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Match Report: Wharfedale 10 Stourbridge 45
Wharfedale RUFC ,
photo by Ro Burridge
Stourbridge gave a display of strong direct running, slick passing and good support to rack up another six try win away from home. The opening 20 minutes were a close encounter but then three tries from the visitors took the game away from Dale.

Stourbridge opened the scoring with a penalty form Chris Scott. Tom Barrett levelled the score three minutes later. Tom Barrett had a drop goal that was disappointingly well wide of the mark.

The next ten minutes saw both sides battling it out in midfield. A quick line out caught the home side napping and Stour took full advantage with some fine play to score wide to the right. Star Man, George Morgan, touched down and Scott converted.

Joseph Heatley was on the end of a fine sweeping move from Stourbridge for the second again Scott was accurate from the tee. Both tries were set up by full back, Afeafe Haisila, who split the defence wide open.

Stefan Thorp scored the third after a another run from full back Afeafe Haisila. With Scott's extra two points the visitors had opened up a 21 point lead. At least this time the run was halted and Stour had to put some phases together before prop, Stefan Thorpe, barreled over.

After the opening quarter one of the visitor's supporters remarked on how good a contest this was, 15 minutes later the game was almost out of sight.

Afeafe Haisila showed his full potential that earned him a place in the Tonga U20s and a place at Worcester Warriors Academy. He was a joy to watch and a player to watch out for in the future.

photo by Ro Burridge
Wharfedale fought back came close to scoring after a Phil Woodhead break was followed up by Barrett and the forwards put pressure on the visitor's line.

Stour for once could not cope with the pressure and penalties followed. Haisala was yellow carded for a cynical offside which denied a try scoring opportunity. Dale went for the corner and spun the ball left from a good line out.

Despite a poor pass Oli Ciocognini had the power and presence to squeeze in at the corner. Barrett converted.

Dale, with the crowd urging them on, were getting back into the game and strong running and accurate passing saw them return the restart up to half way; then a knock on.

Jo Heatley stifled any hopes of a comeback with a converted solo effort from half way. The scrum half picked the ball up from the back of the scrum and was given space and time to run to the line unscathed.

Wharfedale finished the first half with another attack which ended with another knock on.

Dale opened the second half with a successful line out outside Stour's 22 again the move broke down.

It was Dale that had the better chances to score in the opening 20 minutes and on another day a different official would have seen two crucial moves differently.

The obvious happened and Stour made their way downfield and when George Morgan parted the defence like Moses at the Red Sea he crossed the whitewash for Stourbridge's 5th try.

photo by Ro Burridge
Full back, Afeafe Haisila, claimed the extras. Jack Lea barged over for the sixth try which went unconverted.

The visitors were clearly the better side but Dale, at times, made it too easy for them. There was a lack of consistency both in attack and in defence. The ball was spilled too often and Dale were guilty of leaving of leaving gaps that a battalion of tanks could get through.

Wharfedale face two away games at Sheffield and Chester; two matches that this team, if they cut out the mistakes are capable of winning.



Wharfedale: R. Davidson; O. Cicognini, B. Booth (T. Davidson 61), W. Lawn, J. Prell; T. Barrett, Phil Woodhead (c), J. Altham (T. Asejevs 61), D. Stockdale (I. Larkin 43, Stockdale 55), R. Ward, A. Howard (J. Mason 41), S Borrill (S. Graham 69), G. Hedgley, J Barnard, Josh Burridge.

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Match Report: Wharfedale 10 Stourbridge 45, 25th September 2017, 9:44 AM