Down To The Wire
Trafford MV held out by Warrington in a tough, tight and tense encounter.
Warrington RFC Junior Colts 10 v 8 Trafford MV RFCC Junior Colts
A visit to highflying Warrington for an MV Junior Colts team on a decent run made for an intriguing battle. Trafford pushed Warrington all the way and could have won this full spirited match, but the home side’s defence was magnificent and repelled the visitors to clinch the win in a game that held the attention to the very end.
The match sprung into action straight away with Tom S creating the turnover in Trafford’s favour to allow the break through midfield for Greg W to fly hack all the way to Warrington’s line – close call but Warrington’s defence scrambled to cover. The resulting phases went Trafford’s way, but only a penalty as reward which Greg slotted home. Trafford take early lead 3-0.
Warrington mounted pressure from the restart, Trafford were solid in defence but strayed offside to concede the penalty just outside the twenty-two and the kick was converted by Warrington. Exchanges even early on and the score at 3-3.
Then Trafford really pick up the momentum, positive commitment and aggression here saw concerted pressure inside the Warrington half. The Trafford forwards were building a very strong platform and phase after phase was pounding the Warrington defence. But the home side were made of resilient stuff and stood up to the test time and time again.
Trafford revelled in the clash being played out up front but they met stern defence in Wire’s pack, they were extremely difficult to break down.
Ultimately MV got their reward – Ethan C picks off the base of the ruck and crashes over with men holding onto him to create the mound of bodies on the try line – Ethan is under the pile with his hands grounding the ball on the right side of the whitewash for Trafford and the try is given. No conversion off this one. Trafford have a lead for their punishing work, 3-8.
Trafford look controlled now, they keep their defence solid and each team search for territorial gain with good kicking coming to the fore for both sides. Trafford’s line out was absolutely excellent all day and despite pressure Alex T kept his throwing accuracy throughout. All looked measured as the backs closed down space quickly and the effort of the Trafford pack continues to trouble the home side in the loose.
An innocuous scrum formed for Warrington on the half way line, their scrum-half breaks with a dazzling run to beat three MV tackles and evade the cover to score a try under the posts. A fantastic bit of individual skill, but Trafford’s concentration was broken and the defensive effort was for once found wanting. The try was converted and Wire have the lead, 10-8.
Trafford drive on towards the end of the half, but the home side are again a match for Trafford’s attacks and there is no further score to the half time whistle.
Half time: Warrington 10-8 Trafford MV
Things get a bit hairy as the second half starts, both sides lose their composure and kick wildly to lead to a passage of play that yielded no points but plenty of opportunities as mistakes were prevalent. Scrappy, but entertaining.
It was Trafford who then settled and regained their dominance in attack. The forwards were having an excellent game, the ball carrying ability of this pack is a delight to watch and the option of bringing Greg onto the ball from fly-half saw the attacking package gaining hard yards. MV were now dominating territory but again Warrington’s defence was really impressive – holding Trafford back as they created a flurry of chances near the home side’s line.
Surely something had to give here and so it did, Trafford were awarded a series of three penalties in or around the Warrington twenty-two. Such is the marked change in confidence of the MV side they elect to play for the five or seven points rather than to take the three on each occasion.
The first, a tap penalty was covered by sturdy Warrington defence, the next two saw the team play to their line out strength with a kick to touch to use the driving maul off the catch and drive. Yards made each time but the home side had building confidence now in defence and were beginning to read Trafford’s attacking plans. Each maul held up short of the line and Wire clear from the resulting scrums.
Still Trafford come in attack, but Warrington hold firm against Trafford’s repeated sorties and ultimately clear to create late pressure in the Trafford half. MV maintain their resolve to hold them out and set up the counter attack. But Warrington turnover the final play and Trafford MV’s efforts are in vain. Warrington take the spoils with an excellent defensive display and a little bit of attacking sparkle to make the difference between the teams.
Thank you for the home side for hosting an excellent match played in a good spirit. Thank you also to the referee who was consistent throughout. Congratulations to Wire on the win and great credit to the Trafford side that posed enormous threat to Warrington throughout the match.
You can look back on this match from Trafford’s perspective and reflect on missed opportunities, point to wrong choices of attacking options from the second half penalties and perhaps to being increasingly predictable on the back of the bulk of possession and territory. Easy to say in hindsight, but it not what should be taken from this display; this is a Trafford side that are rejuvenated and have increasing self-belief. Their performance and decision making was a mark of confidence, this match could have gone either way and the lads backing themselves was a sign of growing strength. MV were magnificent, they are pushing the best sides in the north-west and the team should be rightly proud of their efforts today.
The MV side must carry this self-belief and team spirit into the next match against Wirral. One last push before the Christmas where we can all take a break for a couple of weeks in the knowledge that the lads are learning, improving and growing into one of the best sides in the region.
Trafford MV Man Of The Match: Alex Taylor
Report by Adrian