Trafford MV Rugby welcomed league leaders De La Salle from Salford on Nov 5 expecting a full blooded confrontation with the visitors. MV fielded a young side, and hit by recent injuries, whilst De La Salle had a strong experienced outfit from field through to the subs bench.
MV were up for the task ahead and halted early pressure with good strong tackling forcing errors and putting the visitors on their back foot with good positional kicking and the better of the referee’s decisions.
With growing confidence MV built good attacks of their own prompted by Eccles and Crampton at half backs.
Forced to defend in numbers MV tied the De La Salle defence in and created space wide on the left for winger Jamie Kingdon to cross the line, Pat Eccles missed the conversion, hampered by the strong breeze.
The early lead was just reward for MV’s solid start, keeping the pressure on, MV had the league leaders looking distinctly ordinary and desperate defence led to another mistake which gave Eccles an easier shot at goal from a penalty 8-0.
De La Salle were not out of the game by any means and upped their efforts with some good driving runs however trying to force the game brought it’s own pressure and opportunities squandered.
Efforts paid off when centres Evans and McCormick both cut back against the flow of play to put winger Foexen over on the right wing to narrow the gap to 8-5 with Petrou missing the conversion.
MV’s forward pack were playing really well and stifled any possession that De La strived for in both line out and scrummage the front row of Gobbert, Anderson and Cooper more than holding their own and skipper Quigley and Burke in the back row outstanding.
As De La pressed MV kicked long out of defence and the De La full back fluffed a forced pass which was intercepted by hooker Ross Anderson who was chased under the posts, evading the cover, to score a good try, converted by Pat Eccles to go 15-5 ahead – and well worth it !
As half time approached De La earned much needed points as Petrou kicked a penalty to leave MV with a 15-8 half time lead.
The second half brought more of the old De La Salle style of play as they upped the intensity, both sides suffered a yellow card for minor offences and MV were being made to work hard to contain the threat and the visiting team were rewarded with another penalty infringement which brought a further three points from Petrou 15-11 to Trafford.
MV stood strong against the onslaught and won many a good ball at the breakdowns through their hard working pack to relive the dangers.
Constant pressure however eventually won it’s day as De La number 8 Brooks powered over with Petrou converting to go ahead for the first time in the game with time running out 15-18.
With the referee’s clock counting down MV launched a brave onslaught but the Salford sides defence held out to secure a somewhat fortunate victory over a brave and determined Trafford side led in both attack and defence by skipper Andy Quigley.
The Game ended Trafford MV 15-18 De La Salle.
MV travel to Littleborough this weekend to face their keen rivals from last season who were also promoted as runners up to MV.
Sale based Trafford MV are looking for players to Return To Rugby following the RFU initiative to get former players returning to the game – so if you have played at school, Uni or another Club and fancy getting back into the game give Wilf Dooley a call on 01942 884542
(Game Coverage by Wilf Dooley)
(Photo – MV hooker Ross Anderson racing in under posts following interception)