A warm welcome to Orrell on a beautiful sunny Saturday
One of the key fixtures in this season's fixture list, two of the main contenders for the title go head to head just 7 days into the campaign. The previous week had shown mixed fortunes with Orrell easily defeating our friends from Wakefield 55 : 7, the Warriors struggling to come to terms with Otley before finally scraping home in the last few minutes of extra time 20 : 26. How valuable is that win now?
I am sure I am not alone when I say that Friday night had not been a peaceful sleep, even having nightmares about the referee who stood 9ft.
The Warriors warmed up with their usual calm composed
frame of mind. What was going on inside their heads is anybodies guess, but
they looked confident, would this hold true. They looked confident before
Otley and look what happened there, however this was a different situation
with a lot more at stake. There were reputations to repair, the confidence
of the supporters to rebuild and above all one of the beast sides in the
division to beat.
As time will tell there was no need to worry this team showed that they were made of "stern stuff" but it was not all going to be plain sailing!!
Orrell warmed up with some really big hits into the tackle
bags, along with many other exercise, but the bags took a real hammering.
The game was as much about who wasn't playing as who was. Drew Hickey a close season signing from Orrell was out still with a shoulder injury, we were not going to be able to use his knowledge of Orrell's tactics on the field, but I am sure he was massively influential in determining the game plan to defeat this good team from the Northern Steppes.
The referee had a quick check with his officials (and the
mascot), then asked Tommy Hayes to get the game started.
With the crowd in full voice Tommy calmly took the ball and possible with the adrenalin flowing over hit the drop-out straight into touch. Scrumdown back on the center circle with an Orrell put in
Not a good start and shades of Otley were flashing past our eyes. Advantage Orrell.
Immediately Orrell were on the attack, at great speed,
changing direction from side to side as they broke through and made ground
all the way to the Warriors line.
The Warriors had no answer, it was going to be another sub 30 second try, but at least the tackles were coming in. Then luck came our way in their efforts to keep the ball alive the attacking Orrell players knocked on and the situation was saved. FOR NOW!!
For the next 10 minutes it was all Orrell, wave after wave
of attack from all angles was raining in on the beleaguered Warriors
defensive line. But it held fast with some magnificent tackling.
The warriors just could not get their hands on the ball for any length of time, when they did it was all under pressure but the confidence was still there. Even in these circumstances they still tried to play their way out of defence. At times it looked like the self destruct button had been pressed. It clearly had not, it was the absolute conviction in the Warriors that were capable of playing out of defence and turning defence into attack
Finally we managed to secure workable ball, there was no
hesitation, it was straight on the attack at full speed, stretching the
Orrell defence. the rucks and balls were tight and powerful to the extent
where Orrell had to once again come in from the side (remember last year at
Edge Hall) and a penalty was awarded.
Up stepped Mr Cool , Tommy Hayes calmly placed the ball, took a steadying breath or two, 4 steps and stroked the ball through the posts.
From defending for 15 Minutes, The Warriors took the lead 3 : 0
Orrell for all their previous had work had nothing to show
and were now 3 points down. Now they are a good side, they regrouped and it
was Orrell who once again set the pace. They were still full of attack,
coming back at the Warriors driving them back into the home sides 22 meters.
the lines of attack from their runners was excellent, with ground gained in
every move. Finally after a passage of play which saw the ball first move to
the left and then quickly recycled right, Penny came in on a great line and
just carved through the Warriors defence. Orrell took the lead with they try
being converted by Sleman.
Worcester 3 : 7 Orrell 18 mins
Worcester once again took the ball into the Orrell 22 and
applied the due pressure. With the warriors starting to show some control of
the game Orrell had to concede a penalty or a try.
Up stepped Tommy Hayes
6 : 7 after 20 minutes
|the game started to turn as The Warriors gained more and more possession. On three occasions the line was broken and players were in the clear only to be brought back for some very close decisions. Two forward passes one of which from Daren O'Leary was almost schoolboy panic to pass. Daren was also put in the clear from some sublime handling between Hinshelwood and Trueman, unfortunately Daren did not have the confidence to go for it and hesitated giving the opposition that split second advantage and he was overhauled. But as the game went on Daren started to show what he is capable of. Today he made a start! It so easily could have been another 21 points to the warriors however the scoreboard was stuck at 6 : 7
Orrell were not going to give this game up, confident in
their own ability to turn Worcester over. back on the attack they came. A
silly loss of concentration let the ball go loose, it was quickly secured by
Orrell who recycled to Leigh Hinton (a local player from Kings School) who
made the initial break set the ball out his left then raced around his
fellow backs to take the ball out wide on the right. He ran outside Daren
O'Leary to score under the posts. A fast counter attack at speed just left
the Worcester defence flatfooted and another 7 Points behind
Worcester 6 : 14 Orrell 35 minutes
This was going to be the last scoring
opportunity for Orrell who did not trouble the scorers again. In the next 50
minutes Worcester were to score 34 points without reply
This half was not yet over by a long way. Worcester were continuing to take more and more of the ball. Creating several more scoring opportunities. Finally the forwards who were now domination all aspects of forward play were driving the Orrell pack backwards again and again. Now that they had seen the power of Hayes' boot they dared not give away another penalty and Worcester took advantage by getting into the bottom corner for an attacking lineout. The ball taken and the forwards drove.
The ball was first recycled left and then back into the
forwards who once again set up a driving maul just feet from the Orrell
line. The forwards powered in driving over the line for the hard working
Gavin Pfister to score the first of his well deserved two tries. Gavin was
having an outstanding game, he was everywhere in defence and attack a marker
had been set for my man of the match. The try was converted, as expected,
followed shortly by another penalty for slowing down play. Half time came
with the score at
Worcester 16 : 14 Orrell
|Click Here For The second Half