WIBSEY RUFC 19 HALIFAX RUFC 8 Yorkshire Div 4 13 January 2018
Match report Halifax v Wibsey 13/1/2018 by Graham Smith
Having despatched their opponents in a Cup match pre Christmas at Ovenden Park , Halifax were entitled to have confidence on their visit to Wibsey . And their first half performance validated that belief as they took an aggressive stance from the beginning with direct attacking from the forwards and displaying willingness to use the ball outside – all backed up by some spirited tackling .
Wibsey however , with a powerful set of forwards, showed their mettle and the manner in which they have produced an impressive home record . Both sides made mistakes , perhaps after the long lay off over Christmas and adverse weather conditions . With Garforth no longer in the league and Halifax thereby with no game last week , Wibsey may have shaken off some “ ring rust “ and their progressive control of the second half tended to support that view .
Halifax opened the scoring . After 15 minutes they missed a penalty kick but on the restart , back rowers Tallis and Corey combined to establish a good position on the Wibsey left . A line out ensued , won well by Halifax, and as the drive came on , Corey broke off and drove over the line despite the attention of three tacklers .
Halifax play was of good quality at this stage with an impressive level of intensity . Left winger , Saio , fielded a high ball out on the left and as the position developed , full back Dennison, elusive as ever , slipped with the line at his mercy . Shortly after , the same player converted a penalty kick to put Halifax in an 8—0 lead .
Halifax were on top ; parity was achieved in the scrummage , Elliot Mercer [ captain] was commanding the lineouts but at the end of the first half Wibsey hit back , wholly against the run of play and they breached the defensive line to score under the posts.
The drama heightened as the second half opened . Halifax were looking to spread the ball wide but with the powerful Pilcher well placed to make significant ground the ball went loose and popped up to give the Wibsey hooker an unopposed run in .
Halifax certainly did not cave in but their efforts led to unforced errors , thereby losing possession or giving it away on contact or ill advised kicking . Wibsey profited in terms of territorial advantage and used their experience in playing with the slope . 25 minutes in to the half , Halifax lost the ball under the posts and sharp handling by the hosts produced their third try for a 19—8 lead .
In the last ten minutes, and with Wibsey down to 14 men from a foul play yellow card , Halifax put in an impressive finish . In the gathering gloom, they might well have scored twice but , again centre Jack Ryan slipped with the line close and Halifax were over the line only for the referee to rule that the ball had not been grounded .
The performance of Halifax in the first half was very encouraging on the day and for the remainder of the season but the second half belonged to Wibsey aided by Halifax not “ looking after the ball”
Final Score Halifax RUFC 8 Wibsey 19