Four Trafford three pointers see off Sandbach in a tense encounter.
24th January 2016
Sandbach RFC Junior Colts 5 v 12 Trafford MV RFCC Junior Colts
An important match for both sides with Sandbach looking to drag themselves off the foot of the table and Trafford looking to stabilise in mid table after three close defeats on the trot.
It was MV who started brightly, a momentum maintained through the first half has they controlled territory and possession. Trafford’s set plays and break down work was good and this laid a decent platform for a range of attacks. But Trafford failed to breach the try line with their battering ram tactics close in as Sandbach’s defence held firm by demonstrating the strength of tackling and good defensive shape which prevails at this standard.
The MV forwards were controlling the pace of play in this first period - notably Luke Cox did well in his fresh appearance in the front row, Sam Murray impressed in at flanker and Joe Hynes settled well in the changed second row. Trafford were held up over the line a couple of times, but continued pressure within the twenty-two yielded no result and it was the award of three penalties in the half which ultimately got the score board ticking over for Trafford.
Opting to have a kick at goal rather than running the ball from the infringements showed improved decision making from Trafford (over recent weeks) and the reward came as each of the three attempts were successfully converted by Greg Warren to yield a 0-9 lead at the break.
Trafford came off the gas badly in the second half; this complacency coincided with a rejuvenated Sandbach team buoyed by their half time team talk. Sandbach were quicker to the ball in the second period, they were hungrier and fought harder. They turned the possession and territory stat’s in their favour and their forwards arrested control in the scrum and break down.
Trafford looked rattled but their defensive commitment was still there as they held Sandbach out despite chances in close for the home team early in the half. But Sandbach had the upper hand now, they started using their back line to break the Trafford defence and created an opportunity with another scrum on the five metre line – this one peeled off to the blind side to create the unconverted score out wide.
5-9, tighter affair now and nerves started to creep in to both sides play. Mistakes prevailed as the territory started to swing to and fro and the game lost its shape. Trafford favoured the chip through or high ball to win ground now but Sandbach coped well with these despite the committed chase through by the Trafford backs – Ethan Pearce was showing decent attacking pace. This was tense as each side had their chances, but clearances led to unpredictable lines outs and no firm platform for concerted attacks were formed for either team as the clock ticked by.
Time was tight and then a bit of class to calm things down for Trafford – Greg runs hard from mid-field breaks two tackles – the ruck forms on the twenty two and the chase from the forwards to pressure the breakdown draws the penalty to Trafford. Despite another potential “rush of blood to the head” moment, meaning MV were nearly tempted to try the quick tap and go, Trafford do the right thing - they calm it all down and point to the posts again. Greg steadies himself and slots over the kick. 5-12 and the final whistle blows.
So, in performance terms a game of two halves, but Trafford held firm and with good sense and a good kicking performance took their penalty chances when they had to.
Thank you to Sandach for hosting the match, which was played in a good spirit and well refereed.
Sandbach are a very decent side, similar to Trafford they have had a few games that could have gone there way and just came away empty handed – this was perhaps one of them. Trafford get the win and move now into their final two league games against teams around them in the table – these matches have the potential to shape the view on MV’s performance in the top flight of north west junior colts rugby this season – we’ll take the win today and head into these closing matches positively.
Trafford MV Man Of The Match: Greg Warren
Report by Adrian