SATURDAY 18 / SUNDAY 19 SEPTEMBER MATCH REPORTS
Widnes 36-7 Eccles
Eccles 26-22 Rossendale
After a narrow loss to Rossendale in our last meeting (almost 2 years ago) we were keen to show how we had improved. But with the loss of several forwards, including our first, and reserve hooker, we weren’t going to be able to rely on our scrums and lineouts this time.
Eccles started positively, with some great possession and solid attacking play but unfortunately failed to convert their opportunities into points. Some fine individual moves often lacked support with players going alone. This was summed up by having two tries held up over the line.
Eventually our pressure paid off, with a series of looping passes across the backs eventually finding Henry, who skipped through 3 defenders in his trademark style for our first try. Will B converted for the full 7 points.
Unfortunately, we received a yellow card for our high tackle count. Rossendale turned this numerical advantage into constant pressure inside our 22 which gave them their first try in the corner. So, we went into half time with a slim 7-5 lead, not much to show for our dominance of the half.
The second half was a game of two halves in itself. In the first quarter Eccles suffered a few injuries and seemed to lose focus. Some sloppy, and often naïve defence allowed Rossendale to score three tries. Giving up large overlaps and being lobbed by deep kicks left us 7-22 down.
In the last quarter Eccles woke up, and with Rossendale losing a player to the bin, we started a glorious final 10 minutes.
With 9 minutes to go Josh showed great personal determination and backed himself all the way to the line. Weaving through the defence to go over beside the sticks with Will B converting for 14-22.
4 minutes to go and the forwards drove up the pitch, before releasing the backs who pass the ball wide to the overlapping Josh who cuts diagonally across for his 2nd – 19-22.
Eccles had their tails up and Rossendale were losing belief. In the Final play, Eccles surged forward and playing with renewed energy released Josh who ran between the posts for his third. Will B taking the extras for a full-time score of 26:22!
A thrilling conclusion that left us all wondering what we could be if we always played like the first and fourth quarters of the match.
Some reactions from the delighted coaches:
“Eccles dug deep and showed grit and discipline to turn this around, and came back with true determination and team spirit to secure a win.”
“The lads showed immense character and skill to come back from the brink and win it with three late unanswered tries.”
But at the next training sessions we will have lots to work on: Pods, supportive play and defensive positioning will all have to be addressed.
Match Captain: Harvey
Man of the Match: JoshW. Three tries in 9 minutes? ‘Nuff said.
Match Report by Adam, Andy, Chris, James, Jeff and Steve.
Highlights (approx. times)
20’ 7-0 Try Henry Conv Will B
30’ 7-5 Try Rossendale
35’ HT 7-5
37’ 7-10 TRY Rossendale
45’ 7-17 TRY & Conv Rossendale
52’ 7-22 TRY Rossendale
61’ 14-22 TRY JoshW Conv Will B
66’ 19-22 TRY JoshW
70’ 26-22 TRY JoshW Conv Will B
70’ FT 26-22.