n Hull 55

n Wilmslow Wolves 12

WILMSLOW will host Lymm on Saturday not feeling too downhearted by Saturday’s heavy loss at Hull.

Despite the score line, and nine tries against two, Wilmslow can take some solace for a spirited performance by a team ravaged by injury and unavailability.

And it was against a Hull outfit who are surely favourites to take this season’s Northern Premier title.

As Wilmslow coach Rick Jones said afterwards: “They’re a very good side with a lot of their players almost certainly having higher rugby experience.”

It had always been known to Wolves that this game would be of a higher order than anything faced so far.

Hull have been a top-four side in this league for a while and are clearly set on a place in the National Leagues.

Man for man, they were bigger, athletic, endowed with pace, aggressive in contact and with no little footballing skill.

Quite simply, they played at a level which Wilmslow can still only aspire to.

Nevertheless, Wolves never bowed the knee, never stopped snarling and to their credit took the game to their opponents for long periods of the second half without quite having the firepower to break the Hull defence other than twice in the first half.

One has to commend the Wolves’ two 19-year-old props, Mike Parker on his debut and Rhodri Lewis, together with hooker Sammy Graham for not buckling in the front row of a scrum which held its own for most of the time.

Hull played the opening minutes at an intensity that many of the Wolves will probably never have experienced, scoring two tries in six minutes.

From the kick off, they put in a faultless handling movement going through several phases which ended with their right winger Michael Adlard bursting through to score under the posts. Less than a minute had been played.

Five minutes later, they ran back a Wilmslow clearing kick in another multiphase move which ended with their No. 8 Joseph Stafford sauntering in for their second score from the wing.

Wolves then produced a bit of play themselves, which showed what they could do with a bit of possession.

It was started by a typical sniping run from scrum half Sean Street and when the ball was recycled left, centre Ethan Harding threw a long pin point accurate pass to Lewis Bundy-Davis, who grabbed the opportunity to put Wilmslow onto the scoreboard.

Three more Hull tries followed.

Their third try came on the quarter hour from a catch and drive after establishing a position from a penalty.

Ten minutes later another penalty to the corner led to their fourth try when the ball was moved to the left.

This was followed by a missed tackle on the half hour, enabling Hull centre Alexander Heard to run in try number five.

Wilmslow managed to hit back with a try from second row Mike Clifford, who was up to take a pass from the sniping Street.

Two tries by half time raised hopes that maybe a bonus point for four tries could be on the cards, even though the game itself was to all intents well out of sight by half time.

For 20 minutes of the second half, Wolves held up the home side’s progress, winning plenty of possession which they endeavoured to make the most of.

Alex Taylor as always was at the thick of it, always making ground and behind the scrum the back line was always prepared to have a go without ever being able to display the fluency of their opponents.

It was clear that the power and pace to seriously trouble the Hull defence just wasn’t there and when mistakes came late in the game they were severely punished by the home side.

Hull’s sixth try came from one such handling error, from which winger Adlard pinned back his ears for a 75 metre scoring run.

The final 10 minutes then became something of a procession for Hull as Wilmslow moves broke down and three more tries were added to their tally.

“We’ve got to learn that at this level any mistakes or carelessness will be costly,” said Jones.

Later, he added that he had been delighted with the side’s third quarter during which they didn’t concede anything and pleased with the doggedness shown by Ollie Lee, a former Wilmslow High School player, now back with his home club after an injury filled spell at Stockport, and by Sammy Graham who put in a full 80 minute stint of graft.