Willenhall RUFC 0 Lichfield RUFC 46

Lichfield RUFC moved four points clear at the top of the table after a resounding 46-0 win at Willenhall RUFC.

In the previous game between the two sides, Lichfield were impressed by Willenhall’s resilience and ambition to play rugby when the opportunity arose and so knew they would have to be on top form to get a result.

It started well for Lichfield. They began with pace aplenty, the midfield of Greg and Luke Massey and Tom Adams were penetrating from the start. The back row of Thompson, Burton and Smith cleared the break down to provide quick ball for Will Cotterhill, looking very sharp at scrum half, to utilise to great effect.

Greg Massey scored a double, a fine individual try in the second minute and a penalty in the sixth to give Lichfield an early 8-0 lead.

Sam Baker, who looked powerful and incisive throughout, went over in the seventh minute, converted by Massey and Lichfield were 15 points to the good.

Gareth Brear then got in on the act scoring a brace in the 22nd and 31st minute, the second converted by Greg Massey and Lichfield were 27 points clear.

Great support from Mark Rose saw him get a deserved score in the 37th minute to put Lichfield 32-0 ahead. Greg Massey rounded off the first half in style with a try and conversion in the 39th minute to put Lichfield 39 points clear at half time.

Lichfield’s tight five of Sowden, Bassett, Gabbitass, Hicks and Squire were dominant in the loose but had a tough battle in the tight against a strong Willenhall outfit.

The line out was flawless, Gabbitass showing great consistency and Hicks and Thompson turned over countless ball to frustrate the opposition.

Lichfield made changes at half time, Massey and Squire, brought off due to injury to be replaced by Dave Butler and Dan Albutt. This saw several positional changes and Lichfield didn’t quite play with the same fluidity of the first half. Butler worked hard in attack and defence against a Willenhall eight who were strong in the tight and Albutt gave his usual all action display.

Dan Taylor replaced Ben Sowden after 50 minutes and both players gave impressive performances against tough opposition. Willenhall were threatening throughout, particularly in the second half but Lichfield’s defence was resolute and it was from turnover ball that Brear, who was a constant menace with his pace and skill got his third and Lichfield’s final try, a touchline conversion by Greg Massey giving Lichfield a 46-0 win.

A great win but impressively the second game in succession where they have not conceded a point. Lichfield continue to improve and look forward to welcoming Ashborne to Cooke Fields on Saturday.

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

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