Try scoring was unbelievable but played to flat throughout!
By Sandy Rees
Shame about the weather but this didn't dampen our attitude in the warm up which was excellent. The scene was set, 2 x pitches and our first game of three against Longton, a team we have never played before.
For the first minute we were on the attack but a couple of unforced errors allowed Longton in the game. They had a couple of strong runners that were picking from the ruck and making excellent yardage (meters these days!!), which resulted in them scoring first! We received the KO and were on the attack again, a high kick by Joe that had snow on it when it finally landed back on the pitch, an excellent chase by Harvey R who won the ball 5 meters from Longton try line, ruck formed pop pass to Liam who then was tackled high. Penalty to WP, quick thinking by Lucas and a quick tap and go to level the score. Then we let Longton through - by not doing the basics for them to score . 2/1 to Longton.
In this half it showed we needed to work hard at the breakdown and improve on our line speed, tackle round the legs, meet them in the tackles.
The second half we started brilliantly at least two china calls the ball was shipped at pace to the left side of the pitch and then made its way back to the right, the ball being passed excellently this resulted in an overlap for Max on the wing to score. Longton then received the KO and after a couple of lazy tackles and not ‘round the legs’, Longton scored to go ahead 3/2. With only seconds on the clock and Park never give in attitude, the whole team created a very special try, evading contact, popping the ball, spin passes out wide and Lucas finished the move off in the far corner to score and level the game. Longton 3 - 3 WP.
So a better half with iumprovement in moving the ball left & right was fantastic to watch.
The next two matches were against Sandbach who were aggressive in the contact area and have some big ball carriers, having said that the first half we had most of the possession and the forwards making some excellent runs, Alvaro, Donnie, Archie and Tresor leading the way. Our ball retention at the rucks was good and our passing of the ball was also impressive which allowed Alvaro to score. Then a couple moments of magic firstly by Joe R who must have dummy passed the ball at least twice, and Sandbach took the bait each time for Joe to manoeuvre his way through to score. but then our poor defence then resulted in Sandbach to score. 2/1 to us - we are doing too many knock ons and being lazy in this game with a fustrated head coach!
The second half pretty much replicated the first, Park went on to score three more tries:
We picked up on our defence now, Joe R making three strong tackles in a row! Max made a great high catch, a pass to Joe who nudged kicked forward, Joe BM all over it to touchdown. Then from a Park scrum, which both Mills and Donnie at hooker did well, Will from the scrum saw space and no players on the blind side, Will pounced and seized the opportunity. it was a good job it was raining otherwise he would have left scourge marks in the grass!!! A brilliant determined try after running at least 30 meters (approx 32 yards for us old ones!).
Then to finish the game, phase after phase, pretty much every player touched the ball, we were making ground all of the time and it was only a matter of time for Park to score with a typical Alvaro did his usual direct running and powered his way over for try time. With only a few minutes of play left a strong Sandbach player powered over the line and Thomas J had no chance to prevent it 5/2 to Park.
This half was slightly better but still playing to flat but our try scoring was unbelievable!
The final match of the morning - Tom N was leading the way with a strong run forward a pass to Liam who side-stepped like a slippery fish to score. The wingers Freddie, JJ P and JJ Mc doing there bit making sure when they take the ball into the rucks they presented the ball for the next phase to take place - well done. Then a good counter ruck and Donnie broke through in close to the ruck, he had the whole pitch in front of him and was being chased down by a Sandbach player - ‘Run Forest run’ the crowd were shouting. Donnie was finally tackled but a brilliant run and relieved the pressure on our defence. WP then in possession ball shipped to the right and Max on the wing took the ball into contact, unfortunately choosing the biggest player on the field, we didn't know where Max had gone, was there a hole in the ground, Gaz was getting worried, but he finally came up for air, presented the ball for Will to score. Sandbach then switched on and were running strongly, Ewan took a big hit, but as ever came up smiling even though it had knocked the wind out of him - brilliant - very brave.
The second half and the game became flat - Archie and Liam playing for Sandbach !!
Tresor took a strong run forward followed by a scrum down and a turn over, after the second ruck Tom took a short ball and powered his way over to score. We were losing our shape for the first time of the morning but continued to attack and just before the final whistle, Lucas took a strong tackle but somehow managed to wriggle free to run forward to score the last try of the morning. Last play and we were goign for a china ball and almost made it but unfortunately Joe BM dropped the ball - unlucky! Sandbach 0 v 4 WP.
Lucas - 3,
Liam - 1,
Tom - 1,
Will -2 ,
Max - 1,
Joe R - 1,
Joe BM -1,
Alvaro - 2.
For those players that played for the opposition: Freddie, Millsey, Ewan, Liam, Archie, Tresor and JJMc - thank you to those players as it is not easy.
MoM this morning went to Donnie he is developing into a strong forwards player, did well in the scrums but showed us all how dynamic he can be and an excellent ball carrying- Well done.