Match Report 07.11.2021

Melton RFC 42 (7*) – 23 (4*) Wyggs-Lions
(* denotes number of tries scored)

A biting wind greeted the team on yet another high and exposed Leicestershire rugby pitch, everyone at least grateful for the lack of any prospect of rain. A physically imposing Melton side were already warming-up as Lions-Wyggs took to the field to commence their own pre-match routine. Winning the opening rock-paper-scissors “toss”, Lions-Wyggs opted to kick and, through Lorenzo, put immediate pressure on the Melton defence. The first of many knock-ons and scrums, which characterised the game, ensued. Whether it was cold hands or the time passed since the last competitive fixture, Wyggs-Lions inaccuracy soon led to the first of Melton’s tries which they duly converted. Whilst Sonny tackled to touch a sure Melton scoring opportunity, some energetic running from Tristan, and Jacob Grieff demonstrating more determined tackling, these flashes of brilliance failed to prevent a second Melton try capitalising on open space down the middle of the pitch. The first quarter ended 13-0.

The second quarter continued in the same vein. Good territory and possession for Lions-Wyggs was spoiled by inaccuracy and a lack of conviction. Amman injected some physicality, Healey some good running, but Melton again added two further tries in quick succession to extend the lead to 25-0. Cayden Bailiss in his first match since returning from injury, injected some much-needed bite and William, having earlier cut through the Melton defence with some deft side-stepping, converted effort into points with a try in the corner, a reward for Wyggs-Lions but still a mountain to climb at 25-5.

More mistakes and low energy gifted Melton another try in the third quarter, scrums and fumbles preventing the game from gathering any sort of momentum or consistency. Some determined runs by Jonny Sobek then pegged Melton in their own half. Alfie and Sam Hall capitalised on this passage of territorial advantage, scoring 2 similar tries by bundling forcibly over the Melton tryline from close quarters. Melton responded with some find defending, a well-executed tackle on Will stopping a promising position. Melton themselves squandered a 4-on-1 overlap with some fumbling of their own, their anguish audible by the watching crowd. But another strong run by the Melton 13, again directly through the middle of the park, kept the 3-try gap into the last quarter 35-17.

Some poor tackling gave Melton their final try of the game, Wyggs-Lions seemingly wishing the final whistle to arrive. A late flourish – some swift textbook scrum-to-wing passing, finished off by Jonny Sobek dotting down under the posts – gave some cheer to the visiting crowd, the final word to the losing side, and again demonstrated the potential within this Wyggs-Lions team. An aggressive tackle on Toby at the final whistle ended an increasingly ill-tempered and vocal match with a bad taste, the final scoreline 42-23.

Bemusement was the overriding emotion from the watching parents at the end of the day: good territory and potential squandered with inaccuracy and lack of conviction. With some quality individual performances and a solid debut from Reuben at scrum-half, Lions-Wyggs knew they were the equal of this Melton team and this fixture is one that got away, some raw soul-searching the theme of the post-match team talk. Hopefully this lesson, and back playing matches after a lengthy half-term fixture hiatus, will improve the performance against Kettering next week.

Andy Sobek
U14 Team Manager