COACH Rick Jones said Wilmslow Wolves’ opening 40 minutes in a 38-14 win at arch-rivals Stockport was the best display for a number of years.

His side, close to full strength, delivered a near faultless first half.

“In six years at the club I have never seen them play better,” said Jones.

“At half time, I had nothing to say other than to tell them to keep their foot on the throttle and to retain their grip on their opponents’ throats, metaphorically speaking.”

By that time, they had scored four tries, Bob MacCallum had converted them all and added a penalty to give them a 31-0 lead at the break.

The set piece, lineout and recycling at the breakdown were rock solid.

The forwards managed to pilfer some Stockport possession at the throw-in and at the breakdown.

Behind them, with quick clean ball to work with, the backs were sure-footed and positive, passing quickly and accurately and running well off the ball to support each other.

It didn’t last for the whole game.

With their coach’s forceful half-time words still stinging in their ears, the lie of the land now in their favour and a steady north westerly wind behind them, Stockport took the game to Wolves after the interval but the damage had been done.

A catch and drive after 10 minutes, when the Wolves were down to 14 players on the field, got them on to the scoreboard.

Thereafter, the Wolves defence was equal to everything thrown at it and the home side’s second score came in time added on at the end when they hacked a loose ball from their own line down the field and with the help of a couple of penalties before managing to force themselves over.

Wolves started with a try after five minutes when their forwards turned over a Stockport drive in midfield.

Quick well-timed passing to the left through the hands of Bob MacCallum and Elliot Brierley together with some incisive running from full back Ed Stobart released Elliot Rowe, playing in the centre on this occasion, for a gallop down the left wing and the opening score.

MacCallum extended the Wolves advantage with a penalty.

From a scrum a simple phase-one passing move ended with Elliot Brierley sucking in the defence and releasing right winger James Coulthurst for the second try.

Another simple passing move on the left of a scrum saw winger Sam Cutts run in for the third try and then on the stroke of half time Wolves broke from their own half and Coulthurst made ground before delivering a perfect inside pass for Sean Street to touch down.

In the latter stages a crisp handling move led to full back Stobart breaking the Stockport line for the final Wilmslow try.