Willenhall 65-0 Essington
Willenhall Rugby Club made it 5 out of 5 in what was labelled the ‘Battle of Essington’ with village rivals Essington Rugby Club. They now sit proudly at the top of the table having conceded just 2 tries in all 5 league games this season.
The game couldn't have started better for the home side as they raced into the lead with a try from scrumhalf Pearson, converted by himself to make it 7-0 within the first minute. Willenhall scored another 2 tries within the first 10 minutes, seemingly putting the game out of Essington’s grasp already. However, some dogged Essington defence kept Willenhall out until the 27th minute when second row forward Jamie Avery went in for a try. Another 2 tries were scored when Brad Smith offloaded to put Chris Grantham in, and then captain Ian Sidebottom went over the line to put Willenhall in a commanding 36-0 lead at halftime.
Willenhall continued in the same vein during the second half, scoring a further 5 tries with some effective backline movement following dominant play from the forwards at the rucks. As the second half wore on, Willenhall started to chance their arm, with an outrageous pass between the legs by second row forward Aaron Brownbill who put Chris Grantham in for his hat trick try to seal the win.
There was some excellent performances across the team for Willenhall, with centre Tim Rawlins receiving the man of the match award for his contribution in the backs, scoring a try and a conversion. Willenhall coach Gavin Jones was understandably pleased with the performance, especially in defence, but had some words of caution for his troops, pointing out there are things to work on. “Our set piece play was great today, our scrum was strong and our line outs were accurate, which gave our backs some fantastic ball to play with. There is still plenty of room for improvement, particularly with regards to being more clinical with the ball in attack. We just need to make sure whenever we have the opportunity to score a try, we do so.”
Willenhall will be looking to continue their rich vein of form, when they travel to 3rd placed Linley.
Willenhall 2s 25-18 Wednesbury 2s
In the second derby game of the day at Bognop road, Willenhall faced a Wednesbury side who had been finding it tough in recent games. However, stakes are raised in derby fixtures and Wednesbury’s 2nd team were looking to get their season back on track. They took a strong side to Willenhall who matched them with a strong lineup of their own, featuring players with recent first team experience such as Perry, Moore, Blackham and Cooper. With the sides exchanging tries and conversions, it was Willenhall with halfbacks Bond and Evans leading the side around who finished the stronger. Willenhall 2s have now won 3 from 5 league games and will be looking to add to their wins when they host Telford 2s at home next week.