ago, Toc lost narrowly at home and away to North Manchester. Beaten fair and square. The players involved laugh about those days now - but for a long time they served as timely reminders as to the dangers of complacency and a lack of preparation.
This was a performance that went beyond the boundaries of complacent. Add lethargy and a dollop of apathy into the mix and you have close to what Toc produced on Saturday at Wigan.
As the scoreline suggests, this was by far Didsbury’s worst performance of the season in South Lancs and Cheshire Two.
It would be too easy to blame injury and unavailability because Toc have proven on many occasions this season that its squad is deep enough to be competitive against any team in this division - even those at the top.
To score once while conceding 50 points to a mid-table side tells its own sorry story. Toc were miles off the pace. In an attacking sense there was not a hint of the endeavour that the 1st XV have shown on so many occasions this season. As for the defensive effort? Way off.
In terms of a match report, there is not much to say other than this: Time and again a hefty Wigan side strolled through Toc’s defensive line. The home side’s scrum-half scored twice, maybe even three times from the same sniping run. One try came from about 60 metres out. Another may have been straight from a kick off. Many of the others were equally avoidable and too easy.
Wigan, to their credit, could only batter what was in front of them. They consistently won the gainline and often turned Toc over at the breakdown. They were quicker to the breakdown and more physical when they got there. Their body positions were better. They kicked the ball better, retained the ball better, ran the ball better, supported the ball much better and had total dominance at the scrum and lineout.
Toc were second best in every department of the game. If they could have been third best, they would have been.
Centre Max Simmons, the best of a bad bunch, scored Toc’s only try of the game, finishing off a decent period of play in the left corner.
The return fixture against Wigan is on April 14 at Simon Field, a week after the return against Orrell. Complacency can't be an option at either fixture.
Dukinfield at home next week (March 3)- At Platt Lane Sports Complex.