Lichfield RUFC 58 Wolverhampton RUFC 7

Lichfield were hoping to build on last week’s outstanding first half performance by putting together a game for a full 80 minutes.

Wolverhampton are always a tough test for Lichfield, both teams having a long history of physical encounters.

The game started brightly for Lichfield who hit top form from the first whistle and Jack Sporcic sped in at the corner to give Lichfield the best possible start with a 5-0 lead in the second minute.

Lichfield were dominant in all phases of the game and in the 15th minute Gareth Brear outpaced the cover defence to put his side 10-0 in front.

The hosts were supporting and offloading well and were causing Wolverhampton severe problems in defence. In the 24th minute some fine interplay between the forwards saw the tireless John Hicks take a deft pass from Nick Smith to go over for a popular score and put Lichfield further in front at 15-0.

Steve Knibbs was a cornerstone in the tight ably supported by Dave Bassett and Steve Gabbitass who were prominent in the loose. Will Cotterhill and Luke Massey combined well at half back and were directing the play intelligently.

In the 26th minute after another spell of continuity, Greg Massey scored a fine try to put the hosts almost clear at 20-0. He then repeated the feat in the 33d minute, this try being converted by Will Cotterhill and Lichfield went into the break with a healthy 27-0 lead.

The second half started in much the same vein as the first and in the 2nd minute Gareth Brear scored his second as Lichfield roared back into life and the hosts were 32-0 in front.

Wolverhampton threw everything at Lichfield and at no stage lacked commitment but Lichfield’s defence was solid and disciplined and there was no way through for the Wolverhampton team.

Joe Thompson was prominent in the line out and was rampaging in the loose and Rich Burton was a potent threat in support with some fine offloading. Nick Smith worked tirelessly to guarantee continuity and was a real thorn in the side for the Wolverhampton fly half as he hunted him down all afternoon.

Jack Sporcic, who had another fine game, left the field injured early in the second half to be replaced by Mark Rose and Ben Sowden replaced the evergreen Steve Knibbs in the front row.

Sowden made his intentions clear with some bullocking runs and Rose showed he has recaptured his form after injury.

In the 60th minute the hosts scored a fine team try switching play from right to left and the deftest  pass from Bassett saw Steve Gabbitass race in from fully 25 metres for his first of the season converted by Luke Massey and Lichfield were almost out of sight at 39-0.

Lichfield were threatening from all quarters with Adams and Baker a constant threat setting up excellent field position as they broke through the away teams defence.

It was from one such break that Greg Massey capitalised on the space on offer to complete his hat trick and give the Myrtle Greens a 44-0 lead.

Derrick Squire, who had shown tremendous work ethic all afternoon alongside John Hicks, was replaced by Dan Albutt who was soon into his stride alongside Burton and Smith.

In the 69th minute Luke Massey saw space behind the Wolverhampton defence and a subtle chip saw him collect his own kick to go in under the posts. He also added the conversion and Lichfield had broken the half century and were 51-0 in front.

In the 77th minute Greg Massey rounded off a fine individual performance, Luke Massey had options inside and out, but picked out his brother who sped in for his fourth and Lichfield’s 10th try, Luke Massey conversion making it 58-0.

Wolverhampton never stopped showing the pride and determination expected in a local derby and scored a fine try in the final play of the game which they converted to make the final score 58-7 to Lichfield.

Lichfield now go top of the table after Aston slipped up against Stourbridge, level on points but with a vastly superior points difference. This makes their final home game of the year against Shrewsbury doubly important to go into 2010 as league leaders.

Lichfield: Knibbs, Gabbitass, Bassett (c), Hicks, Squire, Burton, Smith, Thompson; W Cotterhill, L Massey, Brear, Adams, G Massey, Baker, Sporcic. Subs: Sowden, Albutt and Rose.

Advertisements
Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.