MV End On A High
A late surge by Trafford MV sees off Penrith in a free flowing match.
14th February 2016
Penrith RFC Junior Colts 17 v 27 Trafford MV RFCC Junior Colts
This was Trafford’s last game of their league season and it was a match that typified their campaign in the top tier of Junior Colts League.
MV started sluggishly, found their feet and ultimately powered past the home side in a game which demonstrated Trafford’s resolve and commitment against a team which had brushed them aside 13-32 in the first match of the season.
Trafford looked as if the long journey had taken it out of them early on with missed tackles and a lack of structure allowing the home side to break the line and score out wide as their wing touched down for the unconverted score in the opening minutes. 0-5.
Penrith were on the front foot throughout these initial phases and pressed Trafford again with the ball moved through hands to expose gaps in the MV defence. Penrith’s commitment was occasionally over zealous, ultimately resulting in a yellow card for the home team player for the tip tackle.
Trafford then show a bit of spark with Muzzy stealing at the ruck and MV build their own pressure with the forwards crafting territory against the team a man down. Penrith lose the defensive line out with Trafford’s props to the fore again in winning possession – Trafford create the opportunity close in with Ross picking from the ruck to pop over the line for the equalising unconverted try. 5-5.
It looked as if MV had weathered the storm here, but MV mess up the restart. With Trafford looking unstructured again, Penrith pick up the lose ball firing it out to the wing and get the quick score out wide. Poor covering by Trafford off the mistake at the restart and Penrith convert the try to rub salt in the wound. 12-5.
An important phase now - Penrith look to press home the momentum – but some excellent Trafford resistance holds them out. The defensive tackling work by every Trafford player was immense here and Penrith were thwarted.
Trafford rally to start taking the game to Penrith as Half Time nears. The MV forwards start to exert the control we have been increasingly used to this season and the platform starts to build pressure with the backs being better integrated as an attacking option.
This pressure converts into two penalties for Trafford as the half closes – Ross converts the chance close in and Penrith come back into range. Half Time 8-12.
Something to work with as the second half starts – Muzzy creates the attack again with turnover ball from the start. MV press and vary the play with forwards and backs making ground. Good Penrith defence sees the ball cleared and they progress up the MV wing to set up the attack within MV’s twenty-two, Ethan is pinged for a perceived dump tackle in defence and takes the yellow card. Penrith cease the opportunity, making use of the space in MV’s rear guard to score the unconverted try. 8-17 with twenty minutes remaining.
Early in the season, in fact in the opening game against Penrith, this situation would have seen Trafford’s head’s drop – good work, no result and the opposition score to open a clear lead. Can be disheartening, with the potential for the floodgates to open against the Trafford men.
But no, Trafford MV are made of much sterner stuff now. They pushed their chests out and were up for the fight. The turnaround was magnificent. From this point they absolutely commanded the game.
Ethan returned from his rest and the forwards were straight on it. Creating the base for a range of strong runs with Luke, Joe H, Simon C and Tom to the fore territory was gained. Rory was making ground from scrum half with Greg, Dave and Robbie now as strong in attack as they were committed in defence earlier in the contest.
The driving maul was working to great effect up front drawing territory and the infringements from the Penrith defence. Penrith see yellow again – in from the side. The forwards continued to win possession time and time again and Trafford used the advantage with Ethan crashing over out wide after concerted pressure from Trafford. Not converted. 13-17.
And again … Trafford up after the line out win. Penrith had made changes, but were struggling to hold out Trafford now. Attacking scrum opportunities were missed by the visitors and Penrith win the put in at the scrum with the chance to clear their lines. But a fumble opens up the chance for Trafford. Rory pounces and picks up to score – quick reactions, excellent execution. Ross slots the conversion. Trafford have the lead. 20-17.
Penrith mount an assault in attempt to turn the tide. But again Trafford defence wins the turnover and the forwards come away with the ball. Great support from the wing with Simon T showing good control and Trafford fast to the ball in the breakdown. Dominant in the loose Trafford make ground and use their backs to effect. Back into contact and Trafford create the platform to hold out for the win, the forwards retaining play – but they want more the ball is spun out and Greg drives through the home defence to finish in style – magnificent try, converted by Ross. Final score 17-27 to the visitors.
An excellent come-back and a mark as to how far Trafford have progressed this season. Slow start, flashes of potential to the recovery and a flourish to end on a high. The game a microcosm of the campaign.
Well done to both teams – a good game which ebbed and flowed with each side having their chances for victory. Trafford’s strength told in the end as they exerted control and ultimately played the match at a tempo and in a style which deserved the reward.
Thank you to Penrith for hosting the match (and for holding off the snow until we got back into the club house) and to the referee for his efforts in producing an absorbing contest.
So that is it for the league for Trafford – a commendable effort after a dreadful start, to end up with five wins and a draw after our first six were lost on the spin shows the turnaround – it could have been even better with a lot of very close defeats to the big teams – Trafford deserve to compete at this level. Great belief and resolve and of course magnificent coaching. Thanks to all for a hugely entertaining season in the top flight of North-West Junior rugby. A fantastic effort by Trafford MV Junior Colts.
More to come though – MV are in the semi finals of the Lancashire Cup and now enter the League Cup over the coming weeks. With this sort of inner belief and momentum behind them Trafford look forward to a successful end to the rugby year.
Good luck lads.
Trafford MV Man Of The Match: Mustafah Estawani (Muzzy)
Report by Adrian