Valley stroll home as Club fail to fire
Football Club got a reminder from arch-rivals Valley that they will have to sweat to defend their league title in this millennium season.
Last night Valley scored a comfortable 20-5 victory over a lacklustre Club outfit who were outplayed for long periods, especially in the forwards.
It is still early days, yesterday's game being the first round of the Super Sixes competition which ends this weekend.
The next fortnight on the fixture list will be devoted to the knockout competition after which the second round of the Super Sixes will be played leading up to the Grand Championship which will decide the league winners.
So Club can be excused if they were to think of last night's defeat as just a mere blip in the greater scheme of things. The loss will only have dented their pride.
Things looked ominous for Club right from the outset when their first scrum was knocked back. Valley's front row of Rob Grindlay, Rambo Leung and Matt Deayton rocked their counterparts backwards and Valley won the Club put-in.
The reward for that piece of outstanding scrummaging was a try to centre Laurent Baumgartner. It was also refreshing to see a try being scored from first-phase play, something seldom seen these days.
But with Club caught with their pants down, Baumgartner was quick to cut through to score under the posts. Isi Tu'ivai converted and Valley had taken an early 7-0 lead.
Worrying for Club was that their scrum was looking decidely fragile. Underlining that, Valley won a further two scrums against the head.
With no solid foundation to work on, Club were backpedalling all night. By the break Valley were leading 15-0 with winger Kevin O'Connell touching down by the right corner flag and Tu'Ivai putting over a penalty.
Skipper Paul Dingley added a further try for Valley. Club scored a late consolation try through Ian Cooke.