Bolton Mets needed a response to last weekend’s drubbing by Thatto Heath B but the question is, did we get it?
With only 12 players available we were immediately up against it, however, after a bright start we soon had the lead. Prop Forward Rick Ackers burst through a tackle and sprinted 80 metres upfield to score the opening try, outpacing the opposition Wingers on route to the line. Having earnt the kicking responsibility, Daryl Devlin slotted over the extra two points for a 6-nil lead.
A couple of tackles by Spring View seemed to be drifting above the shoulder, but as non where penalised by the referee Andy Crompton complained too vigorously and picked up a yellow card and 10 minutes in the bin. This obviously took us down to 11 men and gave the Away side a 2 man overlap where they could punish the Mets.
After a couple of kicks failed to open up the Mets, Wigan used their extra men to spread the ball wide and score three tries in quick succession. Two successful kicks made it 16-6 leading up to half time but the Home side defence really made them work for it.
At half time, Al Scarbrough praised the team’s efforts and gave them a few things to work on in the second forty minutes. The attitude from the 12 lads on the field couldn’t be faulted, if only we had 2, 3 or 4 extra players we could have easily have been infront.
A tight period at the start of the second half meant the score board wasn’t troubled for a good 15 minutes, unfortunately, it was Spring View who added to it with a try from close range when the Hooker dived over from the acting half position.
A sin bin for the Away side, also for back chat to the referee, equalled up the sides for 10 minutes but they were still able to cross the line for another try. Despite this, we bounced back with a try of our own at the other end when Second Rower Andrian Gribbin took the ball to the line before passing to Joseph Burns who dived over in the corner. A delightful touchline conversion from Devlin flew through the uprights to the applause of the onlooking support.
With the momentum now with the Mets, we were soon in again as Burns doubled his tally down the left flank. A slick flat pass from Devlin and a nice angled run by Burns caught the defence out to narrow the gap to just 10 points, with the conversion missed it made the score 26-16 to Spring View.
Heading into the final 10 minutes there had been several high shot penalties for both sides, but it was a high swinging arm that went unpunished that saw Winger Adam Woods leave the field with a suspected broken cheek bone.
We were back down to 11 for the remainder of the game, this allowed Wigan to score two further tries to increase their lead and to take the final score to 38-16. Having started the game with only 12 players, and having to play 20 minutes with just 11, the lads did exceptionally well to defend like they did.
The opposition coaches picked out Rick Ackers as Man of the Match, his second in two weeks, followed by stand in Captain Daryl Devlin and two try Joe Burns. At 54 years of age and having played a full 80 minutes of Rugby League with a man less than the opposition, Andrian Gribbin had a barnstorming game and was chosen as Top Tackler by Head Coach Al Scarbrough.
There is no game next weekend due to Easter, but we return on Saturday 7th April with the derby vs Bury Broncos A at Philips High School.
Training has now switched from Essa Academy to Greenhalgh’s Pavilion @ Bolton Rugby Club, but remains on Thursday evenings, from 8-10pm. Training will now be on grass so please bring boots with you. All new and experienced players are welcome, so please feel free to come down and join in the fun.