WILMSLOW Wolves were comfortably beaten at home by an Altrincham Kersal side sat in the North One West relegation zone.

The visitors’ table posititon did not tell the whole story though, as they arrived at the Memorial Ground on the back of three wins in their last five outings and with a much stronger team than had been despatched by Wolves in September.

Although the set pieces and lineouts were broadly evenly contested, the AK pack was able to retain possession for far longer than their Wilmslow opponents.

Even when they were at one stage reduced to thirteen players, their pack’s picking and driving on a narrow front was tactically the right thing to do, was well executed and denied Wolves the possession they needed to exploit their numerical advantage.

Wolves’s game management in the 22-12 loss was poor at the critical stages, particularly in the second half when they found themselves chasing the game.

Instead of taking the time to patiently build their positions, they were constantly losing possession at the breakdown and in the backs, largely through over eagerness and a lack of patience.

Their attacking play also lacked any fluency.

It didn’t help that Wolves were missing at least half a dozen backs, who in the circumstances may have made the difference.

The players could not be faulted for any lack of effort or commitment but it seemed that the only way they were likely to score was through their forwards and in particular from close-in catch-and-drive positions.

Both their tries from number eight Alex Taylor came from this source.

Elsewhere, prop Jordan Ayrey stood out in the tight and around the field, scrum half Sean Street and full back Elliot Rowe also had some good moments with penetrative running.

But that was about it.

For the first quarter, nothing much happened with neither side threatening the other.

AK, however, ratcheted up the pressure and when they were awarded a scrum on the Wolves five-metre line after 25 minutes, they kept control and Dave Coleman nipped in for the opening score, which he converted.

Several penalties allowed Wolves to force an attacking position on the AK line, where at the second attempt Taylor drove through to score.

Just after the interval, the rub of the green went the way of AK.

Wolves made ground in midfield, then got turned over and Coleman’s long kick became a foot race which referee Brown judged was won by AK’s right winger. Coleman converted from the touchline.

There was still plenty of time on the clock but despite a plethora of penalties in their favour and two yellow cards for AK, Wolves weren’t able to make anything of it.

Indeed, they hardly got their hands on the ball at all as the 13 AK players picked and drove their way down the field, slowly and patiently, where eventually they got a scrum from which Coleman nipped over again.

With less than 10 minutes to go, the Wolves hit back with a second try from a lineout but then frantically trying to get out of their own territory, they conceded a penalty chance to Coleman, who gratefully accepted it and that was that.

It proved to be a good four points for AK, deservedly won on the day, and, in truth, another it became another tough lesson for a misfiring Wolves outfit.

Sixth-placed Wilmslow host seventh-placed Warrington, who are a point behind, at the Memorial Ground on Saturday.