n Firwood Waterloo 25

n Wilmslow 19

IF Wilmslow Wolves are to make any impression at this weekend’s visit to Douglas on the Isle of Man, they’re going to have to be far more authoritative at the scrum and lineout than they were at Firwood Waterloo.

Without a regular supply of decent first-phase possession, it becomes a very difficult game to play.  

Wilmslow could have no complaints at Saturday’s outcome.

After more than four weeks of no rugby because of waterlogged or frozen pitches and the festive break, ring rust was to be expected but much the same would also have applied to their hosts.

In the event, they were outplayed by a Firwood Waterloo side who dominated possession of the ball and field territory throughout.

There’s was the steadier scrum from start to finish and when Wolves hooker Tommy Wilkinson had to leave the field early on, they fed off the Wolves subsequent inaccurate lineout throwing.

The home side retained the ball well, too, forcing Wolves for the most part to live off scraps of turnover ball and some pure opportunism from scrum half Sean Street.

Somehow, it was all summed up in the last few minutes.

Wolves had managed to restrict the home side to just three tries, when it could easily have been a whole lot more, and then forced themselves into an attacking position which would either have reduced the deficit to just a single point

or given them a one point win if they’d been able to make anything of it.

A catch-and-drive opportunity was well defended by the home side and went awry.

Wolves were then awarded a penalty bang under the Waterloo posts.

They opted for a scrum, except that they got shunted backwards at a rate of knots, lost control and then got penalised for being offside when they attempted to tidy up the mess.

That was the last chance gone and to add to their discomfort Waterloo were down to 14 players at that point.

Waterloo were in the box seat from the outset, with a penalty and converted try putting them 10-0 in front.

Sean Street dummied a pass before barging over from the breakdown by means of a response and then second row Tom Bull broke through and passed to the supporting Bob MacCallum, who was fouled in the act of scoring and a penalty try was awarded.

Wolves’ 12-10 lead did not last long though. 

A second Waterloo penalty was landed but shortly before half time scrum-half Street took a quick tap penalty and raced away from halfway for a score out of nothing.

In the second half Wolves saw virtually nothing of the ball until the dying moments and on the balance of play did well to keep Waterloo down to just two tries, one from right winger Nelson and the other from a forwards pile-up on the Wilmslow