This weekend saw the Medics walk out for the first time in the Lancashire League 1st Division against a strong Wigan side. New kit, new coach, new league, new ethos; a fresh start for the Medics looking ahead to the 2018/19 rugby season.
This was instantly reflected in the attitude of the men, defending diligently within their own 22 to an early onslaught from a much larger Wigan squad, just waiting for an opportunity to clear their lines and start an attack of their own. Despite finally managing to make a break, and instantly looking to play some expansive, exciting rugby, a quick turnover by Wigan accompanied by some unfortunate play by Rory Cairns meant that they were the first ones on the score board.
However, with a determination that was often lacking last season, the Medics instantly struck back at the sleepy Wigan kick off, making the turnover, instantly putting them on the back foot and forcing a penalty within kicking distance.
Despite continuing this aggressive and confident style of play, some poor game management choices and a debatable refereeing decision prevented Medics from getting more points leaving the first half, however, it was clear the Medics were not going to roll over to the bigger Wigan side.
Starting the second half as the first had finished the Medics built through a series of big runs, particularly by Ru Vicary-Watts and the magic of Tom Thompson, to finally put a Rory Cairns over the try line scoring the first try of the game.
Unfortunately, this time it was the Medics turn to offer up some lazy defense, allowing Wigan to take advantage of some dubiously "lateral" passing and retaliate with a converted try of their own.
The penalty count continuing to grow for Wigan should have seen the Medics take more points and Wigan to have seen yellow but in spite of some clear high tackles and clever goal line defending the Medics could still only manage to walk away with one more penalty in the next 10 minutes.
However, in following the already set to-ing and fro-ing of the game, it was the Medics turn to show a lack of discipline late in the second half allowing Wigan to slot a final penalty and take the game
A big hand to Wigan for a strong home performance and a fantastic start for the promising Medic XV