HRUFC U15s v Sheffield Tigers @ Lockwood Park on Sunday 19 July
The sun shone at Lockwood on a fine autumnal morning to welcome the season in and our first competitive game for 553 days since last playing under full RFU rules, including rucks, mauls, scrums and lineouts. Stiff competition is always the order of the day when playing Tigers. We have played them every season since we started out as U7s (U6s really) 10 seasons ago, and the games have always been tight and very tense, and played to a high standard – this game was no different.
We struck the first blow midway through the first half with a solid pick and go game, and then a pinpoint kick into their corner where we retained possession at the lineout and then ran the short blind side and scored in the corner. All the portents were good as we dominated the ruck and maul situation and generally had both the run and momentum of the game. Penalties were against us, particularly in the scrum, but this was largely as a result of our ascendent position (size advantage) and the fact that the ref wanted us to keep our shoulder height to ensure the scrums didn’t collapse – suffice to say we struggled. As the half went on Tigers started to get back into the game and a strong direct run from their inside centre at our 22 broke the line and they scored under the posts, and the try was converted – game on!
HALF TIME – score 5 – 7
The second half kicked off much the same way the first half ended. Mistakes starting to creep in meant that what flowed fairly well in the first half now started to ‘stop start’ with the ref having to use the whistle more than anyone would have liked. Many indiscretions meant that neither side really got any rhythm going, but our pick and go ruck work was really starting to hurt Tigers tight defence and we broke again and scored from close range. Again this was wide out and the try was not converted – score now 10-7
Tigers refused to go away and they upped their game, kept a high defensive line and really started to stifle our game. Our kicking game in the first 3rd was not getting us out of trouble and Tigers took advantage. They broke our line again close to halfway and scored adjacent to the posts, conversion successful – score 10-14
In the face of adversity our lads really showed what they are made of, the last 10mins was the best part of the game. We hit Tigers with wave after wave of ruck pick and go and Tigers could not prevent us from making cheap yards and crossing the gain line, but mistakes were still costing us and relief for Tigers was constantly found as we just couldn’t find that final pass or play that would allow us to score. But with 2mins left on the clock our perseverance paid off and another rolling maul started at their 22 went all the way to their line and we crossed in the corner to take back the initiative……….. kick to come. Kick successful from the side-line – final score – Huddersfield 17 – Tigers 14
What a start to the season! And we now have our Yorkshire Cup 1st Round match confirmed @ Pocklington on 10 October – we will be ready.
U15s Head Coach